I have lived in the Midwest for almost 20 years, but I am an out-of-her-element Bostonian. In my lifelong search for the perfect Boston Cream Pie, I ran across a posting for a dessert called “Bostini Cream Pies.” That, of course, more than caught my interest.
It turns out that the dessert takes the components of a traditional Boston Cream Pie and reassembles them in a martini glass for presentation. Because some Boston Cream Pies slide all over the place when you cut them, depending on the consistency of the pastry cream, I thought the idea had a lot of merit since the individual servings would eliminate that problem.
The original recipe for the cake component called for orange juice and zest. I don’t particularly care for the combination of orange and chocolate. OK, I was being tactful. I actually hate that combination. I was the kid who would spit out that piece of candy from the box of chocolates before I learned to cut the chocolate in half to check what was inside! So, I substituted a tried and true recipe for a tender vanilla cake and baked the cakelets in a muffin tin. For the vanilla pastry cream component, I, of course, used my friend Jill’s fabulous recipe—no sense reinventing the perfect wheel! For the chocolate glaze, I did use the simple 1-to-1 pairing of melted butter and chocolate called for in the original recipe.
The results? I am almost at a loss for words to describe how good these Bostini Cream Pies are. My husband, Roger, would tell you that it’s the rare occasion I’m at a loss for words! Between us, we ate 5 out of the 8 desserts in two days. If we hadn’t had some of the kids home for a day, we would have polished off all 8 desserts in short order! Think about it—a moist, tender vanilla cake resting in a pile of luscious vanilla pastry cream with the whole thing covered in warm chocolate glaze. Believe me, this dessert would test, if not totally destroy, anyone’s will power. And you know what? You won’t care!
Bostini Cream Pies
- 1 quart whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 5 tbl. cornstarch
- 2 tbl. vanilla extract
- 2 oz. unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar, divided
Directions for Vanilla Pastry Cream
Bring milk plus 1/2 cup sugar to 175o F, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Combine eggs and cornstarch and set aside until milk reaches 175o. Then, stir in remaining 1/2 cup sugar into eggs.
Now, temper eggs with a cup of the hot milk, stirring constantly. Then pour egg mixture back into pan of hot milk and stir constantly until it thickens and starts to boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Place plastic wrap or wax paper over surface immediately. You can chill in an ice water bath, stirring occasionally to redistribute and chill thoroughly.
Ingredients for the Vanilla Cakelets
- 1 cup plus 2 tbl. cake flour
- 1 1/8 tsp. baking powder
- 3/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
- 8 tbl. (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tbl. sugar
Directions for the Vanilla Cakelets
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat an oven to 325o F. Generously grease and flour 10 cups in a 12-cup muffin tin.
To make the cakelets, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla; set aside.
In another small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg and egg white; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue eating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes more. Add the egg mixture in two additions, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared muffin tin. Bake until the cakelets spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack and let the cakelets cool for 10 minutes. Invert the muffin tin onto the rack, gently tap the pan bottom and lift off the pan. Turn cakelets upright and let cool completely. Makes 10 cakelets.
Ingredients for the Chocolate Glaze
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
Directions for the Chocolate Glaze
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. (I just follow microwave directions on back of package of chocolate and melt with the butter.)
Directions for Assembling
Fill 10 martini glasses (or bowls of your choice) approximately 2/3 full with vanilla pastry cream. You may or may not, depending how much you use, have some vanilla pastry cream left over—not a problem in my house!
Fran’s Notes: Since I used three different recipes for the three components of this dessert, I wasn’t at all sure that the amounts of each would equal out. I decided to make 8 desserts even though I had 10 of the cakelets. It turned out that I had enough of the pastry cream to have made all 10—but, by that time, 2 of the 10 cakelets had been eaten while they were still warm!
Source: Inspired by a Brown Eyed Baker recipe