Thursday, April 14, 2011

Boston Irish Cream Pie

Inspired by Bobby Flay's recent Boston Cream Pie Throwdown I decided to make a Boston "Irish Cream" Pie for my hubby's birthday this weekend.

He asked for the same thing that I made last year, Chocolate Stout and Irish Cream Cupcakes, but how could I do the SAME thing again?!

Now, if you are wondering why the cake is all lumpy...well the inspiration was from Bobby Flay's competitor, Eunice Feller of Bread and Chocolate in Boston, MA. Instead of layering her Boston Cream Pie, she carves out the center of the cake and fills it with pastry cream, then tops it with the squared pieces of the hollowed out portion of cake. Pic here.

So, this was my attempt and it was most successful until the ganache set too much and it didn't exactly flow over the cake pieces, but more globbed everywhere.

Well they can't all look perfect, but they sure can taste like it!

Boston "Irish Cream" Pie

1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp butter, softened
5 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Pastry Cream:
1 and 1/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup irish cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup irish cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

To prepare the cake,  preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x3 inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper. In a small bowl sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the butter and milk. Stir occasionally till the butter is melted and set aside.  Separate three egg whites into a large mixing bowl and combine the three egg yolks with the remaining two eggs in a separate small bowl, set aside. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add 6 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time. Continue mixing till shiny, soft peaks form. Move the egg white/sugar mixture to a new bowl. Now beat the egg yolks using the whisk attachment on medium speed adding the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time. Beat until the egg yolk mixture is very thick and a pale yellow color, about five minutes.

Combine the beaten egg whites with the beaten egg yolks, gently fold in the flour mixture. Once flour is no longer visible, pour melted butter mixture down one side of the bowl. Gently mix the batter till all butter is incorporated. Pour batter into prepared 8x3 pan and bake till cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Immediately upon removing pan from oven, run a knife along the sides to loosen the cake. Let cool in pan for five minutes, then flip cake rounded side up onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

To prepare the pastry cream, combine the half and half with the irish cream, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Over medium heat bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. In the mean time, combine egg yolks with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk till sugar has dissolved, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch, just until incorporated and mixture is a pale yellow, about 30 seconds. Return to cream mixture, once it has reached a simmer, slowly add to the prepared egg yolk mixture while whisking. Return entire mixture to saucepan over medium heat, while constantly whisking until it begins to simmer and mixture is thick and glossy. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve, pushing with a spatula moves it along faster, into a medium bowl. Cover pastry cream on surface and the bowl rim with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of three hours, preferable overnight.

To prepare the ganache, combine heavy cream, irish cream, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour the cream mixture over a bowl of the chopped chocolate, whisking constantly until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream mixture. Let ganache cool slightly, stirring occasionally.

To prepare the cake, using a small knife, hollow out the top of the cake leaving a one-inch thick rim. Cut the trimmed cake into big chunks and set aside. Spoon the prepared pastry cream into the hollowed out cake and pile the chunked pieces on top. While the ganache is still warm, pour over the top of the cake and let pour down the sides. Let the cake rest for a few hours prior to serving.

As you can see, this cake is not a one day event. I split my preparations over three days not to overload myself and it worked out great. I was so excited when the pastry cream set properly! The first time I tried to make it, I wasn't watching the stove properly and my irish cream boiled over the top making a mess all over the kitchen. A trip to the liquor store later, I tried again following BrownEyedBaker's tutorial on how to make pastry cream and it worked!

I adapted the recipe from Annie's version of the Boston Creme Pie.

Also, I don't know how many urban adventure racers are out there, but for my hubbie's birthday we participated in the Great Urban Race in Houston and it was a total blast. The race goes to cities all across the US and offers some friendly family competition, so if you haven't heard about it yet, check it out! You can read all about it on my family blog:

Happy Baking!


  1. Ive been itching to make a Boston Cream pie ( I think its my dads favorite from what I can figure out - since he wont just say). This sounds awesomme!

  2. YUM! Completely reminds me of my childhood and my Mom would make a boston cream pie fairly often. Have a great weekend.

  3. oh my God decadence, decadence, decadence all the way...congratulations (on this wonderful pie) and happy birthday debbie's husband!!!!

  4. Cover anything in ganache and I'm happy! Looks great:-)

  5. I love Boston Cream Pie! Your chocolate frosting looks so creamy and wonderful! Thanks for I really would love some cake for breakfast!

  6. I can practically smell this through my computer screen. Terrific flavors here!

  7. This is SO awesome! Boozing up baked goods always makes things better...and Boston cream pie is one of my faves to begin with. Yum!

  8. This sounds like a giant cupcake with filling, but looks like a cake. Great idea. There's nothing better than Irish cream and chocolate!

  9. Your cake might just end up at my husband's birthday party. He love's chocolate cake and mint frosting but I'm always trying to convince him to do a different combo. That bottom picture is all I need to show him.

  10. I made this once a long time ago and it was good. I like the look of the thick chocolate ganache covering the top of yours, it looks rich and delicious, lucky hubby;-)

  11. Your husband is a lucky man! I would love this pie for my birthday!

  12. I saw that same episode and love how Eunice assembled her cake too! Love the use of Irish cream :)

  13. Great combination and even little things that don't go exactly right get lost when you go to eat it!


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  15. Wow, looking delicious, and I want to make Boston Irish Cream Pie by myself, and I will make it, thanks for sharing this wonderful Boston Irish Cream Pie recipe.

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