Strawberry Rhubarb Cupcakes
It is pretty much the first week that our rhubarb was actually big enough to use. So of course, we needed to make something fun.
Sometimes life gets busy and you just don’t have time to write a blog post. Other times, you have a relaxing evening and plenty of time to write a blog post, but your internet is touch and go so instead you play Wii all evening while occasionally refreshing the page to see if the Internet is back. I generally prefer the first one, if I have to choose one of the two. But guess which one was yesterday? Yep.
But that’s OK, I have time to write tonight too, so I’m here to tell you about our Boston Cream Pie. It was, on Dave’s suggestion, one of our desserts at Thanksgiving. We have ONE piece left. I guess that is how it goes.
There are quite a few steps in this one – but don’t worry! It might take a while but it’s not hard to make this recipe. Plan to make the pies the night before you make the pastry cream and ganache. The pastry cream will be cooked and need to cool entirely before you use it, which will take a while as well.
For the cake:
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened just a bit
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
(Cake recipe from Wilton)
Preheat your oven to 350, and grease two round cakepans. Line them with parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper as well (trust me.)
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together until combined and light – this might take a couple of minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Get your milk and your flour mixture ready next to the bowl, and then add the dry ingredients and milk in small batches, alternately. Three or four batches should get the job done. Mix until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between two cake pans and shake a couple of times to pop any air bubbles. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake passes the toothpick test. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to wire racks and let cool completely before you do anything with them.
And now, for the pastry cream (from Food Network):
Start by scalding your milk: heat it in a medium saucepan on medium heat, until it boils. Turn the heat off right away and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they are light and fluffy (or you can also use a mixer). Add the cornstarch, and continue whisking/mixing vigorously until the mixture is smooth.
Next, temper in the hot milk. Add 1/4 cup first, and whisk quickly until mixed in. Then, slowly add the rest of the milk while you whisk.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. If you want a super-smooth cream, you can run it through a fine mesh strainer as you put it back in the pan. Cook over medium or medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and has a very, very very slow boil.
Take it off the heat and stir in the butter. Allow to cool completely before using. If you choose to chill and/or store the cream, cover completely with plastic wrap and push the plastic wrap down flat so it touches the cream and keeps all the air out – otherwise the cream will form a skin.
When the cream is completely cooled, put one cake layer on the platter you want to serve on, with the flattest side down.
Start spreading the pastry cream from the middle of the cake out to about 1 inch away from the edge. Place the other layer of the cake on top of the pastry cream, with the flattest side up.
For the ganache:
Slowly melt the two together in a double boiler, stirring constantly. When mixed, allow to cool until the ganache is pretty thick – about an hour. Spread on top of the top layer, starting from the middle, and allow to drip over the sides.
Now that’s what I’m talking about!