Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"This Pileup of Gorgeousness"

The rest of Sunday, I was finishing up Aunt Linda's Potato Salad and a Boston Cream Pie from this cookbook for the party. We had hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill with all the necessary stuff (which included potato salad, potato chips, and potato rolls - seriously).

The Boston Cream Pie was a big undertaking for me; I had intended to make it on two other occasions this spring, and both times chickened out. I even had the heavy cream, measured, in my freezer. I am still learning how to make traditional fancy cakes. Other cakes that I call family desserts with fruit, hot water, or whatnot, I can handle with ease.

So on Saturday I baked the cakes using the food processor method Nigella recommends -it was easy and I felt confident.

On Sunday I made the creme patisserie following her directions, but here I got irritated: she says to cook the custardy stuff until "thickened." I always wonder: is that thickened as in it's not the consistency of water anymore OR thickened like pudding and in danger of curdling from overcooking? I did the former but apparently should have done the latter because when I poured it on the bottom cake layer, it kept going. I poured on the ganache anyway. . .

grabbed one of my meat platters and plunked the cake plate on it. I felt a bit deflated, but hoped that if looks would not wow the crowd, the flavors would.

Well, it was good, but not great. I thought the cakes were too dry and of course the creme wasn't where it was meant to be or could have slicked up the dry cake a bit. The cakes used only butter for fat - could that make a dry cake just like it does in cookies?

I'm going to keep working at fancy cakes. I feel confident with pastry and cookies and (usually!) custards, so I'm determined to add cakes to the list.

Sunday was also my sister's 30th birthday and the cake was partly for her too, although her blow-out party was earlier. I made her a scarf using silk from my old shirt and some lightweight poly. It was my first foray into sewing with such sheer, drapey stuff and thanks to my Bernina, it went smoothly. In hindsight, the fancy stitch I used for topstitching was a bit puckery and a straight stitch would have been better. I hope there's a camera in my future that can take close ups so I could show you better!

I am blessed to have such a wonderful sis and mother. . . and too, my mother in law and sisters in law. All wonderful.


Laura said...

Boston creme pie sounds hard to make - it's one of my favorite desserts, but I've never tried to make it myself. I'm sure yours was delicious!

Margo said...

Laura, it's one of my favorites too, so that's why I tried it! It was good, but as I said, the cake was too dry for my liking.