Monday, June 27, 2011

Boston Cream Cupcakes

After awhile of deliberation (and thinking about all the clever things I might say about Boston Cream Cupcakes), 
I decided these cupcakes don't need much of an introduction.    
Here goes:
Cake.  Good.
Vanilla Custard.  Good.
Chocolate.  Good.
Topped with a cherry.  All very good.
This is not the first appearances for recipes of both the pastry cream and chocolate ganache (you can see them featured in such posts as cream puffs and strawberry pie--as long as you promise not to make too much fun of my terrible photography).  I think the moral of the story is that it can be really satisfying to have a few recipes up your sleeve that can be reworked in so many different ways.  Here's to a mash up.  Of sugar.  Sweet. 

p.s. These seem like they might make a cute addition to a 4th of July celebration.  There's something a bit patriotic feeling about them.

Boston Cream Cupcakes
1 batch yellow cupcakes
1 batch pastry cream
1 batch chocolate ganache
maraschino cherries for garnish
To assemble: Use a serrated knife to slice the tops of the cupcakes off right where they meet the paper liner.  Spread a generous amount of pastry cream on the base of the cupcake.  Replace the top of the cupcake and dip the top or spread a thick layer of the chocolate ganache on the top of the cupcake.  While ganache is still wet, top with a maraschino cherry.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator (the cold cake with the cream is really fabulous).

1 box yellow cake mix (I used butter recipe golden)
1 stick (4 ounces/8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, sour cream eggs and water.  Mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.  Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl.   Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Spoon batter into paper liners and bake according to cupcake directions on box.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. 

Pastry Cream Filling
Note: For a full box of cake mix worth of cupcakes (about 18-24), prepare a double batch.  This will fill about 12
2 cups milk or half and half
1/2 cup sugar, divided
pinch salt
3 tablespoons corn starch
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium sauce-pan, combine milk, 1/4 cup of sugar and salt.  Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. 

While milk is coming to a simmer, combine remaining sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl.  Stir in corn starch, one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated and mixture is thick and lemon-colored. 

Slowly add a ladle-full of steaming milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly, to help temper the egg mixture (brings up the temperature of the egg mixture slowly so you don't get scrambled egg yolks).  Continue to add remaining milk, slowly and stirring constantly.  When all of milk is added, return entire mixture to the sauce-pan and stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.  Allow to boil (still stirring) for 1-2 minutes or until mixture is thick.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla. 

Pour pastry cream into a shallow dish and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep from forming a skin on the top.  Allow to fully chill in the fridge.

You can also use pastry cream recipe for cream pies and other pastries!

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups good quality chocolate chips or bar chocolate chopped into small pieces (I like a combination of milk and dark chocolate, personally)

In a small, microwave-safe, bowl, heat heavy cream until it comes to simmer (about 30 seconds-1 minute--watch very closely so it doesn't boil over!).  Remove from microwave and stir in chocolate.  Stir constantly until chocolate is fully melted and mixture becomes thick and shiny.  Use immediately.  If mixture becomes too hard, microwave on high for 15 second intervals, stirring well until softened.

 And for your (mostly my) enjoyment...
Notice the little hand creeping in the background...


Maraschino cherry bliss...

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