Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dessert of the Week....Boston Creme Pie

This American Classic is often overlooked these days. It's a wonderful way to end a company meal, but simple enough to make just for an indulgent Saturday treat.

Using the basic construction steps, you can make it very simply with everything from mixes, or with more complexity doing everything from scratch. The best is a combination that uses both aspects. Classic yellow cake, French pastry creme filling, and Chocolate glaze (MrMartha uses a simple Ganache).

Traditional Boston Creme does not use fruit, but this version uses some lovely spring strawberries to make it extra special. If using fresh fruit in the cake, don't do your final assembly of the dessert until as close to serving time as possible. You can, however, make all the components ahead of time. This cake does not store well. When preparing your cake, bake in two different size sized for the dessert you will be making immediately, and the other to wrap and freeze for future use.

How to do it:

Prepare a white or yellow cake mix according to package directions. Add a teaspoon of additional vanilla extract to freshen the flavor. Bake in desired pan sizes.

Prepare French pastry creme (recipe) and cover surface to cool and keep skin from forming (or make a packaged vanilla pudding mix -- 'cook and serve' is preferable to instant).

Make a simple Chocolate Ganache:
Heat 1/3 cup cream just to boiling with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Stir in 4-6 oz semi sweet chocolate - chopped or in chips.
Allow the chocolate to melt from the heat of the cream, and then stir or whisk till smooth.
Allow to cool briefly while you assemble the cake.

If you are going to use Strawberries or other fruit, prepare it -- in thin slices for the filling, and larger pieces for top garnish.

Split the cake layer in half evenly with a large serrated knife. Spread with the cooled pastry cream and top with the fruit slices. Replace Top layer carefully, and then pour on the Ganache glaze. Allow the glaze to set and harden for a few minutes, then garnish cake top with additional fruit.

Keep at room temperature till serving time.
This is perfect for dessert, with afternoon coffee, a wonderful surprise for a neighbor, or a great treat for a friend you owe a favor!