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Boston Cream Pie's Sister Cake is Kyoto Cream Pie

Did you know that Kyoto is a sister city to Boston? They became sister cities back in 1959 and, in fact, their gift of the Japan House to the Boston Children's Museum is thought to be the most expensive gift ever given to an American community from a foreign sister city. The two cities collaborate on various events throughout the year and are very tight.

Knowing that, how could I not want to give something back to Kyoto when I love Boston so much? Boston gets Boston Cream Pie and Boston Baked Beans but Kyoto?

So many things I love went into the thought process of coming up with this cake:

Boston Cream Pie with Matcha is in there somehow - Come on, how is it that this is not already a thing?

I have been given the task of coming up with a recipe using Almond Breeze Almond Milk and I am going to admit something right now. We use almond milk all the time, but only in our morning smoothies, like this one. Not only have I never baked with almond milk, I really don't bake all that much to begin with. If it wasn't for this blog, I would bake even less than I already do, to be perfectly honest, which means The Kid is pretty happy that mom is a food blogger or he would never get any dessert at all. Without the Yum Yum Factor, it would be nothing but risotto, ramen and pork around here and the poor baby would have to depend on the kindness of strangers for his sugar fixes.

I can't get matcha out of my brain these days and when that happens, I have to go with it or it will never leave me. I started out making a matcha pound cake with the almond milk. It was good but I wanted something more creative than that. It seemed like a good idea to make things that are widely considered foods that depend on cow's milk or cream so I could see how the almond milk would stand up. In the end,  it became a toss up between some sort of custard, a cake and chocolate truffles, with that damned matcha powder lingering in the shadows, poking me in the brain.

Why not combine all three and make my version of a Boston Cream Pie?

I was a bit afraid that the almond milk would be too low fat and adversely affect the texture of the finished products, but that didn't happen at all. After a bunch of reading and researching, I was assured that you can pretty much just substitute almond milk for cow's milk in any of your recipes. The almond milk adds a great nuttiness to the finished cake, especially since I used it in all three elements that comprise it.

The pastry cream was perfectly creamy and smooth and the ganache behaved exactly the same as every ganache I have ever made with heavy cream. I ended up with dessert that is entirely dairy free (you can leave the tbls of butter out of the ganache completely or just replace it with vegetable oil or coconut oil)

Serving it with a mound of toasted almond slices just shoots the nut quotient through the roof, gives it a bit of crunch and I love the blend of the earthy matcha with the almonds and dark chocolate. It kind of tastes like a Green Tea Latte with dark chocolate and that is a very, very good thing.

this is a sponsored post but I only work for products and brands that I really stand behind so my opinions are my own, yadda yadda yadda

Kyoto Cream Pie

because I didn't want to use pastry flour, i added cornstarch to the AP flour. If you use pastry flour, omit the cornstarch.

adapted from Anna Olson

1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1 1/2 tbls cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp matcha powder
1/2 cup cool butter, cut into chunks
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F
Grease a 9" round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment and flour, shaking off excess.

Put the sugar, flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt and matcha into the bowl of your stand mixer (or a big bowl if you are using hand beaters). Cut in the butter until it's crumbly - I use my cold hands (run hands under cold tap water and dry well).

In another bowl, whisk the egg, almond milk and vanilla together and then pour that into the flour mixture. Using the paddle attachment, beat on low for a few seconds and then increase to med high and beat for about 3 minutes until it's smooth, thick and creamy.

Scrape into the cake pan and give the pan a few good whacks on the counter to get rid of the air bubbles. Bake for 35 minutes - check by inserting a skewer into the cake. It should come out clean. Let it cool in the pan for half an hour before removing it to cool completely on a rack.
Set aside.

Pastry Cream:
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
4 tbls cornstarch

Heat the almond milk and 1/4 cup of sugar until it comes to a light simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk the yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla and salt until smooth and start whisking in the cornstarch, a bit at a time.

Slowly start to add in the hot milk, whisking constantly until the you have poured it all in. Strain the mixture back into the pot (in case you have any lumps) and stir constantly for another 3 minutes over medium heat until it thickens up.

Pour the custard into a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap and when it comes to room temperature, put it in the fridge for a few hours (or even overnight).

approx 140g dark  70% chocolate
1/2 cup  almond milk
1 tbls butter
3 tbls corn syrup

Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it's just starting to show bubbles around the outside and add in the chocolate. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted, add in the corn syrup and the butter and take off the heat. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before pouring it on the cake.

clearly, I still need some work on the whole cutting the cake in half horizontally thing

To assemble the cake:
You need to cut your cake in half, horizontally and put the bottom layer on your serving plate. Take the pastry cream out of the fridge and spread it over the bottom layer of cake. Top with the other layer of cake and push down lightly. Run a spatula around the outside of the cake, cleaning up any excess pastry cream that might have oozed out. Now, pour the cooled but still liquid ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Put the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving right away or it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

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