Discovering Boston Cream Pie

boston cream pie

Boston Cream Pie is a delightful dessert that has been beloved for generations. Despite its name, Boston Cream Pie isn’t a pie at all – it’s actually a cake. From its historical roots to its contemporary popularity, it’s clear that this cake stands the test of time. Let’s delve into its rich history before going over a delicious and easy-to-follow recipe.

A Sweet Piece of History

The Boston Cream Pie was born in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, during the mid-19th century. In 1856, a French chef named Sanzian, who was working at the city’s Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Parker House), invented this delicacy. It was originally called the “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie”, and over time, the recipe was simplified and renamed Boston Cream Pie.

This dessert stands out as it was one of the first to use chocolate as a frosting. Chocolate was very expensive at that time, and it was considered a luxury. The combination of delicate sponge cake, creamy custard filling, and a glossy chocolate ganache was a revelation and quickly won over diners at the Parker House Hotel.

In 1996, the Boston Cream Pie was declared the official dessert of Massachusetts, cementing its place in American culinary history.



 For the Sponge Cake:
 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
 2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
 1/2 cup (120ml) milk

For the Custard Filling:
2 cups (470ml) milk
 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
 2 egg yolks
 1 egg
 1/4 cup (32g) cornstarch
 1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 For the Chocolate Ganache:
 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
 4 ounces (113g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped


1. Sponge Cake: 

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally, stir in the milk until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

2. Custard Filling

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, egg yolks, egg, and cornstarch. Pour a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper it, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil for one minute, then remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool completely.

3. Chocolate Ganache: 

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.

4. Assembly: 

Cut the cooled cake in half, spread the custard on the bottom half, and replace the top half. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving to allow the ganache to set.

Enjoy a taste of history with every slice of this Boston Cream Pie. This sweet dessert perfectly combines sponge cake, custard, and chocolate – a trio that’s truly hard to resist. Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.

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