Monday, February 15, 2010

Bavarian Creme, Baby!

My father is a Boston Creme Pie aficionado, so I grew up on a wide assortment of pastries filled with Bavarian Creme: donuts, pies, cakes, creme horns, and just about every Czech dessert in any bakery in West, Texas.

A recent obsession with Wilton fill-pans encouraged me to bake a fill-pan version of the Boston Creme Pie. Conceptually this is a perfect plan, but a problem quickly developed- creating a Bavarian creme of the correct consistency.

Problem 1: For simple eating purposes, I like a thicker Bavarian Creme:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c white sugar*
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla (I like Penzy's double strength for this application)
  • 1 1/4 c heavy creme
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and cold water. Set aside to soften.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until smooth.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Stir a small amount into the egg yolk mixture, then stir the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk until well blended.
  4. Whisk in the softened gelatin and vanilla.
  5. Run through a strainer, and allow to cool.
  6. When the mixture has cooled almost to room temperature, whip the heavy cream to medium stiffness and fold into it.
  7. Refrigerate in shallow bowl until ready to use.

*Normally I would advocate for evaporated cane sugar instead of white sugar, however I have not tried this recipe with anything but refined sugar. I'll let you know how it goes when I test it out with cane sugar.

Problem 2: My favorite recipe for "plain ol' eatin'" Bavarian Creme has proven not to be fill-pan friendly due to density.

Some adjustments had to be made via the fantastic process of science inquiry. After many initial mishaps, here is what I came up with:

Cake Perfect Bavarian Creme

  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla (preferably Penzy's double strength)
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream

Follow the same instructions for the bc above while adjusting the ingredients as shown above. This will yield a much lighter creme that wont weigh down the interior of a filled cake.

Now... how to incorporate this into the perfect Boston Creme Pie? Simple.

Make a batch of cake perfect bc. Bake a yellow butter cake- preferably using dump method (Need a recipe? I'll post one later or you can cheat and use the Duncan Hines mix.)- and mix up your favorite chocolate buttercream frosting. Bake your cake in a Wilton fill-pan (Now, I realize that a traditional Boston Creme Pie is actually a layer cake, but we're going for perfection not tradition here so just go with me on this!) and set aside to cool completely but do not put in the fridge or freezer. Once cool, fill with creme and frost with chocolate buttercream.

Here comes the hard part: this one is better once it has had time to sit and let the flavors meld a bit, so give it a day before slicing it.

I haven't made it back to Dallas to test it our on my dad since I perfected this one, but I'm more than sure it will wear his seal of approval when he tries it.

Life doesn't get much sweeter!

Love from my kitchen,

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