By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
No matter how hard we try, it’s simply not possible to please all of the people around the table all of the time.
In the case of desserts, though, we may have an exception. Today’s classic, courtesy of http://www.epicurious.com, pretty much has it all — cake for cake lovers, custard for pudding fanciers and, of course, chocolate.
This little whipper-upper would make a hit any old time, really, but it should also be the perfect thing to polish off our Valentine’s Day dinners tomorrow night. It’s a cinch to make, but it goes together in three-part harmony — the cake first, then the custard, and finally the glaze, so it does take some time from start to finish.
Ah, but it can be made today, tonight or early tomorrow morning, so let’s not wait to try:
Boston cream pie
11/2cubes butter (3/4 cup) butter, softened
2cups cake flour (not self-rising)
21/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2cup heavy cream
1vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3tablespoons unsalted butter
6ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), broken into pieces
2tablespoons unsalted butter
11/2tablespoons light corn syrup
Seasonal fruit and blossoms (non-toxic only) for garnish
For the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter and flour a 9 1/2-inch springform pan. In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until mixture is light and fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and beat into the butter mixture in batches alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in middle of the oven 50 to 55 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pan on a rack.
For the custard, in a saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and milk; add the eggs, cream and salt and whisk until smooth. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, reserving the pod for another use, and add them to the cream mixture. Bring to boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, whisking. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter. Let cool completely, whisking occasionally.
For the glaze, in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with the water, butter, corn syrup and salt, stirring until glaze is smooth. Remove bowl from the pan.
To assemble, remove cake from the pan, halve it horizontally with a long serrated knife, and arrange the bottom half, cut side up, on a plate. Top the bottom half with the custard, spreading custard to the edge. Put remaining cake half, cut side down, on the custard, and pour the glaze on top, spreading to the edge and letting it drip down the side.
This may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered loosely and chilled. Garnish with the fruit and blossoms.
The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Good Life section.