More cake! I know, I should’ve made this a layer cake themed month, I just didn’t realize I’d have so many opportunities to make full on cakes and take them places! September for the win! (too many exclamation marks in a row? Yes. Since you’re already judging me – !!!!!!!!!!!! – just had to get that out of my system 😉 ). Possible theme titles?:
“This Ain’t No Cake Walk”
“Cake A Chance On Me” (because…ABBA ❤)
“Every Breath You Cake”
“It’s All About The Cake, ‘Bout The Cake, No Trifle”
“A Fish(Cake) Called Wanda” (Ok, I probably wouldn’t have used this because it’s confusing, but c’mon! That’s amazing if I do say so myself.)
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, so you’ll just have to imagine that that’s what I did 🙂 .
I really want to start off by apologizing in advance here for the “awesome” (read: terrible) photos from this week (the one above being excluded from that statement because I stole it from Kevin’s Facebook page – thanks honey- love you! Your photos are all amazing, professional level quality and uh…I didn’t mean to insult them in any way 🙂 ). I also want to humbly ask your forgiveness for the fact that I have not a single photo of the cake interior or any actual slices of cake. I forgot about it when it was being cut and just kept my fingers crossed that someone else got a picture that they’d let me steal…er…borrow? But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The upside of that is that I can now tell you to imagine the most perfect looking inside of a Boston cream pie cake that you can possibly envision and that’s EXACTLY how it looked 😉 . (Perhaps something like this? :
Yup – it was a cartoon on the inside, who knew? Look at those perfect layers that “I” made. What do you mean you didn’t notice the cherries (I think those are cherries? Or cranberries maybe?) in my real life pictures???!!! Ummmm…I added that to each slice as it was cut so they’d be super fresh! Yeah, that’s what happened.
Actually, I realized since I’d done the same thing with this cake as I had with the chocolate cake from last week (namely, using the leftover slices and creating mini cakes for tasting purposes), I actually sort of have a picture of the inside of the cake (super classy right? 😉 ):
Anywho, this Boston cream pie cake just needed to be made. I’d initially thought of it and suggested it as a possible option for what ultimately became last week’s chocolate layer cake for Farrah’s friend from work. But then I couldn’t get it out of my mind and just really really wanted to make it. Luckily, we were going to my friend Jenny’s birthday party last weekend, so I selfishly messaged her and asked if she’d be cool if I brought a cake? Possibly a Boston cream pie cake? Or, you know, whatever she wanted because it was of course her birthday, and I was more than happy to make her whatever she wanted, but, uh, are you sure you’re not super-jonesing for a Boston cream pie cake? *hint hint, nudge nudge* (Living in fear that she’d say she hates Boston cream pie because then I’d have to have one less friend ( 😉 ) and I’d also have to do the jerky thing and bring it anyway 😉 ). Fortuitously for me however, she was totally on board with this plan. Huzzah! Boston, start your engines because this marathon is a go! (and one that I can actually finish! …sorry, there were way too many mixed metaphors that just went into that. Let’s move on shall we?)
(Because I apparently don’t care about showing photos of myself where I look “amazing” – you seriously need to air quote that word here) Me! With the cake! At the party! (I look a bit disgruntled because this photo came from my brother who took OVER 200 PHOTOS that night. Seriously bro, join a support group or something, you’re out of control 🙂 )
Now plain custard filling = boring, am I right? Bourbon custard filling however = delicious (or maybe that’s just because you get drunk on bourbon and then everything you eat tastes amazing….either way 🙂 ). And then, because it’s fall-ish (aka pumpkin spice season), why not completely embrace the hullabaloo surrounding all things pumpkin and add a dash of pumpkin spice to both the custard and the cake? (whoa!!! Slow down there Amber – I just can’t handle the insanity! 😉 ). Now you take this filling and sandwich together your mostly vanilla (with just a soupçon of spices) cake, then you liberally pour over a bowlful of chocolate ganache (and you actually want the drippy look here, so you can’t really screw it up. Unless you do like I did and over-stir the ganache a bit, thus giving you air bubbles. But you didn’t notice that right? …although now you’re sure to notice it. Dammit Amber – when will you ever learn? Sometimes silence is a virtue…this was one of those times. TMI fail 🙁 ). Now to add my own extra special spin to this, I also drizzled over a bourbon salted caramel. This is totally optional, but seriously, unless the people in your life are all like “ewww!!! caramel!!! I hate it SO much!!!” (at which point you need some new friends/family), you should not skimp on this step.
Finally, because I recently saw this online tutorial for making decorative chocolate flowers and I totally wanted to try it out, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. It’s actually amazing how incredibly easy it is to do (and that’s coming from me…the kind of person who fails kindergarten art 😉 )
I kind of love that Boston is known for both Boston cream pie and marathons. I’ll bet you that’s the only reason people run the Boston marathon, so that they can eat more pie 😉
Yield: 18 sandwich cookies
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon honey (or agave, maple syrup, date syrup or vegan honey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks (the Vegg)
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon (or whisky – optional. For a stronger Bourbon flavour, replace some of your water when making vegan egg yolks with Bourbon instead)
- 3 cups cake/pastry flour (or all purpose is fine too)
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
- 4 egg replacer
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
- 1 cup (8oz) dark chocolate
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup/agave (for shine)
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
Salted Caramel Drizzle (optional, but…c’mon 🙂 ):
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 6 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons bourbon (or water is fine too)
- 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt (or fleur de sel if you want to get fancy)
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the sugar and prepared vegan egg yolks together. Sift the flour, pumpkin pie spice and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, whisking until you get a smooth paste.
- In a small saucepan bring the non-dairy milk, coconut milk, honey and vanilla to just barely boiling
- Remove from heat and slowly add to “egg” mixture, whisking constantly.
- Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture for another minute or so until it becomes thicker.
- Remove from heat and immediately whisk in Bourbon if using. Pour into a bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature. Note: You can make this the night before if you want. If you do, refrigerate it until ready to use (at this point you will want to warm it up slightly and beat it with a hand mixer to make it smooth again. Not need to do this if you’re using it right away though).
- Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 2 9 inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the papers and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour (I highly recommend not skipping this step, it will make removing the cake from the pan afterwards a breeze).
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pumpkin pie spice.
- On low speed of a hand mixer, slowly add in the vegan butter a few cubes (or blobs if you’re me) at a time, mixing until there are no huge chunks left.
- Add egg replacer one at a time, blending between each addition.
- Add in the vanilla and almond extracts, mixing to combine.
- Add in the non-dairy milk in a few additions, mixing between each addition.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes (or longer if you’re not too impatient) before carefully inverting cake onto a plate or cooling rack to allow to cool completely. Once cooled completely, if you’re not completing the cake right away, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until assembling.
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
- Heat the coconut milk until it nearly simmers.
- Remove from heat and add chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
- Add corn syrup (or agave) and gently stir until completely smooth. (Whisking adds bubbles – as you can see from my photos, so stir gently instead.) Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before using.
Salted Caramel Drizzle:
- Add butter, brown sugar, and bourbon to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until butter melts.
- Bring to boil for 5 minutes (it will bubble a lot!), stirring occasionally.
- Stir in coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt and boil gently for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes to thicken before using (if it get too thick before you have a chance to drizzle it, you can zap it in the microwave at 10-15 second intervals until it’s a bit more runny).
- Slice the top off one cake to get a smooth layer.
- Spread custard evenly on bottom layer and place second layer on top.
- Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, then pour ganache over the top of the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides.
- Drizzle salted caramel over the ganache (optional).