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Family Friendly Fridays: Boston “Black Forest” Cream Pie

Who wants some Boston Cream Pie?  How about some Black Forest Cake?  How about both?  Pie meet cake.  Cake meet pie.  Don’t they look happy together?  I like to think of their relationship as a little slice of heaven.

It’s been awhile since I cranked out a killer dessert so I figured it was high time.  That, and I really needed a serious hit of chocolate.  Who doesn’t every now and then?  Enter into the pie picture my friend black forest cake.  Super duper chocolaty goodness with a cherry or two thrown in for good measure.   Booyah.

Let’s review.  A Boston cream pie is typically a sponge cake with pastry cream in the middle and ganache poured over the top.  A black forest cake is a decadently chocolate cake with layers of whipped cream and cherries sandwiched between.  Cake.  Pie.  Cake. Pie.  Pake?  Cie?  Hey, call it whatever you want, I call it good and gone.  I’ve dressed this little lady up in a chocolate sponge, added cherries and cream to her middle and ganached her from head to toe.  If you thought plain ol’ Boston cream pie was good, prepare to be one up’ed.

Have I got you ready for your own little slice of pie heaven?

The first step in this culinary delight is the pastry cream.  I used a recipe from an previous Daring Bakers challenge where I put together a most gorgeous croquembouche.  Mmmm.  Croquembouche.  But I digress.

Grab some milk and a little cornstarch and stir it together like so.  Take a little more milk and throw it in a pot with some sugar.  Let it come to a boil and then take it off the heat.

Grab that milk/cornstarch mixture you set aside and beat a few eggs into it.

And it’s officially time to temper.  And no I’m not talking about the tantrum kind.  Pour a bit of the hot milk into your eggs and whisk like you mean it.  Continuing to whisk, pour the now milky egg mixture back in with the rest of the milk (we’re still whisking people) and put it back on medium heat.  Whisk, whisk, whisk until the whole thing thickens and becomes custard.  Arm exercises.  Check.

Stir in a little butter and vanilla and stick it in the fridge to cool completely.

Next stop cake.  Or as my two year old affectionately calls it; Cae-Cake.

Grab up a bowl and mix together your dry ingredients.  I sifted them once for good measure as well.  Just so they would incorporate better into the eggs down the road.

Set that aside and separate a half dozen eggs.  Sponge = eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs.  First up, place the yolks in your mixer along with some sugar and beat them until they are a light yellow mixture.  Set them aside.

Now place the whites in your mixer with a bit more sugar and beat them into stiff peaks.

Let me take a break at this point to share the cherries I used for this cake.  I love these cherries because in addition to the fruit, they have the most delicious juice packed into the jar.

Drain the cherries and reserve that beautiful juice.

There is one more piece to this delicious puzzle.  Melt a little butter and add some cherry juice and vanilla to it.  You knew I just had to use that cherry juice.

Now it’s time to combine it all into one beautiful cake pie batter.  Fold the yolks very gently into the whites until about halfway mixed.

Next you’ll add in the flour and fold about 7 or 8 times and then finally you’ll add in the buttery juice.  Fold until just combined.

Pour your batter into two 8 or 9″ pans (either will work.  Just add an extra minute or two of bake time if you use 9″) that have been greased and lined with parchment.  Pop ’em in a heated oven and let ’em cook until done.   There’s nothing quite like a cake fresh out of the oven to get the sweet tooth talking.

Cakes are no good without accessories, and you and I both know this cake has some doozies, so what are we waiting for?

First up, you’ll grab the pastry cream from the fridge and spread it on your bottom layer of cake.  Boston Cream.  Check.


Next up you’ll add the cherries.  Take a tip from me.  The more cherries the better. I wish I had put about double the amount on that I did.  They’re so friggin’ good.  Black Forest Cake. Check.

Pop on the top.  It’s starting to look pretty darn good already if you ask me.

But as any Boston cream pie lover can tell you, this dessert isn’t done until the chocolate meets the pie.  Chocolate meet pie.  Pie meet chocolate.

Little slice of heaven here I come.

And before I sign off for the weekend, I wanted to extend a heartfelt Thank-you to The Motherhood and ConAgra for an awesome sweet treats cooking class this past Wednesday!  If you weren’t able to make the class, you can check out the recap HERE.   You’re guaranteed to find some great tips and some delicious sweet treats recipes!


Boston "Black Forest" Cream Pie

Total Time: 1 hour 20 min

Pastry Cream based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri (May 2010 Daring Baker's Challenge)


For the Pastry Cream:

1 Cup Whole Milk
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
6 Tbsp Sugar
1 Egg
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp Vanilla

For the Cake:

1 Cup Cake Flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
6 Eggs, Separated
2/3 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 Cup Cherry Juice
1 Pd. Cherries, Canned or Fresh

For the Ganache:

4 Oz. Dark Chocolate
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream


To make the pastry cream:

Add the cornstarch to 1/4 cup of the milk and stir to combine. Set aside.

Add the rest of the milk to a pot on stove along with the sugar and cook until boiling. Remove from heat.

To the milk and cornstarch mixture add your egg and egg yolks. Beat well.

Pour 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture whisking constantly.

Take the warm milk/egg mixture and pour it back in with the remaining milk continuing to whisk.

Place the pot back on medium heat and continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens into a custard consistancy.

Remove from heat and add in the butter and vanilla.

Stir well and place in the fridge to cool completely.

To Make the Cake:

To a bowl add together all the dry ingredients: the cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and sift once if needed.

Add to a mixer the eggs yolks and half the sugar; 1/3 cup. Beat until light yellow in color. Set aside.

Next, add the egg whites to the mixer with the remaining sugar. Beat until stiff white peaks form.

Combine together the melted butter, cherry juice, and vanilla.

Gently fold the egg yolks into the egg whites until about halfway combined.

Add in the flour mixture and continue to gently fold the ingredients until flour is about halfway combined.

Last, add in the cherry juice and fold until all the ingredients are just combined.

Pour the batter into two 8 or 9" cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. I used 9" pans. Cook about 2 minutes less for 8" pans.

To Make the Ganache:

Place the cream and the chocolate in a microwave safe container and place it in the microwave for 20 seconds.

Pull it out and stir. Repeat two to three more times or until the chocolate just begins to melt into the cream.

Once the chocolate begins to melt into the cream, you don't need to microwave it anymore. Just keep stirring and allow the chocolate to slowly melt into the warm cream. It will take a minute or two but it will melt and create a ganache.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place a layer of cake, followed by the custard.

Add the cherries and then the top of the cake.

Finally, pour the ganache over the top of the cake and allow it to fall over the edges.