cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Boston Cream...Tea Cakes

What's So Boston about it Anyways?

Confession: I have never, ever, consumed or created a Boston Cream Pie--though i have always been a fan of the yoplait of the same name. But until today, i didn't even know what the trifled layers consisted of. So since confessions are being made; i will admit one more: i've never actually been to Boston either, Holyoke and Amherst are as close as i've gotten. But guess what; though i don't give a damn about baseball, i own a redsox cap and curse the yankees. And Boondock Saints--that's a quality film. So though i've never been, Boston definately deserves some love. And who cares if a Boston Cream Pie is merely a dumpy yellow cake mid-layered with a basic vanilla cream custard, and topped with chocolate sauce; everybody's gotta start with something. So let's make it a little more stereotypically Boston, if you know what i mean. With tea and liquor. Now that's what i'm talkin about.

The Boston Cream Pie carries the name for the sole reason that it was first created in a hotel kitchen in Boston, and according to Wikipedia that hotel was the Parker House Hotel (Bobby Flay was just going on about some biscuit rolls of the same name....i'm haunted) by a French pastry chef named Sanzian (apparently sans prenom). After learning that the pie was merely layers of yellow sponge cake, vanilla custard, and chocolate--i was somewhat dissapointed. Custard and a cake? Hmm, well, not much of a challenge there (sorry Sanzian). But the Salty Cod won't settle for basic bakery mediocrity, no. No, we insist on mucking around with classics that have held their own against the test of time--until now.

Thanks to Christy, Aussie pastry chef of 5 Types of Sugar, we have a couple of boxes of high quality black tea leaves--untaxed no less. To incorporate the leaves into the yellow cake, the milk and butter used were steaped in the leaves, that were also crushed into powder and incorporated in. Thus, we give you a tea-sponge. Boston and tea, can't get more cliche than that. Oh wait--yes we can. The vanilla custard is a little bland; Irish cream liquer mixed in? yes please.

Boston Cake:
ingredients: 1 cup flour ~ 2 eggs ~ .5 cup sugar ~ 3 tbsp butter ~ .25 cup milk ~ 1 tsp baking powder ~ pinch of salt ~ 1tsp vanilla ~ lose leaf tea

method: 1) sift flour and baking powder together 2) boil butter and milk in a small sauce pan, add tea leaves and steap 3) beat sugar and eggs in mixer, add flour and milk mixture. pour into lined baking sheet (this is a flat cake, you cut circles out of it) bake at 325 for 10~15 minutes. cool, and cut circles.

Cream: Martha Stewarts vanilla custard cream + 2 tbsp Irish Cream.
Chocolate: boil heavy cream and poor over dark chocolate.

Assemble: using pastry rings (or aluminum foil and duct tape) layer cake, cream, cake, and top with chocolate. freeze until set, and then paint top with gold dust.

We do intend to go to Boston some day--someday. I've visited my sister who studies at Mt. Holyoke, but, as anyone will testify--Holyoke is no Boston. But it's nice for, well, for studying, and breaking into churches after hours--but that's another story. A Boston Cream Pie has nothing to do with Boston; but it has everything to do with a Salty Cod afternoon of baking to get through....well, life. Boston Cream Cakes to pass the time away instead of looking out the window in a dream; busy yourself to make the missing of another lessen. Damn i need a job already...but i believe this Boston Cream shenanigans desserves further investigation: my editor and i will have to take take a business trip there someday soon--and get back to you on our findings.

In the words of Holy Golightly and Fred-Baby: The British are coming the British are coming! But in this case, the Brazilians. -exactly. oh how things come together.

And a word to our dear friend and Associate S--we at the Salty Cod want to tell you today, tomorrow, and the next day: cool story Hansel. so don' worry, be happy. i'll buy you a caipirinha.

a bientot

24 comments:

M.Lane said...

This sounds just wonderful! I'm trying it. I may even be able to make it!

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Lone Acorn said...

Must be delicious.

shaz said...

I didn't even know what a Boston Cream Pie was! Thanks for the info and I think I can manage aluminium foil and duct tape...

lisaiscooking said...

I love Boston cream pie, and your updates sound fantastic! I have to try this version.

Kristen said...

Those are incredibly beautiful! We havea "tapas" dinner club coming up. This would be wonderful to make.
You have a gorgeous blog and wonderful photographs!

michelle @ TNS said...

i lived in boston and never ate a boston cream pie, unless you count the dunkin donut version, which is inescapable because there are 4 dunking donuts per person in boston.

this sounds way better than that.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

May I just say - I LOVE YOUR BLOG. BEautiful. Glad I found it.

browniegirl said...

WOW! Your photography is magnificent. Im loving looking at your blog...well done xxx

Cakelaw said...

Man, who needs to go to Boston when you have these delicious cakes?

Michelle said...

Really enjoyed your post and the little cakes look just great!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE Boston Cream anything really but these are just amazing...over the top!!! Yum!!!

Justine said...

These look great- and thanks for the boston love!

justine

Anonymous said...

aiai

many comments on this, just because it talks about food. hehe

great photos... i wanna try those! will u leave some for me?

beijos,

the editor

Xiaolu said...

Wow - and I was so proud of myself for doing a version with caramel frosting instead of chocolate glaze a few months back. Great job reinventing a classic!

Heidi said...

These look really beautiful! I've never actually eaten a Boston Cream Pie and I was very surprised when I found out it wasn't actually a pie at all.

heidi said...

Thanks for your comments! That's so cool that we both started our blogs for the same reason. As you asked, I'm going to Université de Michel de Montaigne in Bordeaux, just to study French so I'm doing something productive during my gap year :D Your entry on procuring your visa was extremely entertaining! My experience wasn't quite as eventful as the French embassy is only about half an hour away by car for me, haha.

I'll probably go through your past entries now to read about your experiences in Paris; it's three hours away by train from Bordeaux and I intend to go up there as much as I possibly can this year!

Heidi said...

Oops, that was me up there haha, signed into the wrong google account XD

Colloquial Cook said...

Boston cakes do not make me think of boobs. But maybe they should. Oh I didnt tell you!! I got to cook for 2 weeks for a gluten intolerant person and made loads of tartes aux mirabelles. Crusts were buckwheat+rice flour = miam miam miam. I couldn't believe how tasty it was!

peasepudding said...

they look beautiful, lovely photos

patti said...

these cakes look stunning :) how many did you make? i'm thinking of making them next week for a potluck!

belajar bisnis said...

i likes a creams. thank's for sharing,by the way when your post you publish in your blog??

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Mallory said...

I've had many a slice of Boston Cream Pie, but none of them looked as delicious as your petite ones. I've spent a lot of time in Boston & living outside of it, and while I don't think I'll ever live there again... you should definitely visit someday.

Also - I'm so glad you commented on my blog so could come and discover yours.

And it's pretty awesome that we're name / age twins. I never-ever-ever meet other Mallory's.

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This is a fascinating way to look at schedules. I would like to see this analysis done with further distinction by color differentiating between bowl games, conference games, and independent/out-of-conference games.
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