Thursday, January 27, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

Today I invite you to celebrate the 5th anniversary of my blog (the Polish version).

I propose on this occasion an American classic: Boston Cream Pie. In fact, no one truly knows why this name was given to this cake. Some explain that probably first East Coast immigrants coming from Europe brought only pie pans and bake every kind of cake in them. Officially the original authorship is attributed to the French pastry chef Sanzian employed for the opening of Boston's Parker House hotel in 1856. The hotel was known as the first in town with hot water and elevator. Boston cream pie is a nineteenth-century delicacy, and since 1996 is also known as the official dessert of the state of Massachusetts.

I admit that being twice in Boston I never found an occasion to eat this cake. There is more: to be honest I didn´n know that it even existed. Traveling through the US I tasted and liked very much  the Boston cream donuts - donuts stuffed with custard and with chocolate glaze on top, very, very tasty.

Boston Cream Pie

Spring form ( diameter 23 cm )

 5 eggs, whites and yolks separated
100 g cake flour 
1 / 2 teaspoon baking powder 
150 g sugar, divided 
pinch of salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 tablespoons milk 
2 tablespoons (30g) butter

Chiboust Cream:
 200 ml milk 
200 ml double cream 
1 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks 

90 g sugar
 pinch of salt 
25 g (3 tbsp) cornstarch 
20 g (3 tablespoons) cake flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 ml heavy cream 

15 g vanilla sugar 

 150 g dark chocolate 60% 
125 ml double cream 
1 tablespoon butter 
3 tablespoons corn syrup (optional)

For soaking the cake:
 juice of 1 / 2 lemon 
1 tablespoon vanilla liqueur 
1 tablespoon rum 
4 tablespoons water

 Preheat the oven to 175 º C. 
Sift flour with baking powder. Warm up the milk and butter until butter is dissolved, and keep warm. Whip egg yolks with half the sugar and vanilla extract, light cream weight, dissolved in milk, add butter and a little while mixing.
Whip eggs whites with a pinch of salt and the rest of the sugar. Incorporate them to the cake mixture with the aid of spatula. Add sifted flour and mix very carefully again. Pour the dough into
spring form pan (base lined with baking paper) and bake for about 40 minutes until top is golden brown and a stick stuck in the middle of the dough comes out dry.
Cut the sponge cake in two equal layers after it cools completely .  

Mix ingredients for soaking and brush both layers of the cake (from the cut side).

Chiboust Cream:
 Mix egg yolks with sugar, then add  flour and corn starch to form a smooth paste. Bring milk to a boil with splitted vanilla bean. Take out the vanilla. Pour the boiling milk into the yolk paste and stir vigorously. Transfer the mixture back into the pot and bring to boil again. When small bubbles appear take off the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract. Mix everythin together and a smooth put into a clean container.
Cover the surface with a transparent cling film to prevent a formation of the skin (the film has to lie directly on the cream) and leave to cool completely. When it is cold put into the fridge. Whip heavy cream with vanilla sugar. Add egg custard to the whipped cream (one tablespoon at a time) each time mixing well.

 Melt all ingredients over low heat or in microwave and mix them well.

Assembling the cake:
 Spoon all the chiboust cream on the bottom layer. Cover with the top layer. You should reverse layers so that the bottom of the cake is on top. Pour warm glaze on the top of a cake so that it drips down the sides.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kulfi - Pink ice cream from India with plum and cardamom sauce

These are ice creams of Indian origin, for which you do not need an ice-cream machine, and yet in some magical way they are perfectly creamy. You do not need to add eggs, or beaten cream, or other hyper-caloric bombs (but I do not dare call it diet ice cream ;)). I always admired the kulfi in Indian restaurants, and now for the first time I tried to do it myself. Maybe in a slightly less orthodox way. Classics kulfi are not usually made of fruit - they are made mostly with milk and spices. In my version of kulfi the spices still exist - it contains wonderfully aromatic cardamom, but there are  also plums in this recipe that go very well with cardamom. 

The cardamom is extremely important, please do not omit it. Ideally you should use the pods, shell them yourself and crush them in a mortar. They add wonderful oriental aroma to your ice-creams.
You can line your moulds for Indian ice creams with plastic wrap. But if you want to have your kulfi perfectly smooth (I just do not care for it, because I quite like those funny wrinkles on the surface) do not use plastic wrap, just put the molds briefly into hot water before taking ice creams out. 

The original idea came from Mary Cadogan, and I found it here.

Pink kulfi with plum and cardamom sauce
yields 6

3 green cardamom pods
sliced red plums
100g sugar
400ml sweetened condensed milk
150ml whole milk
2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios

cardamom in a mortar into a powder. Put cardamom, plums and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it slowly to boil ( if you need you can add about 5 tablespoons of water ). Mix in a blender to a smooth paste. Leave to cool.

Mix whole milk with condensed milk and 300 ml of plum puree. Pour it into prepared molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Serve kulfi on a plate with some
plum sauce, topped with chopped pistachio.