London Fog Boston Cream Pie

So I actually made this dessert was my entry item for the “Great EatWith Bake-Off” as a part of EatWith(a dining-serving company that Bri and I partner with to do our pop-up dinners)’s social media event just to keep users engaged. The premise, inspired obviously from the “Great British Baking Show” is that 5 of EatWith’s hosts, including myself, across the world had to create a dessert that was inspired by their home country. For me, I really had to think long and hard about this one, because I could either represent America or Taiwan with whatever I chose to bake. But since one of the criteria was the cultural/historical relevance, I knew I had to go a tad more traditional what my choice. Thinking back to my college years in Boston, I remembered a dessert I had learned about in hotel school: the Boston Cream Pie. Founded in the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, the Boston Cream Pie is an iconic American dessert. And it ties to me full-circle, being hotel-related, which is what the majority of my college curriculum was centered around anyways. Now I knew that doing a traditional version would still be boring, since it’s just spongecake sandwiching pastry cream, topped with a flat layer of ganache, so I had to do a couple of my own touches in it. So that’s when I took a couple of creative licenses on a classic.

I went with a chiffon cake, as opposed to a genoise cake, since I wanted a lighter, fluffier crumb, and chiffon cakes are more generally used in Asian bakeries anyways. I also wanted to incorporate one of my favorite drinks, being the London Fog. It’s essentially an earl grey tea latte. I had an ice cream version of this in college as well, which included chocolate, and I knew that this would be really easy to incorporate into the dessert via an earl grey soak, and infusing earl grey into both the Bavarian cream and the ganache fillings. I thought that with Boston being in “New England”, and London being “Old England” in that case, it would be a fun play on words to make that inclusion. That and cooking and baking with tea is very Taiwanese, so it would be a subtle nod to my culture’s cuisine by doing this. I wanted to top the cake with some tempered chocolate squares, gold leaf, and just to tie back in the filling, I actually took some bavarois, froze it in acetate, and cut it into squares to top off the cake with as well. I figured it would look almost butter-like, and that might involve the feeling of breakfast and tea, just to be a little more playful and whimsical with an American classic.

For the chiffon cake:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites with sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Whisk egg yolks with sugar and canola oil to ribbon stage. Sift flour. Fold together. Lightly line two 4-inch springform cake molds with oil and parchment. Pour the batter into both and bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes. Turn off the oven, leaving the door slightly open, for 5 minutes, before removing the cakes and allow them to continue to cool down at room temperature. Freeze solid and remove from the molds. Level off the top and slice in half. Pour on the soak, pipe in the set bavarian cream, and pipe on the ganache on top. Garnish with cubes of your bavarian cream, some gold leaf, and tempered chocolate to finish.

For the Bavarian cream:
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Steep tea leaves into the water for 20 minutes. Strain, pressing to release as much flavor as possible. Mix gelatin into the water, then melt into the tea. Heat up. Whisk eggs with sugar and salt and temper with the earl grey tea, whisking on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Strain once the mixture has thickened slightly, and cool down to room temperature. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold into the egg mixture. Spread 3 tablespoons of the filling onto acetate and freeze solid. Cut that into 1/2 inch squares. Transfer the rest into a piping bag and refrigerate until just set for piping and assembly.

For the ganache:
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup dark chocolate
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Steep tea leaves into the cream for 20 minutes. Strain, pressing to release as much flavor as possible. Melt chocolate into the cream and finish with salt and butter. Refrigerate until firmed, about another 20 minutes, before transferring to a stand mixer and beating with a paddle attachment until soft. Transfer to a piping bag.

For the tempered chocolate:
dark chocolate
a pinch of salt

Melt about 6 oz of dark chocolate on a double boiler, until completely melted down. Take off heat and stir until the temperature is about 90 degrees F. Mix in 2 oz unmelted dark chocolate until that has been melted in completely. Keep mixing until the chocolate is about 75 degrees, then spread between two sheets of acetate. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes, then press out 1/4 inch squares. Continue to refrigerate until it is time to assemble.

For the soak:
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves

Steep tea leaves into water for 20 minutes and then strain. Cool down completely before using on the cake.

To garnish:
Gold leaf

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Kayli Jordan says:

    This is so creative, unique, and fun! I definitely want to try making this! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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