Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake

            Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake

    Early in the day, preheat the oven to 350° and butter the bottom of one 9-inch springform pan and one 9-inch round layer cake pan.  Wrap the outside of the springform (but not the cake pan) with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.  Line the bottom of the cake pan and the springform pan with parchment paper (don’t let the paper come up the sides.)

For the Cheesecake Layer:
3 8-oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 T vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

Make the cheesecake.  Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple of times.  Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla.  Blend in the cream just until it’s completely blended.  Be careful not to overmix.

Gently spoon the batter into the foil-wrapped springform pan and place it in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform.  Bake the cake at 350° until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 ¼ hours.  Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and cool in the pan for 2 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap (still in the pan) and freeze about 4 hours.

For the Pastry Cream:
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 T unsalted butter (not margarine)
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 T. vanilla

While the cheesecake is baking, make the pastry cream.  Heat the milk, cream and butter together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat just until it bubbles around the edge, stirring until the butter has melted and is incorporated.  Remove from the heat.  Meanwhile, beat the eggs yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl with a mixer on high until the mixture thickens and turn light yellow, about 3 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and beat in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture.  Return this to the saucepan, stirring constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (watch carefully, as this will take only a couple of minutes).  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Immediately transfer to a medium bowl (this stops the cooking), place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream (to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 2 hours.

For the Sponge Cake (1 layer)
½ cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
4 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp pure lemon extract
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp cream of tartar

While the pastry cream chills, make the sponge cake.  Check that the oven is preheated to 350° and that the water bath has been removed.  In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Beat the egg yolks, in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes.  While the mixer is still running, slowly add ¼ cup of the sugar and continue beating until thick, light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about another 5 minutes.  Beat in the extracts.  Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand, just until no white flecks are visible.  Blend in the melted butter.

Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean medium bowl and, with clean dry beaters, beat with the mixer on high until frothy.  Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites will stand up and look glossy, not dry).  Fold about 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then the remaining whites.  Don’t worry if you still see a few white specks-they’ll disappear during baking.  Gently spread the batter in the single cake pan and bake until golden (not wet or sticky) and the center springs back when lightly touched, about 15 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto the rack and gently peel off the parchment paper.  Let the cake cool completely.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

To Finish:
½ cup fudge ice cream topping (not chocolate syrup)
1 tsp light corn syrup
1 recipe Decorator’s Whipped Cream –refrigerated 30 minutes

When the cheesecake and sponge cake are cold and the pastry cream has set, assemble the cake.  Remove the cheesecake from the freezer.  Remove the sides of the springform pan.  Invert the cheesecake on a wire rack.  Gently remove the bottom of the cheesecake pan and the parchment paper.  Place the cheesecake on the serving plate and replace the springform sides around the cheesecake.  Gently spread the pastry cream over the cheesecake, using a rubber spatula (avoid stirring the cream at this stage, as you might break its gel).  Place the sponge cake, top side up, on top of the pastry cream.  Press down gently.  Cover the cake (still in the springform) with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

To decorate the top of the cake with the fudge mirror, combine the ice cream topping and corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring just until it’s spreadable (don’t overheat or let boil).  Take the cake out of the freezer and, using a long, narrow metal spatula, quickly spread the fudge over the top while it’s still in the springform.  Using the tip of a pointed knife, push a few drips over the edge of the cake (in the space between the cake and the inside edge of the pan).  This gives the cake a finished look.  Return the pan to the freezer until the mirror has set (don’t cover it), about 30 minutes.

Decorator’s Whipping Cream
1 tsp. unflavored granulated gelatin
1 T. cold water
1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
1 T. sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on high until it thickens and soft peaks just begin to form.  With the mixer still running, add the sugar and beat just until the cream stands up in peaks (don’t overmix or the cream will curdle.  Beat in the vanilla.

Place the gelatin in a heatproof measuring cup, stir in the cold water, and let stand until it swells and thickens (this takes only about 1 minute).  Cook the gelatin in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds, until clear and completely melted.

Add the melted gelatin all at once into the whipped cream and beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but not more than 1 hour.  Use immediately as a cake filling or frosting or refrigerate.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (#2) with the whipped cream.  Pipe a white web on top of the cake, making thin lines 3/8 inch apart (don’t worry if the lines are a little wavy).  Return the cake to the freezer until the web has set, about another 30 minutes.

To serve, let the cake stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, then remove the ring of the springform.  Place the cake in the refrigerate until ready to serve (this cake takes about 2 hours in the refrigerator to thaw enough to easily slice.  Refrigerate any leftover cake, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.