Catherine Ruehle and Sarah Scheffel adapt your favorite cake recipes into gluten-free treats in Let Us All Eat Cake.
Boston Cream Pie is in fact not a pie at all. It consists of layers of golden sponge cake sandwiched with a pastry-cream filling and slathered with chocolate ganache. Mayonnaise replaces the butter (and adds extra egg), resulting in a cake that is moist and rich. Whether you choose to make a two- or four-layer version, the pastry cream oozes out irresistibly from the sides. That plus the thick chocolate glaze will have you scrambling for your fork.
- Combine the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. While the milk mixture heats (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over), whisk together the salt, cornstarch, and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl (do not use aluminum). Add the egg yolks to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.
- When the milk mixture reaches the boiling point, add one fourth of the milk mixture to the egg mixture in the bowl, whisking vigorously to combine. Quickly pour all the egg mixture into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Bring to a low boil (small bubbles, not a full rolling boil), whisking constantly, and boil until the pastry cream thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately strain through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Let cool for 10 minutes, lightly stirring from time to time to help release the heat.
- Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to the pastry cream, one piece at a time, whisking each piece until it dissolves before adding the next piece. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface so it doesn’t form a skin.
- Place the chocolate chips in a shallow, heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the simmering cream over the chocolate chips, shaking the bowl to submerge the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 minute undisturbed, then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil.
- To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla extract. Set both bowls aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and mayonnaise on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the bowl. While beating on low, slowly add the eggs, one at a time. Then, increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add one-fourth of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low until almost fully incorporated. Add one-third of the milk mixture and beat on low until almost fully incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk mixtures, starting and ending with the flour. When all the ingredients have been added, scrape down the bowl and beat on medium for 15 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted tests clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes bake and cool, make the pastry cream and ganache and set both aside until ready to assemble the cake. You can make the pastry cream and ganache up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate separately in airtight containers. If made ahead, bring the ganache to room temperature before assembly.
- To assemble a two-layer cake, spread 3/ 4 cup pastry cream between the layers. To create a four-layer cake, split each cake layer in half horizontally. Spread a scant 1/ 2 cup pastry cream between each layer.
- Place the cake on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath, and then pour the ganache over the cake. Use an offset spatula to encourage the ganache to spread over the top of the cake and drip down the sides. Allow the ganache to set for about 30 minutes before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Let Us All Eat Cake copyright © 2014 by Catherine Ruehle and Sarah Scheffel. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.