Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

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Sometimes, a recipe is a work in progress. Sometimes, you make it and make it over again just because it didn’t turn out quite right the first time. I wish I could say every recipe I make turns out right on the first try, and that I’ve gotten to the point where I can just put myself on autopilot and bake away. Honestly, I don’t think the latter ever really happens; it’s at that point that you get overconfident and mess up, and the whole process humbles you right back to where you’re supposed to be, having a healthy amount of respect for the wild, finicky beast that is baking. This recipe is one of those examples. It’s a recipe that I made and remade until I got each component just right, until I found new respect for my unpredictable oven, my “I’ve changed the setting 50 times on this thing just to get it the right amount of cool” refrigerator, and all my little “What the #&*/ did I do wrong?!” learning moments along the way. Sometimes, everything works out right the first time. Sometimes, even the simple recipes like to remind you that no matter how many years you’ve been cooking, you’ve still got a whole lot to learn!

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Yields 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1/2 stick (57 grams) butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup milk

For the filling:
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. butter

For the chocolate ganache frosting:
3 1/2 bars (350 grams) dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

This recipe, although relatively straightforward, is one that will require a little extra prep time as the filling needs about an hour to set in the refrigerator before it can be put into the cupcakes. You can definitely make the filling the night before if you want to save yourself a little time when you make the cupcakes, or you can make it the same day with at least an hour to chill. Either way, I like to start by making the filling. To make it, heat the milk, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar over medium heat until it almost reaches a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and all purpose flour. Just before the milk mixture boils, pour it into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisk until just combined, then pour the whole mixture back into the pot you previously used for the milk mixture. Return the pot to medium heat, and bring to a boil stirring constantly until it thickens (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed against the surface (to prevent a skin from forming), and set aside in the refrigerator to cool (at least an hour).

Vanilla pudding

To make the cupcakes, start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius) and lining a muffin pan with liners. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and granulated sugar until the sugar has all but dissolved. Add the flour and beat until all the ingredients are well combined and a thick batter has formed. Beat in the milk until all ingredients are incorporated into the batter and there are no lumps. Pour the batter into the lined muffin pan and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the cupcakes are a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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While the cupcakes bake and then cool, you can whip up the frosting. In a medium sized pan, heat the heavy cream until it almost reaches a boil. In a large bowl, break the chocolate into small chunks, and then pour the almost boiling cream over the top. Stir until the chocolate has completely dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). Cover and allow to set in your refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes, until it’s no longer warm. Remove the frosting and whip it on high until stiff peaks form. To assemble the cupcakes, cut a conical hole in the middle of each cupcake and spoon a teaspoon of the filling into each hole. Trim the piece removed from each cupcake down to a thin top, and cover the hole in the center.

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Filling cupcakes

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Spoon the frosting into a piping bag, affix with a decorative tip, and pipe over the cupcake making sure to cover the hole created for the filling.

Boston cream pie cupcakes

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Happy baking!

Sources:
Filling adapted from Martha Stewart
Frosting recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life

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