This post can also be called "Eat Cake For Breakfast" or "How Emily Got Her Groove Back."
Sometime around the holidays I lost my focus and couldn't bake. I've always been a natural baker--I get it from my mother, though I don't have her talent for pie crusts--and I enjoy baking and feeding people. I had plans for a few baked goods for Christmas presents, but when I started making them, it all fell apart, I forgot the eggs in the cinnamon rolls; I spilled a bottle of vanilla extract; my lemon rolls exploded in the oven and dripped dough everywhere. I felt defeated and gave up while I was somewhat ahead, avoiding any further embarrassment. I didn't even make our traditional Christmas babka because I didn't have it in me; I knew I'd manage to mess it up somehow and ruin Christmas. (I'm a dramatic, anxious girl.)
But because I had all these ingredients I didn't use, I was closing in on expiration dates, and my hate of wasting food weighed on me (especially when that food is organic, local, grassfed-cow heavy cream). So I thought about it for a while and decided I'd jump back in with both feet and make a Boston cream pie. The holidays are over and my stress levels are down, which surely had to help.
I'm happy to say I think I'm past my low point!
I used America's Test Kitchen's recipe for Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie. I read it through a few times (I always do this, with knitting and sewing patterns too--I won't say it helps me avoid all mistakes but I at least know what to expect) and went for it. Everything went surprisingly smoothly, considering I was making from-scratch all components and there was a sense of urgency to the entire process. The pastry cream set without issue and the cakes stayed fluffy. Everything chilled for a few hours while I ate dinner and read interior decorating books (I need all the help I can get). The only change I made was to double the ganache--I had the cream anyway, it was expiring, and you never have to force me into extra chocolate. However, as a result, I now have a Pyrex container of ganache in my fridge.
Nick and I ate the cake for breakfast, which isn't something I've ever frowned upon: cake is supposed to be eaten for breakfast, so don't bring your judgment and rules around here. It isn't too sweet but it also isn't bland. Sometimes you take a bite of a cake and the sugar practically makes your teeth ache--that doesn't happen here. This cake is decadent and filling and just wonderful. I waited a long time to make Boston cream pie, but I'm glad I did, because this recipe is perfection.
However, now I have 3/4 of a cake in my fridge...anyone want some dessert?