Pie 21.0

Disclaimer: this pie is a cake.

Pie 21.0 was not made from scratch. Nor was she made from a recipe in a book. She was a Boston Cream Pie, my favorite cake, and she qualified for a blog post in the Pie Series due only to her name. Oh, and she came out really pretty. Not only was she misnamed, but she looked like a donut, and tasted like an eclair.

I baked the yellow cake mix in a bundt pan that always reminds me of that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mother of the groom bride thinks she should put a plant in the hole. I made the vanilla pudding (also from a box) and let it set in the fridge while the cake baked and cooled.

I used a long bread knife to slice the bundt cake horizontally, spread on the pudding, and put the cake back together.

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The chocolate glaze is best when it is melted and drizzled on, but it is tricky. It could come out too thin and all just drip off, onto the counter and the fridge where you hide it to cool and (hopefully) set. That’s what happened years ago by another baker I know. Now I’m a pro. Do it this way: Scoop half of the frosting into a cup and put the rest in the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time. It will warm and get soupy. Then stir in the thick still-cool frosting a bit at a time. It will melt as the hot part cools (heat transfer, basic thermodynamics), and with luck the mix will reach a glossy, pourable yet settable viscosity. Without luck, it will need to be microwaved again, or will remain soupy and need a nap in the fridge. Mine came out a bit thick, but pourable.

I did a combination of pour and spread, making sure some dripped down the edges and into the plant hole because each delectable bite of Boston Cream Pie needs cake and vanilla pudding and chocolate glaze.

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Pie 21.0 added about 5 pounds to my person because I ate a piece of this pie/cake/donut/éclair (at least) twice a day for 5 days–both with my coffee each morning, and either for dessert or in a quick grab with a fork from the plate in the fridge as I passed by stealth like a shadow. I’ve been informed by people in the know that the last two pieces are hidden in the freezer. I’m currently contemplating how long I could thaw a piece in the micro without messing up the glaze.

Anyway, here she is. Go make one. It is so simple and you can lose those same 5 pounds next year.

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Oh, Christmas Tree!

I once knew a girl who made her own clothes. She built them. In the basement. With a blow torch. She was incredibly cooler than I will ever be.

Today I came close. I built a Christmas Tree from cake, an ice cream cone, marshmallows and some fairy dust. I followed the directions from here which said the whole process should take 2.5 hours.

It took me 4.5 hours.

As usual, I didn’t follow the directions precisely. (That may explain the fudge saga.) This time I got lucky and it all worked out. I used red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting.

The first step in making a Christmas tree is to allow entropy to engulf your life. I began in my messy kitchen that I never cleaned after baking cookies and the damn fudge yesterday.

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Red velvet cake batter looking good! Yes, oh yes, I did lick those beaters. They hardly tasted of garlic at all from the Italian dressing I’d just made.

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Into the oven went the 2-cup and 4-cup Pyrex measuring cups, well greased. Right on target.

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45 minutes later I took a peek. I don’t think it’s supposed to look like this.

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Fortunately, I own large knives. After shaving off the blobs, the pieces were more or less level. And I got to eat some extra cake.

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The assembly process began. Not looking too good, yet.

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The comment from my husband at this point was, “Wow, Laur. The things you do to entertain yourself.”

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I’ll show him. I think it’s looking better! (See Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the background? They approve.)

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Side note: your scissors will be very sticky from cutting marshmallows. I hope you’re finished wrapping! This step was designed by an engineering genius! Slice the marshmallows and coat with sugar. OMG. Delicious. Yes, I ate some. Yes, I licked my fingers. Yes, I washed my hands. One hundred times.

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And now, brace yourself for the most lovely accomplishment ever accomplished on the shortest day of the year, first day of winter, 80 degrees in South Carolina…dum da da dah!

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Yippee!