The Boston Cream Pie. I'll save my review for the end of my post as I think it requires a bit of background...
I made my first batch of pastry cream the night before, as suggested, to speed things up the next day. You caught that I said first batch, so something must have gone wrong, no? All was going fine, but all of the sudden, this happened:
I'm not sure, it never boiled or even bubbled as the recipe said it should for 2 minutes. It started to thicken and look tasty, but being a novice, I wanted to see some bubble action and set a timer, to make sure I was doing this per the book. I think (speculation, of course) that because I had substituted heavy cream for the whole milk as the recipe suggested that it may, with the additional fat, have set up far sooner than if I had stuck with milk. But I can't have milk, so whatevs.
So, the next afternoon, I'm in the kitchen working on the cakes. Place them in the oven, insert a bamboo drink stirrer because that's what I've got and the thing looked clean, honest. But after 20 minutes of cool down, I flipped over the cake pan and ended up with this:
*Lots of expletives*
So, I take a break, hubs and I eat the half baked cake off the plate, determine it is delicious and decide to screw the heavy cream in the cake batter and use goat's milk instead (I tend not to use it as much in desserts because sometimes the flavor is pretty distinct). Round two: I leave the cakes in for a full 30 minutes and turn up the oven to 350F. We usually bake smaller quantities in a toaster oven, so big oven baking was an eye opener. Lesson learned: the big oven does not accurately heat - at 350 my oven was reading slightly below 325. Yikes. We're renters.
I then continue to dirty up pots by making the chocolate sauce. I think this came out as it was supposed to on the first try. Thank goodness.
By now, my kitchen is a disaster. Hubs comes in and cleans off a little spot for me to assemble and I get to work. I flip over my cakes. One looks good and one has this sort of custardy film on the bottom. I say screw it, scrape it off and continue to work on getting this thing put together.
I fill it with some seriously heavenly pastry cream (seriously) and top it with the pretty average frosting. Sadly, at this point, I was so over the cake and staring at a kitchen that looked like this:
So I chucked the cake in the fridge and left the clean up for the morning.
I thought distancing my self a bit from the cake would give me time to get over all the trouble it gave me and let me give a more honest review of the cake. I love the pastry filling. That stuff was delicious. I was licking the bowl and really, really enjoyed that stuff.
The finished cake, though, left me wondering what happened to the delicious half baked mess from the night before*. Because properly cooked, I don't know, the cake wasn't my fav. It was moist, airy and yet still somehow not delightful. I think the prior Baked cakes had my expectations pretty high. The frosting was ok, but I preferred the one we made on the last cake - the Sunday Night cake.
Overall, the pastry cream was amazing. The rest was just ok for me. I would make the filling again in a heartbeat and fill pastries and doughnuts and eat it with a spoon straight from the bowl hidden in the back of the fridge...But I would probably find another cake and frosting recipe. These just didn't do it for me.
To see other baker's (more unbiased) reviews, check out the Club: Baked post. For the recipe, head on over to Brooke's Bountiful Kitchen.
*Hubs did like the cake.