Another friend’s birthday has come and gone, but these cupcakes won’t soon be forgotten. I have actually had this recipe bookmarked for quite some time, but if you saw my list of bookmarks you would understand why it takes so long for me get around to making things. Boston Cream Pie has never really been at the top of my list, for some reason unknown to me it just never really comes to mind. I doubt that will be the case anymore though. You see, now I remember that it is made of components I truly love; yummy moist yellow cake, check. Creamy pastry filling, check. Thick chocolatey ganache, ohhhh yea, check.
As with most filled cupcakes, they are a bit of a labor of love; however you can make the pastry cream a day in advance, then throw together the ganache while the cupcakes cool. The individual components are pretty easy, so if you break it up a bit it doesn’t seem so intimidating. In the original recipe it has you to slice the cupcake in half like you would a real Boston Cream Pie, however to make them more portable I decided to fill them instead. For some filled cupcake I use a cupcake corer, but with these I wanted to create a layered effect. To do so, I used a paring knife to cut large rounds of the cake out, I then cut the top of the removed section off and preserved it to place back on top of the pastry cream once filled. When that was done I topped them with the luscious chocolate ganache and voila! The picture below may explain the process a little better for us visual learners out there. 😉
On a side note, I was just eating a delicious Take 5 candy bar, and I’ve really gotta find a cupcake recipe that mocks those favors, if you’ve got one let me know!! Enjoy!
Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes (Print Me)
Yield: 24-30 cupcakes
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2¼ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1½ cups sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
9 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1½ Tbsp light corn syrup
For the pastry cream (can be made the day or two before and refrigerated): In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat simmer the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy (about 15 seconds). Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick (about 30 seconds).
When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly begin adding it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy (about 30 seconds).
Remove from heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. To prevent lumps, push the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Line standard sized pans with cupcake liners (if you plan to cup the cupcakes in half and fill between just butter and flour the pans). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt then set aside. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until pale yellow and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated.
Bring the milk mixture just to a boil. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the hot milk mixture in a steady stream, mixing just until smooth. Blend in the vanilla.
Fill the prepared muffin cups and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 15 minutes). Transfer the pans to a cooling rack and let stand for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.
For the chocolate glaze:
Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Combine the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it stand 1-2 minutes until the chocolate begins to melt. Gently whisk the mixture until the chocolate is totally melted and a smooth ganache forms.
To assemble the cupcakes, use a paring knife to cut a large section of the middle of the cupcake out. Cut the top of the section off and reserve to place on top of the cream. Fill the cupcakes with pastrsy cream then replace the cake tops. Spread ganache on top of cupcakes and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
Alternately, if you want to split the cupcakes, cut each cake horizontally with a serrated knife. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pastry cream on the bottom half of each cupcake. Replace the top halves and spoon the chocolate glaze over each cupcake.