Boston Cream Pie

I remember when I was younger I was not a fan of filled donuts. Jelly, cream, chocolate, whatever the filling, it was not my thing. Fast forward a few years and I can eat them now, but, and I apologize if this sounds a little gross, I squeeze out the excess filling first and then eat the donut. I just don’t like the filling to overpower the donut and that seems to happen a lot with filled donuts. And that, in a very roundabout way brings me to today’s post… A Boston Cream Pie. A yellow cake filled with custard and glazed with chocolate. I’ve have it in a donut form, but, the pie version is a 100x better.

I began by making the cake. To do so I started off by sifting cake flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. In my stand mixer I whisked eggs and sugar on high speed for 15 minutes. This part is integral as it ensure that the cake will be light and airy. Once the egg and sugar mixture was ready – it will be pale and tripled in volume – I gently folded in the flour mixture in two addition with a rubber spatula. And finally, I added in whole milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and returned the bowl to my stand mixer and beat it until everything was combined. I poured the batter in a 9-inch round cake pan that I sprayed with baking spray and baked it in a 350 F oven for about a half hour.

While the cake was in the oven I made the pudding. In a large bowl I whisked whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar until it was light and fluffy, and then whisked in cornstarch and salt. In a medium saucepan I heated whole milk and vanilla extract until it was hot, but not yet boiling. I then whisked in a 1/4 cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture in order to temper the eggs and then gradually whisked in the remaining milk mixture. I then returned the entire mixture to the medium saucepan and constantly whisked it on low heat until it was thick and pudding like. Once it was the right consistency, I strained the pudding through a fine mesh sieve by pushing the pudding through the sieve with a rubber spatula. After letting the pudding cool for a few minutes I pressed plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerated it for at least 2 hours.

Once the cake was done and the pudding cooled it was time to assemble. I cut the cake in half and spread the pudding on the bottom half.

After topping the cake I made the chocolate glaze by melting semi-sweet chocolate with heavy cream, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. I then spread the glaze on the cake…

And then refrigerated it until the glaze was set.

Final verdict… YUM!!!

 

Boston Cream Pie

Ingredients:

For The Cake:

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

For The Pudding:

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs plus 4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

Pinch of salt

 

For The Glaze:

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch-round cake pan with baking spray or butter and flour.

Make the cake: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until pale and tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Gently fold the flour mixture into the eggs mixture in two additions using a rubber spatula.

Add the milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and beat with the mixer until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until a cake tested inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool and then invert onto to the rack to cool and invert once again and let the cake cool completely.

Make the pudding: Heat the milk and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat, but, do not boil. Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and salt and continue whisking until no lumps remain. Whisk 1/4 cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and then gradually whisk in the remaining milk mixture.

Pour the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thick and pudding like, 10 to 15 minutes. It could take longer as well. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve by pushing the pudding through the sieve using a rubber spatula. Let the pudding cool for a few minutes and then place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Slice the cake in half and spread the pudding over the bottom half of the cake. Top the cake with the top half.

Make the glaze: Heat the chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the chocolate is melted and all of the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, you want it to be slightly thickened, then pour over the entire cake using an off-set spatula to smooth it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the glaze can set.

Recipe from Food Network

Happy Blogiversary and a Trolls Inspired Cake

It’s my 5 year Blogiversary and I am celebrating with a Trolls inspired cake. Okay, not really. But, it truly is the 5-year anniversary of Bead Yarn & Spatula. Boy, where does the time go? And I’ll be honest I wish my blog was further along and had more exposure than it currently does but I know I am part to blame for that. I definitely need to be more consistent with the posting. Hopefully this year I’ll be better with that. As for the Trolls inspired cake, I really did create one. But, it was for a friend’s daughter’s Birthday.

This cake was a three day process. And can I say I am always apprehensive to work with fondant because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s not as consistent as buttercream that’s for sure. But, it does make for a beautiful cake and is worth the extra work. On the first day, which only took about a half hour or so I created the rainbow that was going to sit on top of the cake. I made it a few days early to ensure that the fondant would harden and hold the arch shape. I rolled each color of the fondant about the same width and stuck them together by brushing the fondant with a little water, not too much as I didn’t want the colors to run. I used a 2-inch round cookie cutter as my base for the first arch and continued from there with the other colors. Once the rainbow was complete I stuck toothpicks into the bottom of it so I would be able to stick it on to the cake.

img_0367img_0371

The night before I was to cover the cakes with fondant I baked them. I don’t like baking my cakes too early because I want them to still be fresh when they are cut into. The bottom portion of this two-tier cake was a three-layer chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling and chocolate frosting. While the top portion was a yellow cake that I filled and frosted with chocolate frosting. After letting the cakes cool overnight I frosted and filled them the following morning and then placed them in the refrigerator so they could settle.

That afternoon I removed both cakes from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. You don’t want to place fondant on a cold cake because fondant is at room temperature and if you place it on a cold cake you will end up with a bunch of air bubbles; that can be quickly remedied with a pin but, why go through that if need not be.

For the bottom tier of the cake I covered it with yellow fondant and then with neon colored fondant I cut out flower designs to adhere to the cake. And to cover up any fondant imperfections along the bottom of the cake I opted for a half circle design around it in pink fondant…

img_0373

Which matched the top tier of the cake that I decorated to mimic the headband that the Poppy troll wears in her hair.

img_0374

I placed both of the tiers back in the fridge until the following afternoon when I completed the top tier of the cake by placing the rainbow on top of it and used marshmallows to mimic clouds. They stuck together and to the cake with just a few drops of water. That’s also how I stuck all the flowers and such to the cake. Once again though with not too much water so the colors don’t begin to run.

img_0375

And this cake wasn’t complete until a few trolls were placed on it. Of course Poppy and Branch, the main characters from the Trolls movie and a few of their friends. And if you haven’t seen the movie I highly suggest you do so. The message behind it is good for all ages to learn or to be reminded of.

img_0389

And there you have it… My 5-year anniversary post and an adorable – if I do so say myself – Trolls inspired cake. The Birthday Girl loved it and that’s really all that matters to be honest!

 

Piñata Cake

Today I’m bringing you a cake that I’ve wanted to make for quite some time… A Piñata Cake!

I took the easy route and opted to use two box yellow cake mixes. Yes, you read that right, two boxes. To get the full effect of this cake it really needs to be 4 layers. And while I could have just used one box divided into 4, lets be honest, that wouldn’t have been much of a cake and more than likely the layers would be so thin that the two layers I cut the hole into would have fallen apart. So two boxes it is (and was.)

So, after baking my 4 layers following the directions on the box (I used Duncan Hines cake mix) I let them cool and then began assembling.

Up first, the base layer which I covered in frosting.

IMG_0065

Next, one of the layers I cut a hole into using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Truthfully you don’t want to go larger than that, if you do, you run the risk of the cake splitting in half since you won’t have much cake left in the ring left when making the hole. To ensure that my holes were evenly placed on both cakes I stacked the layers and then cut the hole. So, I placed one of these rings on top of the base layer and covered it with frosting, including the inside of the circle cut-out.

IMG_0066
I repeated this step with the second ring.

IMG_0067

Next, I filled the cake. I opted for M&M’s. It took an 11 oz bag of M&M’s to fill the hole. You can fill it with whatever you choose; M&M’s, sprinkles, gummy worms or bears, and so forth. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s nicely packed in and filled to the top so you get the full Piñata affect when you cut into it.

IMG_0068

Finally I placed the top layer on the cake and frosted it with a crumb coating. I did a crumb coating because…

IMG_0073

I decorated the cake with spiraling rosettes – which I created using a Wilton 2D tip.

IMG_0088

And after a few slices the M&M’s came pouring out. The M&M’s did start falling out after the first slice, but it took a few more to get them to really pour out.

IMG_0108

Frozen Themed Birthday Cake

Oh, where to go begin! So, unless you have been completely unplugged from the world for the past year or so you most definitely have heard of Disney’s Frozen and the two heroine sisters of the movie, Elsa & Anna. At some point you must have also heard the song “Let It Go,” or the more playful “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” Hence it came as no surprise that when the time came to make a birthday cake for a friend’s daughter the theme would be Frozen. This cake and post is a special one as well since it marks my blog’s third blogiversary! It all started with a 2nd birthday cake for the same little girl this cake was intended for in the shape of Elmo’s head and ever since I have been blogging about other delicious treats I have made and some lovely knitted/crocheted items and handmade jewelry. But, I digress, back to Frozen. By far this was the most ambitious cake I have ever made and required numerous steps over the course of a few days.

IMG_6626

On the first day I made sky blue and violet marshmallow fondant. Thankfully I had done a test run of the process a few weeks prior so I pretty much knew what to do and what consistency the fondant needed to be. I lightly coated the fondant with shortening and wrapped it tightly in clear wrap and then placed it in a Ziploc bag to ensure it wouldn’t dry out. I then put it in the refrigerator so it could “rest.”

IMG_6559

I also made some white chocolate and dark chocolate molds of snowflakes, the number 5 and plaques by melting Wilton candy melts and pouring the melted chocolate into the molds and refrigerating them for at least 15 minutes and then tapping them out on my counter.

IMG_6566 IMG_6571

The following day I made hard candy by dissolving sugar in water and light corn syrup by stirring it over medium heat. Once the sugar was dissolved I raised the heat to high and brought the mixture to a boil without stirring it to a temperature of 300 F.

IMG_6576

Once it reached 300 F I added a few drops of blue dye to the mixture and poured it into a greased rimmed cookie sheet and placed it in the refrigerator until it hardened – about an hour.

IMG_6578

I then unmolded the hard candy onto a sheet of wax paper and broke it into pieces so I could use it as a cake topper for Elsa’s ice castle.

IMG_6579 IMG_6580

With all of the decorative pieces done it was finally time to bake the cakes. I started with baking the larger of the two cakes – a three-layer 9 inch chocolate cake. The recipe I was following was for a two-layer cake so I whipped up the batter twice and for the second batch I baked one layer and 12 cupcakes.

IMG_6582 IMG_6588

For the smaller of the two cakes I baked a two-layer 6 inch yellow cake.

IMG_6583 IMG_6585

Once I leveled the cakes I frosted the layers and the sides and tops of both cakes with chocolate frosting. I placed both cakes in the refrigerator overnight so the frosting could harden.

IMG_6599

The next day it was finally time to put the entire cake together! I began by rolling out the sky blue fondant…

IMG_6600

Which I used to cover the 6 inch yellow cake. After rolling out the violet fondant I covered the larger chocolate cake. I did end up with an air bubble on the blue cake and while at first I was upset and frustrated with it I soon realized it wouldn’t be a big a deal as I was going to mask it with the candy pieces and figurines.

IMG_6601

Then it was on to decorating… I wrapped the bottom of both cakes with silver speckled ribbon which I attached to the cake with double-sided tape. Next I attached the smaller chocolate snowflakes to the cake with small dabs of vanilla frosting – I rested the larger snowflakes against the cake. To create the ice castle I pushed down a few pieces of the hard candy onto the top of the smaller cake. And finally I placed the Frozen figurines – which I was lucky enough to find on the Disney Store’s website as they were sold out in all stores – on the cake.

IMG_6607

Here’s a close-up of the top tier of the cake…

IMG_6615

And after carefully transporting the cake – thankfully I wasn’t driving too far – without any of the decorations on it but the small snowflakes I “glued” on  I reassembled the entire cake to perfection once again!

IMG_6627

And of course there were Frozen themed cupcakes that I baked in Frozen themed cupcake liners and then topped them with white decorative sugar and a chocolate snowflake!

IMG_6591

This cake was a hit in appearance and as this picture suggests (and I can attest to as well) in taste!

IMG_6672

And if you are wondering, yes, all of this work was worth it! The Birthday Girl was absolutely thrilled with her cake and she enjoyed a nice slice of the chocolate cake!

 

Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients:

1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows

2-5 tablespoons water

2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Directions:

1. To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

2. Place 3/4 of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners’ sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

3. It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

4. When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.

5. To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners’ sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.

 

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan(s)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan(s)

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter the pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with cocoa, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – approximately 25 to 30 minutes for two 9-inch rounds. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

 

Yellow Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 6-inch round cake pans and knock out the excess flour.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. (If you’re using the organic sugar, the texture of your mixture will be quite gritty.) Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.

3. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each pan and smooth the tops evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until light golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then unmold onto wire racks to cool completely.

Checkerboard Cake

I’ve attempted to make a Checkerboard Cake two times before and both times I didn’t have much luck. The first time I followed the directions on the pan set  I have for it exactly, even following the recipe for the cake and I didn’t like the taste of the cake and my cake batter ran into each other so it didn’t look all that great when I sliced into it. The second time I opted to use box cake and while the cake tasted better I still had the issue of the cake batter running so once again not all that checkerboard looking when I sliced into it. According to the directions for the pan set you put the ring separator into the pan, pour the batter in, remove the ring and then bake. This wasn’t working for me, so on this (my third) try I opted to bake the cakes first and then use the ring separator to cut the cakes and then assemble it for the checkerboard pattern and I’m happy to say I didn’t strike out! Granted it was a bit messy to assemble but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed (or hidden) with a little frosting.

IMG_2245

Using Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Milk Chocolate and Yellow cake mix I prepared the cakes according to the directions on the box.

IMG_2215 IMG_2216

After letting the cakes cool I took the ring separator and sliced each of the cakes into three rings.

IMG_2218 IMG_2219

And then the messy part began… Assembling. As you can see some of the rings broke up a little, but like I said frosting covered up all the little imperfections. To make sure the rings of the cake wouldn’t fall apart when slicing I “glued” them together with icing along the inside of each ring.

IMG_2220

After covering the first layer with frosting I added the second layer and then spread frosting on it as well.

IMG_2223

And finally the third layer…

IMG_2224

I’ll admit the final product was a bit lopsided and could have used a little extra frosting (I used two containers of Betty Crocker’s Milk Chocolate Frosting to get to this point) but this was an afternoon whim of baking to see if the technique would work.

IMG_2225

And the moment of truth… I got a pretty decent looking checkerboard!!! The saying is true… If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again. And I’ll definitely be trying it again with more time and frosting.

IMG_2227 IMG_2234