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Maria Arsenault's Boston cream pie

FOR THE CAKE

Solid vegetable shortening (for the pan)
Flour (for sprinkling)
2whole eggs, separated, plus 1 extra white
¾cup sugar
cups sifted cake flour
3teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon salt
1/3cup extra light olive oil
1scant cup whole milk
1tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans. Sprinkle them with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In an electric mixer, beat the 3 egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add ¼ cup of the sugar, beating until very stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl (unless you have a second mixer bowl.)

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the remaining ½ cup sugar, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the oil, egg yolks, milk, Amaretto, and vanilla. On medium speed, beat just until smooth.

4. Pour the yolk mixture gradually over the whites, gently folding them together with a spatula, just until blended. Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes away clean. Take care not to overbake.

5. Cool the cakes in pan for 15 minutes, then invert them onto wire racks and cool completely.

FOR THE CUSTARD

2cups whole milk
2eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1scant teaspoon cornstarch
1teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
1. In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, flour, and cornstarch. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour the mixture into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth. When the custard thickens, bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then remove it from the heat. Stir in the Amaretto. The consistency should be like a pudding; it will thicken as it cools. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until cold.

FOR THE GLAZE AND GARNISH

4ounces mini semisweet chocolate chips
6tablespoons heavy cream
1tablespoon dark corn syrup
1teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
1cup sliced blanched almonds, lightly toasted
2tablespoons shaved white chocolate
1maraschino cherry
1. In a medium bowl, place the chocolate.

2. In a saucepan, combine the cream and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk gently until smooth. Stir in the Amaretto.

3. On a cake platter, place one layer upside down. Reserve ¾ cup of custard. Spread the remaining custard on top of the cake. Gently place the second layer right side up on top. Spread a thin layer of custard on the sides of the cake. Press almonds on the sides.

4. Pour the chocolate glaze on top of cake, spreading it to cover the surface.

5. Refrigerate the cake to set glaze. Sprinkle the top with white chocolate and place the cherry in the center.

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