This Triple Layer Boston Cream Pie is a CLASSIC if there ever was one! A delicious rum infused cake, topped with vanilla bean pastry cream and homemade chocolate ganache! A rich and wonderful New England dessert!
Boston Cream Pie
Are you guys loving this Oscar Recipe Series as much as I am, I’m seriously having a blast with it! I can’t believe this recipe marks the halfway point, any guesses as to which film it belongs to?
If you guessed Spotlight you’d be absolutely right! Since it takes place in Boston, I wanted to make something that was, at its foundation, Bostonian (and maybe a wee bit French).
Why Is It Called Boston Cream Pie?
The Boston Cream Pie was originally known as the Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie. The pie, or rather a cake, was given its name for two different reasons:
- It’s believed to have been invented by French chef M. Sanzian in 1856 who worked in the kitchen of the Parker House Hotel, known today as the Omni Parker House where I got a mini Boston Cream Pie in November!
- It’s believed that the reason it’s called a pie instead of a cake is that pie pans were more common at the time and the original was probably baked in a pie pan.
The Boston Cream Pie is the official State Dessert of Massachusetts. The form with which we most associate the name with today is not how the original cake was made. We know the Boston Cream Pie as pastry cream or custard sandwiched between two yellow cakes and covered with chocolate ganache.
The original was made with sponge cake that had been brushed with rum syrup, then the pastry cream was not only sandwiched between the two cakes but also used as a frosting on the outside. Then it was covered with toasted almond slivers and chocolate fondant.
Which version would you rather have? Personally, I’ve had the Omni House’s mini version and I wasn’t a huge fan. So I’m all about skipping the almonds, swapping the fondant for ganache and cutting back on the pastry cream. Instead of rum syrup, I used a bit of rum extract in the batter and added a third layer of cake, because why not!
But here’s the thing, I’ve never really been a fan of yellow cake, so I decided to use a recipe that uses whole eggs rather than egg yolks which mean, less yellow and more to my liking! The cake is perfect, airy without being dry, but dense enough that I wouldn’t consider it a sponge or chiffon cake. The flavor is light and simple which really let the vanilla bean pastry cream and rich ganache shine!
Before the Oscar nominations were announced, Spotlight was considered the only sure thing in a tight race. The film is excellent but didn’t blow us away. The story is told exceptionally well with a great balance among the characters. However, the chills I got from watching the trailer didn’t come during the film.
Most movies have their highs and lows, but Spotlight runs the same solid note for the entirety. While it may never reach that boom, in your face, high, it runs at a near perfect 80% the whole way through and maybe THAT is the makings of a great movie! This is my pick to win Best Picture!
This post is part of my Oscar Recipe Series, check out the other film inspired recipes:
Triple Layer Boston Cream Pie
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Bring the milk, vanilla bean, and vanilla bean paste to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan, whisking occasionally. Once it starts to boil, immediately remove it from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.
- In a medium-sized bowl, vigorously whisk together eggs and sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in cornstarch and continue to whisk vigorously until lumps are gone.
- Remove the vanilla bean pods from the milk and throw away. Then whisk in about a 1/4 cup of the vanilla milk into the egg mixture, measurement doesn't need to be exact, you just need to temper the eggs. Once the milk is fully incorporated, whisk in the remaining milk and set the saucepan aside, you'll need it in just a minute.
- Pour the mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan, cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until cream begins to thicken and boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until completely melted.
- Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap gently touches the top of the pastry cream, chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray 3 6-inch pans (or 2 9-inch pans for a double layer) with cooking spray, cut out parchment paper for bottoms of the pans. See how here.
- With a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy on medium speed. Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow.
- Add flour, salt, and baking powder to a small bowl and add milk, rum extract and vanilla extract to a measuring cup. Beat into the batter alternating between the two. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on high for 3 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of batter to each 6-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick comes clean from the center.
- Run a paring knife around the edge of each cake and flip onto a cooling rack to cool. Once cakes have cool, prep the ganache.
- Add heavy cream to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add chocolate chips to a small bowl and pour hot cream over them, let sit for 5 minutes. The stir until a rich chocolate ganache forms, let sit for 5 minutes.
- Gently cut the tops off of 2 of the 3 cakes with a bread knife or cake wire, place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Use a spoon to add half of the pastry cream on top of the cake and use the back of the spoon to spread it out evenly. Repeat for the next layer.
- Add the uncut layer of cake to the top, gently pressing down so the layers adhere to each other. Pour prepared ganache over the top of the cake. You may not use all of the ganache on the top of the cake and if you're serving soon, reserve some to pour over the slice for the crazy chocolate lovers!