Oct 24, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

I don't like Bobby Flay. I might be offending a lot of people, but I just don't like him. It started when years ago I saw a competition on Iron Chef (the Japanese one) between Morimoto and Bobby Flay. He was so cocky during that competition!! I was so happy when he lost.

When he comes on tv, I change the channel. He just annoys me. One day though, I did watch an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. This is a show where he goes around and challenges people on what they're famous for (see what I mean about cocky!!) In this episode, he was challenging Eunice Feller from Bread and Chocolate on her Boston Cream Pie. She made quite a spectacular looking Boston Cream Pie, nothing like what I saw before. Sadly, she didn't win.

After seeing that episode, I wanted to make her Boston Cream Pie. I went to Food Network and read the reviews on her Boston Cream Pie, but the reviews weren't very good. I finally decided to swallow my pride and make a Bobby Flay recipe. I used his boston cream pie recipe, but I used Eunice's method.

Mine is not as pretty as Eunice's, but it tastes great!! I made this cake for a friend's birthday, and she loved it!! The cake is really good, I was surprised and nervous about the cornmeal in the recipe, but it's a nice addition. The pastry cream was also very yummy!! Overall the cake was really good. So...maybe there's a reason why this Flay dude is so cocky. I don't know though, I still don't like such an arrogant man.

Boston Cream Pie
adapted from Bobby Flay and Eunice Feller

Butter Cake
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bourbon
1 3/4 cups cake flour minus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups pure cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and slightly softened

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and spray the round too.

2. Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract and bourbon in a measuring glass and set aside.

3. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix to combine. Add the butter, piece by piece and beat until the mixture looks like moist crumbs. Beat in all but ½ cup of the milk mixture then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1/2 cup and beat for 30 seconds longer. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans evenly and bake on the middle rack until a skewer inserted into the center of each cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. 4. Remove the pans to a baking rack and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Flip onto the rack, remove the parchment then turn each cake top side up. Let cool completely.

Vanilla Bean-Bourbon Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
6 large egg yolks ½ cup pure cane sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons bourbon

1. Combine milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat.

2. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened.

3. Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the cold butter, vanilla and bourbon until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes before spreading on the cake layers.

Chocolate Glaze
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl, pour the hot cream mixture over and let sit 30 seconds. Gently whisk until smooth, stir in the vanilla…Let cool until slightly thickened.


1. Place the cooled cake on a cake round. Trim the top of the cake and hollow out the middle of one of the cakes to hold the pastry cream.

2. Cut the trimmed cake into big chunks and set aside. Spread a thin layer of pastry cream on the whole cake. Place the hollowed out cake on top of the pastry cream. Fill the hollow area with pastry cream. Pile the cake pieces on top of the pastry cream. Pour warm ganache over the entire surface until covered. Let the cake rest for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Oct 16, 2011

Apple Crostata

I'm finally back!! I actually have been back for a month now, but have been kinda lazy and didn't do much baking. Now I'm back in the kitchen and I'm ready again!! I'm sharing this recipe with you because it's one of my favorites! I make this Apple Crostata all the time!!! It's my all time favorite potluck recipe. It's so easy to make and it's so delicious too. The only reason I haven't posted it is because I can never get a good picture!! I have given up because I want to share it with you sooo bad!

I tried and tried to make it look pretty, but always fail. Don't let the looks fool you, once people eat this pie, they'll think you are a wonderful pie maker. I brought this pie to a party tonight and someone in culinary school told me that it's better than her pie from school!!! The crust is so flaky and buttery and filling is not too sweet. A perfect fall dessert!

I found this recipe at Lemon and Anchovies. Her picture is a lot nicer than mine!! It originally comes from Ina Garten so I knew it was going to be good. Make it!!! You'll love it!! Everyone will think you're an amazing pie maker!! shhh, don't tell =) Here's the recipe with a few tweaks.

Apple crostata
adapted from Lemon and Anchovies

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

1. For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is size of peas. Add the ice water and lightly knead dough until it comes together (do not overwork the dough). Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (see note)

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

3. Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.

4. For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

5. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl. Add the butter and cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle. (see note)

6. Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • *Ina's recipe uses a food processor to make the dough and the sugar mixture. I only use my pastry cutter and it works fine.  For directions with a food processor, go to Lemon and Anchovies' site.

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