This is why I don’t bake

The only person harder to buy a gift for than my husband is my father. Go ahead, name every gift you’ve given your father for his birthday and father’s day. Mine would not use any of those. And gift cards to Home Depot no longer even work after the door incident of 2010. It’s an epic story that I’m sure my dad would be happy to tell you if you ask him. I’ve resorted to giving cards and no gifts. What a horrible daughter. Actually I’ve started taking him and my mom to dinner which is probably more fun for my mom and I than my dad. Oops.

For this most recent Father’s Day I decided to attempt to make his favorite dessert: Boston Cream Pie. First of all, it’s really a cake and second of all do you have any idea how many eggs, separated, are involved in this thing? I bought more eggs, cream, and milk than have been in my fridge in years. It was especially fun to see Cute Boy’s face when he saw what I’d bought. He was royally confused why this Vegan Fake Vegan was buying Whole milk.

I don’t bake much and just like sewing, when I do bake I remember why people don’t do it anymore. There are just so. many. dirty. dishes. And they all have to be washed by hand. I had to wash the bowl to my Kitchen Aid like 3 times just to complete the dessert. But even more than that, I don’t bake because it’s so stressful!

I started with the custard portion of the cake because it had to chill for 2 hours. What? You want me to start a project and then while in the middle, flour everywhere, totally exhausted, you want me to stop and wait 2 hours for something to chill? Ugh. So I started with the custard thinking I could make the cake while it was chilling.

And so the egg separating began. I needed 6 yolks.

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Of course the recipe tells you to hang onto the whites for something else…like breakfast the next day. Yeah. Ok. Except I forgot about the whites and now, 7 days later they are still sitting in my fridge in a bowl. How long are egg whites good? You understand, as a Vegan…er um…Veganish who has taken way too many classes about foodborne illnesses, that I am wary of those egg whites. The custard came together with the help of whole milk and REAL vanilla bean.

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Here’s something you see on all those cooking shows that you never do yourself:

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But here’s the moment of panic. Put the custard back on the stove to boil. But, uh, is it supposed to be frothy?

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Why the hell is it so frothy? And at what point do you throw out this frothy custard? All 6 egg yokes and REAL vanilla bean? Luckily I waited just a bit longer than I thought I should AND I reread the instructions that said I should be stirring constantly. The custard became thick and CREAMY in a matter of about 2 seconds. Then it was almost too thick! This. This is why I don’t bake. That 2 seconds where it’s either heaven or start over. Luckily I pulled if off just in time.

Then I baked the cake. No, then I cleaned the bowl of the Kitchen Aid. Then I baked the cake. Or rather, I mixed the first set of ingredients, cleaned the bowl again and then whisked my egg whites (not the same whites from before – the cake took two yokes and then two whites).

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And here it is again. Soft peaks? Are those soft peaks? They look like soft peaks. At what point are they hard peaks? WHAT IS A PEAK?!

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So I baked the cake. Waited until the cream was chilled. Melted chocolate for the ganache. And then assembled my cake.

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It turned out great. If I had one complaint it is that the cake was a little dry but we didn’t eat it until the following day and it was in the fridge that whole night so perhaps that dried it out? That custard though? Magic. I bet it was the real vanilla.

Got a text from my dad a few days later saying it was the best Boston Cream Pie he’d ever had. Success. Totally worth it.

Recipe here.

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