Yesterday was my husband’s 40th birthday. When I started brainstorming about his cake, this cake topper was already on my mind. All of my ideas were around the cake topper. I knew this would make the cake look chic and unique. Most importantly it would be very him!
There is nothing more appropriate to describe my husband except he is genuinely a geek. And maybe that’s one of the reasons I decided to marry him, cause it makes my life so much easier considered how low-tech I am.
The cake is a Boston cream pie. I heard that it’s called a pie because it was created way before when no one knew what cakes were. Layers of sponge cake with vanilla pastry cream and a top layer of chocolate ganache. A very simple yet delicious dessert to put together. Just double up the portion of the recipe, and you can easily have an 8-inch 3-layer cake. I literally had it done when my kids was doing it for their father.
Ingredients (one 5-inch layered cake):
1 cup candy melts, colour of your choice
1 tablespoon canola oil (if melted candy is too thick to pipe)
3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vanilla Pastry Cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
50 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon corn syrup
To make cake topper, outline a template of GEEK in a relatively thick font on a paper. Place a parchment paper over it.
Place candy melts in a microwaveable Ziploc bag. Microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds to completely melt the candy melts. Add oil if it’s too thick to pipe. Push the melted candy toward one corner of the bag. With a pair of scissors, snip off a very small opening.
Start piping the candy over the template, starting with the outline. Then fill with zigzags inside the outline.
Let it dry completely before peeling the cake topper off the parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 5-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Scrape the meringue in another bowl. Set aside.
In the same mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar on high speed until thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix for another minute.
Sift flour and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over top of egg yolk mixture, followed by folding in half of the meringue.
Fold the rest of the meringue into the batter until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the cake edge and place the cake on a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare pastry cream, cook milk, vanilla and salt in a saucepan over medium heat to bring the mixture just to a boil. Stir occasionally.
While the milk is cooking, in a bowl whisk together egg and sugar until the mixture becomes pale. Add cornstarch and mix until smooth.
Slowly add 1/3 of milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the milk-egg mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over low heat and whisk continuously until the custard is thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour the custard through the sieve and into a bowl to make it super smooth.
Let cool for 15 minutes. Put a plastic wrap right on top of the cream to prevent skin forming. Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
To prepare ganache, place the chocolate, heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the cake, sandwich each cake layer with a thick layer of pastry cream. Top with a final layer of chocolate ganache.
Gently slice an opening on the top cake layer, but not too deep, just enough to hold the cake topper. Carefully place the cake topper on the cake.
Chill in refrigerator. Leave it in room temperature for 15 minutes to soften the ganache before serving.