Per the start of this blog, I made Kristen her special requested birthday dessert.
But this year, instead of a full-blown layered cake, I went with cupcakes instead. I liked the idea of being able to assemble these so that they were fresh and when you wanted to eat them. With the custard inside, Boston Cream Pie is one of those things that is best eaten the day you make it and if your party is on the small side, cupcakes are a lifesaver.
Each part can also be made ahead of time and individually assembled so that these are ready to eat right when you want them.
Here are several pro tips:
- The cupcakes are easiest to cut in half if slightly frozen. Freeze for 30 minutes before desired cut time.
- I was actually slightly disappointed that these cupcakes had muffin-like tops when they came out of the oven, but that actually helped the ganache stay in a pool on the top.
- The custard can be made the day before assembly but only lasts for 3 days.
- If you want silky smooth ganache, spoon it on right before eating. Otherwise, it gets kind of solid in the fridge. That's good too but just different than expected.
This was definitely the shiniest ganache I've ever made. So shiny. So chocolatey. So good in a big spoonful that drips off the side of the cupcakes. It was the icing on the cake for sure. Personally, I would have gone with just the cupcake and the ganache but that wasn't very Boston Cream Pie-like.
Birthdays deserve something extra special and luxurious and this certainly hit the spot!
Happy, 22nd Birthday, Kristen! Shaking my head at the one who wanted to take a picture with an Oreo in her mouth.
P.S. It's not the birthday girl...
Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Slightly adapted from this recipe
Yields: 12 cupcakes // Active Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes // Inactive Time: 1 hour
The amount of ingredients for the custard filling makes A LOT. Like, double to triple the amount that you would need for 12 cupcakes or even a 9-inch cake. However, I didn't realize this until after the fact and didn't test halving the recipe. But, if you have strong faith in your division skills, I would recommend reducing it. Or, just make a lot of cupcakes.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 cup whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to the creamed mixture in three batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat after each addition, just until combined.
Line a lightly greased muffin pan with cupcake liners and fill each liner ¾ of the way full. Bake in a 350°F oven for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Freeze for about 30 minutes before slicing cupcakes in half horizontally.
Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks well. Gradually stir in milk until well blended. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually add in milk mixture, stirring well to prevent lumps. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture reaches a low boil (about 20 minutes). Allow to boil, still stirring for 1 minute. Then immediately remove from heat. Set pot in bowl of ice water and continue to stir. When mixture has cooled a bit, stir in vanilla. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on filling to prevent a skin from forming and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.
Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts and the cream bubbles at the edges, stirring often.
Gradually pour the hot cream and butter over the chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Let cool to slightly warm.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of custard filing between the two cupcake halves. Sandwich both halves together. Spoon a generous amount of ganache on the top half of the cupcake. Serve immediately.