Monday, February 4, 2013

ABC - Boston Cream Pie

Orange-flavored Boston Cream Pie

This month's ABC project is Boston Cream Pie. Guess what? It's not really a pie. It's a cake. As a matter of fact, it's Massachusetts' official state dessert and it has its own Wikipedia page. When I saw the Boston Cream Pie recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, I knew I had to make it. The cake looked so soft and fluffy, the pastry cream so silky smooth, and the chocolate glaze so luscious. Then when I baked it, and ran into issues, it started to look like it was going to be the cake from hell (that just looked pretty to lure you in). I'm exaggerating a bit, of course, but I did run into issues, so my problem solving brain already started thinking of a Plan B and came up with a Boston Cream "Trifle" if things went really wrong :o)


If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

As you might know, I love orange-flavored baked goods. So I thought I'd incorporate orange zest in the cake batter as well as the pastry cream which worked really well.

I decided to divvy up the batter into 2 pans (thinking it would save me the hassle of cutting the cake into 2 equal layers later). I'm not sure what happened, but it turned into 2 layers of orange-flavored gumminess. I figured that maybe my bleached cake flour was too weak to hold/absorb all the liquid in the batter (which was 50% more than the previous BCP recipe that I made which came from Tish Boyle's "The Cake Book"). This book also holds my favorite pastry cream recipe, to which I added some orange zest and a pinch of salt.

It was still early in the day, I had already made the orange-flavored pastry cream, and I still had 3 eggs in the fridge. Off I went. This time I used 5 oz of bleached all-purpose flour and 1 oz of bleached cake flour. I decided to bake it in my 9" spring form pan because of the 2" height requirement. After seeing Penny's ABC post, I could have used my Chicago Metallic 9" pan. Anyway, after 30 minutes, the cake was a deep golden brown. Thinking it was done early, I checked it by touching the top of the cake, only to find out that it was still completely soupy on the inside. Back into the oven it went for the additional 20 minutes.


After removing the cake from the oven, the cake looked fine. But as it cooled, it sank a little bit in the middle. Thanks to our cold MN weather, my cake had cooled completely in about 45 minutes. Assembling the cake was going to be really easy and straightforward, until I noticed that the bottom of my cake had a thin layer of gummy spots in it. I shaved off about 1/8" from the bottom and carried on.


A nice and moist crumb despite the long baking time. Can you see the specks of orange zest?
A nice slather of orange-specked pastry cream
The top of the cake wasn't even, so I leveled it.
The chocolate glaze came together quickly. After tasting some of the cake crumbs, I felt the cake was still a bit on the sweet side, despite my 1/4 cup sugar reduction. So I decided to use some good quality dark European chocolate to offset some of that sweetness. To make for a slightly thicker glaze, I reduced the amount of cream by about 1 Tbsp.

The cake is ready for its chocolate bath :o)

A little decorative swirl on top

A slice of BCP heaven, minus a thin layer of the bottom. Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:

  • We had this cake with our friends and their kids. Everyone loved it. Comments were made about the orange-y notes in the dessert. The ratings varied from 8 out of 10 to 9 out of 10. Hubby liked it too and gave it a good 8.5 out of 10.
  • I liked the combination of flavors and textures in the cake. I'm especially fond of the orange/chocolate combo. The top half of the cake was fluffier than the bottom half where the crumb was a bit tighter. The chocolate glaze had a deep chocolate flavor and was soft even straight from the fridge. If given a choice, I prefer the first BCP recipe I ever made which is the one from The Cake Book.
  • To cut this dessert into neat slices, I dipped my knife in a tall glass of hot water and wiped the knife clean after each slice.
  • Step-by-step pictures for this recipe as well as the recipe itself can be found on the KAF website, HERE.
  • Don't forget to check out the Boston Cream Pie of all the other ABC bakers.

18 comments:

  1. When I look at your pictures, I think that these "gummyspots" wére my cake! Didn't crumble much at all... this could be seen as a plus when you see our youngest eat crumbly things.
    Lovely luscious chocolate waves on top, yum!

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    1. Thanks Lien. Yeah, this cake had some gummy issues indeed :o)

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  2. I think I'm going to need to put this on my list of things to make when I've got a spare baking weekend. It looks delicious!

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    1. Definitely give it a try. I'm not completely sold on the cake portion of the cake but the combination of flavors and textures in this cake are marvelous together.

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  3. Hanaâ, you obviously are an orange-y kind of a girl!
    I should have been a bit more daring, and add some tang (or booze) to the cake, too. Whereas my husband can't get enough of vanilla cream - he still fondly remembers his baby pablum - I never cared too much for it.
    I wonder what went wrong with the cake batter. I never used bleached flour, therefore I don't know whether it performs differently.
    But I see you reduced the amount of sugar, too, and I like your wavy chocolate pattern.

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    1. I am an orange-y kinda girl :o) I could have reduced the sugar further, I think. I know you did and it seemed to have worked for you.

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  4. Hanaa, my cake got very dark, which worried me a little too, but it was fine. Maybe it's all of the sugar. Love your frosting pattern!

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    1. Thanks Karen. Yes, that large amount of sugar will cause some serious browning :o)

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  5. looks delicious!

    check out my blog if you get a chance! would really appreciate it!!

    www.manusmenu.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. So pretty Hanaa! I love the orangeness! I bet it was delicious!

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    1. Thanks Chelly. It was delicious indeed :o)

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  7. I added some liquor in the filling but I should have added orange in the cake! Love the petal like chocolate on top, looks nice! (My post is coming up soon, had it made in time but pics are on son's camera..)

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    1. Thanks! Oh yeah, orange zest in the cake is totally awesome. Looking forward to your post.

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  8. The idea of the orange with the chocolate sounds amazing! I probably should have turned my mess into a trifle, might have covered up the cake :-) Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. You know, a trifle is always a good plan B in case something goes wrong with a cake (and the best thing is that you don't have to let anyone know it was plan B) :o)

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  9. I think gumminess might be from not getting enough air whipped into the batter, making it too dense. But it still looks luscious! Good job!

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  10. I love orange also....looks great!
    And those swirls in the icing are so pretty...

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