Birthday Boston Cream Pie

When we are planning for and upcoming birthday in our house, the conversations don’t revolve around where the birthday person wants to go out to dinner or which gifts they desire. For us, the most significant birthday decision centers around the birthday dessert. The selections typically bounce between my Nona’s chocolate cake (my favorite!) and the Boston Cream pie. Other times, we make carrot cake (post coming soon), a trifle, or pound cake with berries, but those first two are the household staples. When you combine cake, homemade pudding, and chocolate, you get one of the most delectable desserts around. There is only one downside of a birthday Boston cream pie – it is tough to insert candles into the hardened chocolate shell. You’ll have to make starter holes with a small knife so that your loved one can blow out some birthday candles, but that is a sacrifice I’m willing to make:-).

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A few words from Sarah: From one glance at this layered treat, I think we can all see that this so-called pie is indeed a cake. And let me tell you, it is not just ANY cake. It wasn’t enough for this cake to get sandwiched in between some loving layers of smooth and creamy pudding. Oh no. Then it decided to be blanketed with a generous coating of rich, chocolate glaze. I’m pretty sure this cake and I are on the same page because chocolate truly makes everything better. Perhaps you, like me, are wondering why on earth this intelligent dessert decided to call itself a pie. Let us turn to Wikipedia for the answer. “Although it is called a Boston cream pie, it is in fact a cake and not a pie… The Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts, declared as such in 1996. However, it is not mass-produced in Boston.”

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Christmas Croquembouche

I’ve dreamt about this moment for a long time, and it’s finally here! My first blog post! EEEEE I have my very own food blog! Whew, Ok I’m good. Now, onto our first sweet treat…

Christmastime is my favorite season of the year, when our house is filled with the sights and smells of buttery goodness. Every year on Christmas Eve, we celebrate at my aunt’s house with a Feast of the Seven Fishes. And for the past 5 or so years, I’ve made a Buche de noel to serve at the party. This yule log is the perfect combination of delicate rolled up sponge cake, creamy chocolate ganache, and meringue mushrooms. It’s a challenging adventure each year, and I love making it. A few years ago, I started to wonder if people were getting tired of my annual treat, so I called my aunt to find out. She jokingly replied that I wouldn’t be allowed in the house on Christmas Eve without a Buche in my hands. I mean…I think she was kidding…but I didn’t dare to find out.


But while studying for my pathology final in mid-December 2013, I felt the surge of rebellion. I wanted to try something new, but I also knew my relatives were expecting something as delectable and striking as the yule log. I googled things like “impressive holiday desserts” and “complicated Christmas cake.” Amidst all of the gingerbread houses and fruit cakes, I stumbled upon the perfect dessert – a dazzling tower of cream puffs decorated in spun sugar. Behold, the croquembouche.

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