Boston Cream Trifles for a #GalentinesDay Party

Happy Friday the 13th! And most importantly, happy Galentine’s Day!
I’m teaming up with my dear and fabulous friend, Courtney, of NeighborFood, to bring you a party where ladies are kickin’ it with ladies in order to celebrate other ladies (courtesy of Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation). Minus frittatas unfortunately, but everything we’re bringing to you today is just as delicious, if not more!
Boston Cream Trifles |
A few months ago, Courtney and I were commiserating over all the horrible things who’s been raped or legislation being proposed to erode women’s rights). Instead of continuing to wallow in depression and feelings of hopelessness, we decided to dedicate this year’s Galentine’s Day post to a woman who inspires us, who has made a difference in our lives, a woman we would be proud to honour. We wanted to start supporting women and lifting each other up, in whatever way we can. Therefore, we’ve gathered some of our bestest (that’s totally a word) blogging lady friends today and each blogger is dedicating her post and her recipe to a strong, fabulous, kick ass woman.

There were three women in particular who got me through high school. One is my beloved counsellor, Ms. D, whom I wrote about in this guest post for Cake Duchess’ food memories series. Another is Ms. G, my drama teacher.

Today’s post is dedicated to Ms. S, my music teacher.

On my blog, I’ve written extensively about what a terrible student I was in high school. I couldn’t care less about my academic courses. I got Cs and Ds in science and math, but where I excelled was the arts. English, creative writing, performing arts but especially choir. Ms. S was my music teacher all five years of high school. I took general choir which required me to wake up at an ungodly hour and be in class by 7:30 a.m. My absolute favourite was vocal ensemble, a small choir of about 20 students. You had to audition to get in and I always felt so special being a part of it. Our classes were in the evenings, requiring my dad to drop me off and pick me up during the dark winter months (thanks, Dad!).
Boston Cream Trifles |
Ms. S was always passionate about music. She was (and continues to be) an incredible singer, piano player, teacher and all around human being. She taught with a firm hand, but always with great affection and humour. She made me want to be better. She made me disciplined. She made me stand up straighter (physically, because presentation and breath power are of utmost importance) but also because I felt like I was doing something worthy, something different. I was a part of something very special. She made me want to be excellent.

Ms. S also introduced us to beautiful pieces of music from all genres. We sang gospel songs, popular music (one of my favourites was a medley of Dancing In The Street, Oh Happy Day and Joyful Joyful from Sister Act 2), songs from musicals, classical and of course, actual Christmas carols at Christmas time (which I don’t think a lot of schools do anymore because political correctness, BLECH).

She took us on trips, which were the only trips I ever took in high school since my family couldn’t afford to go on any. Most of my best memories are of those trips, to Victoria, Disneyland, Calgary. Being loaded onto giant buses with the band students, bursting into spontaneous sing-alongs (how very Glee of us). Sleeping in some questionable motels with cigarette burned bedding. Stopping in some small town in B.C. and eating the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever tasted.
Boston Cream Trifles |
There was always a reception after all of our concerts. There would be giant barrels of McDonald’s orange juice and endless trays of the best long john donuts I’ve ever eaten in my life. I have no idea what bakery Ms. S ordered those donuts from and when I asked her about it a few years ago on Facebook (God bless social media for bringing people together again) she couldn’t quite remember. The fact that I’ll never eat another one of those donuts again will haunt me to my grave.

Ms. S and her music classes offered me a much needed reprieve from my angst-ridden teenage life. In honour of the fabulous, wonderful, beloved Ms. S, I made boston cream pie inspired trifles. I wanted to make boston cream donuts but I have a fear of frying oil in my house, so these donut inspired trifles will have to do.

And Seasons of Love from Rent. Original Broadway cast, natch. Because this song will always bring tears to my eyes because it’s beautiful and it transports me back to when I was 16 years old, struggling to come to terms with who I was and what I was going to do with my life, standing in Ms. S’s music room and hearing it for the first time. When she cued up the music after telling us that we were going to be performing it, the world fell away and all I could hear was this song. Those first few chords on the piano still sends chills up my spine.

Thank you, Ms. S, for everything. I’ll love you always!
Boston Cream Trifles |

Vanilla Sour Cream Cake (adapted from Anne Burell of Food Network)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanille extract
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two eight inch cake pans with parchment and butter.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla, milk and sour cream. Gradually mix in the flour and stop until just combined.

Divide the batter into the cake pans and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, checking to make sure you don’t over bake the cakes. The cakes are ready as soon as a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool. I only used one cake for the trifles. You can either eat the leftover cake or freeze it for up to a month. I didn’t try halving the recipe so I don’t know if that would work. I figure leftover cake is never a bad thing!

After the cake is cooled, cut it into cubes appropriately sized for whatever serving dish you’re using. I used mason jars. You can also use ramekins, bowls or a large trifle bowl.
Boston Cream Trifles |
Vanilla Pastry Cream (from Joy of Cooking)

1 1/4 cups milk (whole or 2%)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup whipped cream (optional)

In a large heat proof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together. Don’t let the mixture sit out for too long or you will get pieces of egg forming. Sift the flour and cornstarch together and add to the egg mixture. Whisk together until smooth.

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly add it to the egg mixture, whisking instantly to prevent the egg from cooking. Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until it boils, whisking constantly. Make sure to get into the corners of the pan. When the mixture boils, cook it for a further minute until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl and place plastic wrap onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a film from forming. Cool to room temperature, after which you can refrigerate it for up to three days if not using immediately.

I whisked 1 cup of homemade whipped cream into my pastry cream to lighten it. That’s totally optional.
Boston Cream Trifles |

Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces chopped chocolate, milk or dark (I used milk but I generally like the sharpness and bitter edge of dark chocolate)
1/2 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
1/4 cup whipped cream (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until it comes to a rolling boil. Pour half of the heated cream into the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the remainder of the hot cream and stir until fully combined. After my ganache cooled, I added 1/4 cup of homemade whipped cream to it but that’s optional. Next time, I’ll probably leave the ganache as is for a thicker, denser layer of chocolate.
Boston Cream Trifles |
Assembly of the Trifles (serves 6)

Using ramekins, mason jars, bowls or a large trifle bowl, alternate layers of cake, pastry cream and ganache. Top with whipped cream and garnish with chopped chocolate.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Boston Cream Trifles |
These were decadent, delicious and the perfect combination of textures and flavours. I’m trying to eat better so after sampling one of the trifles, I forced friends of ours to take the remaining home with them. This is way too dangerous to keep in my fridge!

Make sure you check out everyone’s amazing recipes and read about what woman inspired their post:

Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Orange Yogurt Waffles from Savvy Eats

Chocolate Honey Bombs from The Live-In Kitchen

Brownie Batter Chocolate Tart from Melanie Makes

Coeur a la Creme with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries from Heather’s Dish

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs from The Redhead Baker

Chocolate Cheesecake from NeighborFood

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Scones from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Strawberry Covered Dark Chocolate Truffles from Girl Versus Dough

Cheesecake Milkshakes from Chocolate Moosey

Campari and Passion Fruit Sorbet from Food Lust People Love

Grilled Cheese & Chocolate Sandwich with Ganache Dipping Sauce from Climbing Grier Mountain

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies from Namely Marly

Red Wine Ice Cream Floats from Mind Over Batter

Wicked Waikiki Sour from Pineapple and Coconut

Anise-Scented Ice Cream with Candied Fennel Seeds from girlichef

Mini Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream from A Cookie Named Desire

Nutella Fudge with Raspberries from The Food Charlatan

52 thoughts on “Boston Cream Trifles for a #GalentinesDay Party

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  6. What an amazing teacher! I’m so glad you had her in your life. Now I expect to hear you sing next time I see you 🙂 Thanks for hosting us and for this fabulous trifle recipe. If we could only all get together and try each other’s amazing recipes—wouldn’t that be grand??? xo

  7. I had no idea you were a choir girl! Choir was my happy place as well. I have so many great memories of bus rides, backstage shenanigans, and falling in love with new music. I’ve told Will I’d love to join an adult community choir someday–there’s just something so powerful and uplifting about singing with other people. Thanks for cohosting with me this year lady! I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else!

  8. Nancy, I LOVE that you and Courtney decided to have people dedicate this year’s Galentine’s Day post to women who’ve inspired you guys and who have made a difference in people’s lives. . I love reading posts like this!!! I love knowing that there are teachers out there, like Ms.S.Teachers who truly love what they do and are passionate about it. I’m so happy that you had her in your life. Damn, we need more teachers like her. and how do I sign up for Galentine’s day for next year?! love this list!

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  11. Awww, that’s awesome, such great memories! The thought of those donuts will probably haunt you for the rest of your life. I have a certain sub sandwich from when I was a kid that does that. These trifles look awesome, I love Boston Cream! thanks for bringing us all together for Galentine’s Day :).

  12. Oh what a great idea to have this day dedicated to a woman who inspired you!! Mrs S sounds like the best!! Of course this dessert does not look like it will be hard to down three portions of. Amazing!!! Happy Galentine’s Day!

  13. Oh, Nancy! I love this. I didn’t become a choir girl until I was in my Forties and the choir director at my girls’ school gathered a group of students, parents and teachers to sing for a fundraising event. What a joy! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for hosting this worthwhile, important celebration!

  14. You are a rock star Ms Nancy! All you need to do is move to LA (or NYC or Nashville) and start your singing / baking career! What fabulous road trips you took with Ms S. Must say I’m relieved to read of the songs you like…I’m not that old after all! Now, while the donuts were undoubtedly delicious, I bet your Boston Cream Trifles are even better! P.s. Love to be included in your next Galentine’s Day Party =)

  15. There is nothing like having a great teacher in your life, truly. And also, there is nothing like devouring one of these delicious-looking Boston cream trifles — which is what I plan to do. 😉 Happy Galentine’s Day!

    stephanie @ girl versus dough

  16. I love this theme and your words about Mrs. S so, so much! Everything about this is so inspiration and uplifting — yall are amazing. And these TRIFLES. Um, I have no words. They sound like pure heaven. So incredible. I love everything about this post, Nancy!

  17. Happy Galentine’s Day, dear. Love reading your post and Ms S. You should start adding singing in your next post 🙂 This boston cream trifles is awesome! I love boston cream pie and this sounds amazing. And I’d love to join in when you do another group post.

  18. Lovely, lovely, lovely story, girl–I LOVE reading about all the wonderful influences on your life. I can’t believe how much influence teachers have–and can still have–on us today, so many years down the road. It really is amazing, and it sounds like singing/music is still a positive force in your life. I love your music choices! And I looove that Rent soundtrack. It’d be so awesome if you could find a way to incorporate more of that music and singing back into your life 🙂 have a wonderful Vday and Galentine’s, too!

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  20. Happy Galentine’s Day! I love long johns – they are my favorite, with maple icing more than chocolate but I’ll take that too! Those long fat fluffy fried pieces of F******* fabulouslness is something I live for once per month on Sunday mornings! I tell them it’s because Rocket (the grandson) wants donuts but we all know it’s me………….:) Those Boston Cream Trifles wouldn’t last long in this house………….Boston Cream donuts are Mr. Picky Eater’s favorites.

    Seriously? You have a fear of frying? You would starve to death down here! 🙂

  21. Nancy! I’m typing this comment while listening to the music and I’m getting chills up and down my spine. This post was just so beautiful and touching! Reading about your wonderful happy high school memories is just so heartwarming! And this recipe that you have shared is absolutely mouthwatering. Love this and love the way you have chosen to celebrate Ms. S and the incredible impact she has had on your life. ❤

  22. This was such a SWEET post Nancy!! I love that you shared such a wonderful story about your music teacher and how wonderful she was to you and all that she taught you. Sounds like she was such a wonderful influence on you. Even better that you were able to catch up with her again on Facebook! Facebook does have SOME good things about it, lol! I’ve reconnected with so many people and it is super cool. The trifles look absolutely gorgeous, stunning, delectable….just perfect for Valentine’s Day. So happy you are posting again….your posts always make me smile no matter what they are about. I love the way you write. xo

  23. Music paired with dessert?! It’s simply my favorite combination in the world and that is just one of the reasons why I loved this post. What a sweet narrative Nancy! I hope every student has at least a one or a couple of Ms. S’s in their lives at some point. Miss you!

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  25. How wonderful that you and Courtney dedicated this Galentine’s Day post to women who’ve inspired you both. It’s so important to remember those that have made a difference in our lives. Your story on Ms. D was also just amazing!!! Thanks again for sharing it with my readers last year. I do have fond memories of certain teachers (and unfortunately, some not so fond!). This Boston cream trifle is out of this world AHMAZING!! I want to be in on the Galentine’s party next year!!xx

  26. Love that you dedicated this post to your music teacher. We all have people that have inspired us in life and it is so lovely to recognize them, like you have done in such a splendid way. Your dessert has me drooling. I adore trifle and have to make this recipe soon!!

  27. i almost cried when I clicked play on that youtube video! seasons of love brings me back to high school too, it was one of the songs that we sang to our favouritest principal when she moved away. isn’t it crazy how much of an impact great teachers can have on us?

    you’re so awesome for supporting your fellow women. i wish i could give you a real high five, but here’s a virtual one *high five*

  28. 1-yayyyy lady power! 2-awwwww I loved choir in HS too and every year we sang Seasons of Love as the last song of the last concert of the year (and they invite alumni onto the stage so when we attended last spring-to see Michael’s sister-we went up and sang again :P) 3-THESE TRIFLES LOOK SO CREAMY AND DELICIOUS! I love boston cream pie stuffs and these might be the best incarnation of it!

  29. Oh my!I would love to dive straight into these gorgeous beauties!!Love your tempting pics and that chocolate ganache just takes it over the top!!Cant wait to try 🙂
    Hats off to your music teacher for being such an inspiration in your life.

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