My boyfriend claims I didn’t notice him for the first five years that we knew each other. In my defense, I hadn’t even hit puberty. I moved to his town when I was 10 years old, into a big Victorian house three times the size of my old house. His mom once told me that on the first day at my new school, he came home boasting that there was a “girl with red hair” in his class. I wasn’t quite as attentive to his existence, and five years went by before I looked his way.
TJ was the rebellious type. He wore ripped t-shirts and baggy jeans, his shaggy hair was unkept, and he was always thrown out of class for mouthing off to the teacher. I, on the other hand, was a bit of a prep, showing up to class with ironed dress shirts and handing in homework days ahead of time. We didn’t make any sense as a couple, and people weren’t afraid to make a point of it.
But underneath that rough exteriour was the sweetest boy I’d ever known. We had our first date at the county fair, where he went on all the rides I picked without complaining, and comforted me when I got shaky at the top of the ferris wheel.
“If you fall, I fall,” he said. We haven’t looked back since.
Whenever I see Boston Cream pie I think of those early days in our relationship. Every week after hockey practice, TJ would buy me a Boston Cream donut and deliver it to my locker before class the next day. I did the same, picking one up after my weekly dance class in the city. This went on for years, but we stopped exchanging them after we moved to university.
I was walking out of class the other day when TJ walked up behind me and handed me a small brown paper bag. I recognized the smell immediately: chocolate covered pastry with a hint of sour sweetness. He remembered.
8 inch round baking pan
2 mixing bowls
two small bowls
wire cooling rack
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour an 8 inch round baking pan. Beat shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla with hand mixer in a large bowl until fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to shortening mixture, alternating with milk. Beat well after each addition. Pour batter into baking pan. Bake on middle rack for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove cake from pan and let cool on wire rack.
For the cream filling, stir sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk. Crack eggs and separate yolks from the whites. Beat yolks in a small bowl. Slowly add egg yolks to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Boil for one minute, whisking constantly to prevent clumps. Remove from heat. Stir in margarine and vanilla. Pour mixture into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until cold.
For the chocolate glaze, add butter and water to a small saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately stir in cocoa powder. Gradually add icing sugar and vanilla. Beat with whisk until smooth. Add more water or icing sugar if needed to reach desired consistency. Cool for five minutes.
With a large knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Remove the top layer and set aside. Spread cream filling evenly on bottom half of cake. Replace the top half of the cake. Spread chocolate glaze over cake. Refrigerate at least one hour. Refrigerate leftover pie.