Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mini Boston Cream Pies-- be still, my heart

After last night's caramel fiasco, I wrapped my two crispy toes in gauze and surgical tape so that they now resemble mummified cocktail sausages. It makes walking easier, since one of my heat blisters is conveniently in between my toes. Last night pre-bandaging I was waddling around with my toes spread out as far as possible at all times to avoid blister-toe contact so blister-pillowy gauze contact was a vast improvement.

However, I quickly realized that my sausage toes were in no way going to fit into shoes, I would be stuck with sandals until my toes heal. Which is fine since it has been freakishly hot around here and the temperature is supposed to stay around 80 for at least the next week. However, that means I couldn't wear my spiffy pumas, my standard working out shoes. I also realized that because of the blister on the palm of my hand, lifting weights wasn't an option either. All I had planned for the day was working out so I was kind of a loss of what to do.

Joe was at Sweeney Todd call backs (he got the part of Tobias!) for many hours and after observing Brian stumbling out his room bleary eyed at 2:30 pm, it was clear he was too hungover to think, let alone amuse me. I was right, he then collapsed six inches from the tv, limbs sprawled out and very possibly drooling while he watched TV in the dark for the next several hours. I would have to amuse myself.

By baking, obviously.

The Prettiest of All

I scanned the contents of our fridge, which weren't dire but were lacking key baking elements, such as eggs. I scoped out some of my favorite vegan blogs for recipe ideas and eventually settled on the idea of making a boston cream pie. Except I have this thing about minature desserts so I decided to make minature boston cream pies, cupcake style. I was pleased. I eventually found an okay looking non-vegan recipe and settled on that, tweaked to make cupcakes.

I did end up waddling to the co-op across the street when I discovered we had no vanilla extract, which was alarming. Joe just told me that he's sure we had some but whatever, now we have two bottles and I'll never have to walk to the co-op with bandaged sausage feet ever again. I was planning on making eggless custard, since we only had one egg left, but since I was at the store I just went ahead and bought some more. God knows we'll use them. Joe made two boxes of pasta and it was consumed by the two boys in 36 hours, food does not last long in this house.

Recipe: (from


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. Beat the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup milk, shortening, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla at low speed, scraping bowl constantly for 30 seconds. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally for 3 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
  4. To Make The Cream Filling: In a 2 quart saucepan, mix 1/3 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Stir in the milk gradually and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir at least 1/2 of the mixture slowly into the egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 teaspoons vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. To Make Chocolate Glaze: Heat the chocolate and butter or margarine over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar, and vanilla. Stir in the water, one teaspoon at a time, until glaze is of desired consistency.
Changes I made: butter instead of shortening (ew), an extra egg yolk in the cake batter, a splash more vanilla in the cake batter. I didn't have powdered sugar so I just melted some bittersweet chocolate, butter and milk together to make a ganache.

The cupcakes turned out well. Instead of making two big cakes, I made 12 cupcakes. To assemble, I split the cupcakes in half, made a thumb print in the bottom slice and filled the depression with the custard, then spread a moderatly thin layer of custard over the entire base. Plopped the top bake on and drizzled with chocolate ganache glaze. I did end up having extra custard, which I kept to serve on the side, or just to eat plain.

What to do with a dozen cupcakes? Luckily, BJ happened to invite a bunch of his friends over that night, and it is not hard to convince a bunch of 21 year old boys to eat a batch of fresh cupcakes. "Oh, if you insist..." they said, while gobbling them down. Nobody would eat the pretty one pictured though. "Stop that! Put that down, you can't eat that one. It's the pretty one." It was revered, the holy cupcake.

I think Joe ate it eventually.

I have a few left, maybe four, but I think the three of us will be able to polish them off easily.

The boys stayed around for awhile playing video games (something along the lines of Death Iron Metal Smash 3: Killing People is Badass) so the next few hours I was hearing things like:
"Brian, put on the zombie mask!"
"No, BJ, you should put on the scientist's disguise now... with the zombie mask!!"
"Watch out for the snake! STAB THE SNAKE!! STAB IT!"
"Why did the snake say, 'R.Snake'?"
"For rattlesnake, stupid."
"No, the crab said, 'R.Crab'. And what's that, genuis? A rattle crab?"
"I hate rattle crabs..."

Living with college aged boys is a blast. But at least I can pawn off all my butter laden treats on them.

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