This classic American dessert features two layers of spongy vanilla cake sandwiched with a thick layer of fresh vanilla custard and topped with a smooth chocolate ganache. With a perfect combination of tender cake, sweet cream, and rich chocolate, this dessert hits all the right notes.
A Boston Cream Pie was the perfect way to celebrate the New England Patriots playing in Super Bowl LIII.
Plus, Boston Cream Pie was my grandfather's favorite dessert, so it was only fitting to honor him during the biggest sporting event of the year.
5 large egg yolks
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅛ tsp salt
4 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups half & half
3 Tbsp salted butter
2 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups whole milk
9 oz semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
In a medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg yolks; set aside.
In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and half & half until smooth. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 2 minutes, and then remove the pan from the heat.
Add a small amount of the half & half mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together to combine. Slowly add a bit more of the half & half mixture to the egg yolk mixture and continue whisking. Gradually add the remaining half & half mixture and whisk together. (Gradually adding the half & half ensures you don’t cook the eggs too quickly.)
Pour the mixture back in the pan and bring to a light boil over medium heat. Allow the mixture to boil for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until smooth. Then pour the pastry cream into a heat-proof bowl. Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream so a film doesn’t form, and immediately refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch circular cake pans by lightly spraying with nonstick cooking spray and lining the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, and bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs. (Be careful not to overcook the cakes; you don’t want the toothpick to come out completely clean.)
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 2-3 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. (Don’t forget to peel off the parchment paper!)
Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl; set aside.
Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until simmering. Once simmering, pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to sit untouched for about one minute, and then whisk together until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Use a large serrated knife to cut the domes off the tops of the cakes so they are perfectly flat and even.
Place one layer of cake on a serving plate, cake stand, or cardboard cake circle. Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and whisk lightly until smooth, then spread the cream all over the cake in an even layer. Top with the remaining cake layer.
Pour the chocolate ganache in the center of the cake and spread it out to the edges, letting it drip down the sides. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.