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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes

Making these fabulous cupcakes was a combined effort of my brother Ben and I for his birthday.   They were an absolute hit!  I'd been waiting for an excuse to make these for quite some time, and they did not disappoint.  I couldn't actually get my 2 year old to wait until we'd sung Happy Birthday before she dove into her cupcake, so she's in the background happily eating away in every picture.   The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for each part to cool, so make sure you've got some time for the pudding. in particular, to cool.  Mmmm.. Enjoy!

Boston Crème Pie Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
The cupcake batter recipe is based primarily on the recipe from the blog No Gluten, NoProblem’s ‘Red, White & Blue Cupcakes’ recipe, minus the red and blue modifications.  (Their cupcake cookbook, ‘Artisanal gluten-free cupcakes’ is very nice, and they have their rendition of Boston Crème Cupcakes in the cookbook, but I prefer my own filling and topping.)

Make a batch of ‘Kristin’s Homemade Vanilla Pudding’, but use 2 ½ cups milk, instead of 2 ¾ cups.  Make sure to use the vanilla bean paste!!! It makes ALL the difference in taste.  I’ve included the recipe here for convenience:

Kristin’s Homemade Vanilla Pudding’ - to use as crème filling

Place in a saucepan over medium heat:
2 ½ cup milk (lactose-free works great)
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt

Stir occasionally, letting the mixture come to a boil.  Meanwhile, prepare the following egg yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix:
¼ cup milk (lactose-free works great)
4 egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch

Once milk and sugar has come to a boil, let boil 1 minute.  Then add in the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.   The mixture should thicken quickly.  Keep stirring until mixture has begun boiling again. 

Remove from heat and add:
3 tsp vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract (the bean paste is absolutely lovely in the pudding, if you can locate it)

Pour into one large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is on the surface of the pudding to avoid a tough layer from forming on top. Set aside to cool. Once cooled a bit, put in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Note: You’ll end up with extra vanilla pudding, but no one around here was complaining. And, if you double the cupcake recipe, you’ll have the right amount to fill 24 cupcakes.

For the 12 cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare cupcake tin by lining with 12 paper liners.
Mix the dry ingredients, then set aside:
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

In a mixer, cream the following until light and fluffy:
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp butter, softened
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

Add and mix in:
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (You can use vanilla extract, but I recommend the bean paste)

Add and mix in:
1 egg
1 egg white

Add and mix in:
½ cup milk (lactose-free works great)
2 Tbsp sour cream OR plain yogurt (some are available lactose-free)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low to combine, then on high briefly until the batter is smooth. 
Separate batter into cupcake liners as evenly as possible.  Try to smooth the tops as best you can.  The tops won’t smooth out during baking, so try your best to smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake 20-25 minutes.  Remove to wire rack and let cool completely.

I think it's helpful to see how the tops look when not smoothed much vs. smoothed a bit.

While the cupcakes are cooking, prepare the chocolate ganache topping. (note: if you cannot have lactose, then you can always whip up some marshmallow fluff frosting, which is fabulous on a custard-filled cupcake)

Chocolate Ganache (this is my favorite chocolate ganache recipe)

Heat to boil over med-high heat:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup heavy cream

Remove from heat and add:
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (use high quality chocolate)

Stir gently until smooth (this may take a few minutes).  Leave on the counter to cool.  This will allow it to thicken, but be easy to spread over top your cupcakes.

Assembling your cupcakes!!!
Using a sharp knife, cut around the top of the cupcake.  Remove the top and cut off the inside part of your top piece.  (you can set these aside and eat at your leisure).  Scoop out a bit more of the inside, if desired. 
Fill generously with vanilla pudding and cap with the top of the cupcake. 
This picture doesn't show the top going back on, but make sure you stick the cupcake top back over the filling!

Spread the top of each cupcake with the creamy ganache topping.  Repeat with all cupcakes. 
Serve and enjoy!!!
Birthday fun!
My 2 year old eating as soon as the cupcake hit her plate.

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