Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Martha Challenge #38- Boston Cream Cupcakes

So in honor of the upcoming Independence Day holiday, I wanted to do a themed cupcake, and figured Boston cream pie cupcakes were pretty good! Plus, I'm kinda into filled cupcakes right now.
These were quite time consuming to make. First you have to make the pastry cream which goes inside. I had never made pastry cream before, but it was easy, and smelled amazing. I kind of want to make more stuff with it. It's just eggs, milk, sugar and some cornstarch, all cooked together and then strained. It came out perfect, nice and thick. This would also make a good filling for a layer cake, or of course, eclairs.

While that was chilling, I made the cupcakes. These are light and fluffy, almost like a sponge cake, but not quite. A very simple vanilla cupcake, but so divine. I baked them in red and blue star liners to emphasize the theme :)

After they had cooled completely, I made a hole in each with an apple corer. Martha's version recommends cutting them in half and putting the filling in between, but I figured that would be too messy for transporting them. So I did it my way! The cakes were so spongy that after making the hole and taking out the insides, the holes kinda closed up again, so I had to scoop more cake out to have room for the cream.

So I filled them all with pastry cream, making sure to get enough in each cupcake, and replaced the tops I had removed. There were some scraps I ate too :)

Third step, I made the chocolate ganache topping. I love making ganache, it's super easy, very rich and delicious, and everyone loves chocolate! I use the darkest chocolate I can find usually, which this time was 72%. I generously spooned the ganache over the top of the cupcakes and spread it out. It was quite thick, probably because I used more chocolate than recommended.
To finish, a few red white and blue nonpareils sprinkled on top. Perfect!

I had to crack one of these open to test it out, and to see how the filling looked. I was rather pleased with the result, the filling was plentiful, and although it was similar in color to the cake, you can see the difference in texture.

One issue I had was that these need to be refrigerated before serving, and when I took one out of the fridge to cut it open, the cake itself wasn't as soft and spongy as before. I know that chilling cake dries it out, and that's exactly what happened here. I'd recommend letting these come to room temp for a few minutes before serving them, even if you chill them overnight.
All in all, a good recipe, and one I'll definitely keep on hand.

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