Boston Cream Pie (modified from Brown Eyed Baker)
 
Makes 2 8-inch cakes, custard filling, and chocolate glaze
Ingredients
For the Custard
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 TBSP white sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch
  • 4 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Sponge Cakes
  • 1⁄2 cup cake flour
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 12 TBSP white sugar
For the Glaze
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄4 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
To Make the Custard
  1. Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
  3. When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.
  4. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. If you don't have a sieve, just make sure the lumps are dissolved while it simmers on the stove top. Extra mixing with a rubber spatula helps with this. Press plastic wrap directly on the bowl to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
To Make The Sponge Cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fully cover two 8-inch or 9-inch pans with Wilton Cake Release using a silicon brush. Make sure to get in the crevices where the bottom and sides of the pan meet.
  2. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla; cover and keep warm.
  3. Separate 3 of the eggs, place the whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, reserving the 3 yolks plus the remaining 2 whole eggs in another bowl. Beat the 3 whites at low speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium and gradually add 6 tablespoons of the sugar; continue to beat the whites to soft, moist peaks. (Do not over beat.) Transfer the egg whites to a large bowl and add the whole-egg mixture to the mixer bowl.
  4. Beat the whole-egg mixture with the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Beat at medium-high speed until the eggs are very thick and a pale yellow color, about 5 minutes. Add the beaten eggs to the whites.
  5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the beaten eggs and whites; fold very gently with a large rubber spatula. Keep adding the mixture gradually and fold in until it is all incorporated. Make a well in one side of the batter and pour the milk mixture into the bowl. Continue folding until the batter shows no trace of flour and the whites and whole eggs are evenly mixed. In the event that there are still lumps, you can fish them out with a fork after you pour the batter into the pans. I found it was hard to get all the lumps out when folding the batter.
  6. Immediately pour the batter into the prepared cake pans; bake until the cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, about 16 minutes for 9-inch cake pans and 20 minutes for 8-inch cake pans. (I had to make 10-inch cakes to fit the Patriots logo, so I made 2 batches of this batter and poured each batch into a 10-inch cake pan. I baked for about 17-18 minutes)
  7. Soon after taking the cakes out of the oven, gently run a knife around the pan perimeters to loosen the cakes. Turn each cake onto a cake round or plate. Refrigerate for several hours before assembling the cake (which works out perfectly since the custard needs to set for several hours as well).
To Make the Glaze
  1. Bring the cream and corn syrup to a full simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; cover and let stand for 8 minutes. (If the chocolate has not completely melted, return the saucepan to low heat; stir constantly until melted.) Add the vanilla; stir very gently until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Cool until tepid so that a spoonful drizzled back into the pan mounds slightly. (The glaze can be refrigerated to speed up to the cooling process, stirring every few minutes to ensure even cooling.)
To Assemble
  1. Place one cake on a cake round. Spoon the custard on top, making sure not to reach the very edges, or it may leak out the sides. Add the second cake on top, making sure the two layers are in line.
  2. Pour the glaze onto the middle of the top layer and let it flow down the cake sides. Use a metal spatula, if necessary, to completely coat the cake. Use a small needle to puncture any air bubbles. Let the cake sit until the glaze fully sets, about 1 hour.
  3. Serve the same day, preferably within a couple of hours.
Notes
I didn't use the glaze for my cake. Since I was covering my cake with fondant, Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker suggested that I cover my cake with chocolate buttercream instead. But I added the recipe in case you want to make the traditional Boston Cream Pie.
Recipe by It's Always Someone's Birthday at http://www.itsalwayssomeonesbirthday.com/2012/02/patriots-superbowl-2012-cake.html