My family wasn’t big into baking when I was a kid, so it was by accident that I fell into the habit of baking. We’d have box cake mix for birthdays and very rarely (maybe once or twice a year), homemade chocolate chip cookies. Growing up, I remember standing on a chair for what seemed like hours and slowly stirring pudding. I chatted away to my mom while she cooked dinner or cleaned or did whatever else she could get done while I was standing in one spot.
For a period of time, I’d bake to quiet the chatter in my mind. At one point, I had a shelf on my pantry organized for the order in which ingredients were added to chocolate chip cookies- a recipe I had memorized. During a particularly stressful time in life, I decided that I would learn to perfect cheesecake and custards and double-crust pie. It was soothing to follow the step-by-step directions, carefully measuring each ingredient, and then scrubbing the kitchen clean while I waited for dessert to cool.
These days, I bake for the pure joy of baking and eating. I make a delicious double chocolate cake that’s so good, people that who have it claim it’s the best they’ve ever had. I love the grounded feeling of baking, the preciseness, and that first delicious bite.
I decided that I would make my favorite childhood dessert: Boston Cream Pie. For several years, my dad would pick it up for my birthday in lieu of the boxed cake, until the diner stopped selling it.
It didn’t turn out as scrumptious as I remember- the chocolate topping was a bit too hard and I wish I’d made it a three-layer instead of two. All in all, though, I was pretty please.
Since I’d neglected to fully read the recipe ahead of time, I didn’t realize that the author hadn’t clearly stated the directions (I thought it odd not to grease and flour the cake pan, but decided I’d forge ahead and forgo the flour dusting) and I ended up with an unsalvagable cake, as you bake one 9 in cake and cut it in half. So, we had Boston Cream Pie and cake pops! The cake pops weren’t pretty as I used extra frosting from the freezer that I’d brought back to life instead of a candy shell, but they were tasty nonetheless.