Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm not from boston, but...

I do ADORE my new boston creme cupcake recipe! Made these gorgeous cuppies today while dealing with side effects from fainting last night and the medicinal concoctions of the day. I knew I needed the therapuetic effect of baking, but I wouldn't be able to stand. So, I set up shop with a swivel chair at my kitchen island, right between my oven and the countertop, and started baking. I saw an idea on Food Network from Sandra Lee- who hosts a show called "Semi Homemade". In Sandra's version, boxed yellow cake mix, boxed pudding, and boxed icing combine to make a Boston Creme Pie inspired cupcake. In an effort to make mine a little more authentic, I made yellow cake from scratch (Joy of Baking's recipe... is there any other one?!), with a pastry cream filling (Wilton's recipe), and chocolate ganache (no recipe, it's two ingredients!) I also made modeling chocolate for the first time, used white Ghiradelli chocolate and colored it for little flower accents on the cupcakes.

The SNAFU's:
1. The damned pastry cream. Can I leave it there? The first batch came out more like tapioca pudding, bumps and all. Why? No idea. There are four raw egg yolks in the recipe that go right over the heat. My best guess is that the eggs scrambled a little bit. I pitched that and started over with lower heat, a better eye and a stronger stir, then VOILA! Gorgeous, smooth, why-bother-putting-in-the-cupcakes-when-we-can-eat-it-from-the-bowl custard. I used my new tip to inject a tablespoon or so of that into the cupcakes and allowed them to set up in the fridge. Crisis averted.
2. The damned ganache. This one is a classic lesson on the art of KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid! The ganache turned out beautifully, as did the cupcakes. Getting the ganache onto the cupcakes without it looking like a chocolate tsunami was the issue. I started with a spoon and got some major drippage. "X" that idea. So, I got fancy and grabbed a piping bag and started to pipe. That wasn't any more effective. Back to the drawing board... AH! Just dip the cupcakes in the ganache... Worked like a charm! Sometimes, less is more.

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup half & half or 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


About 1 1/3 cups of filling.


In saucepan, blend all ingredients except vanilla. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches the consistency of medium cream sauce. Remove from heat, add vanilla and cool quickly. To prevent a skin from forming, brush with melted butter. Stir before using.

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