27 Aug 2009, 4:54pm

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Boston Cream Torte

Boston Cream Torte

    Does your family have a tradition to celebrate birthdays?  My mother would ask us what we’d like for dinner and dessert.  I’d always ask for a standing rib roast of beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, and blunt cut green beans.  My dessert was always a Boston Cream Pie that she’d make from scratch, using  a Joy of Cooking recipe for hot milk cake, my grandma Kit’s recipe for real custard, and a rich, fudge frosting from an unknown source that was to die for.

    I suspect most youngsters don’t realize how much effort parents put into making their children’s wishes come true. It was really a heavy meal in the middle of the July heat and humidity for Mom to cook for me.  One memorable July, when I thought nothing was going to be done for my birthday, Mom said to go see what was in the downstairs refrigerator.  I knew it would be a luscious Boston Cream Pie, but the surprise was on her.  Before the hot cake and custard had time to set, each layer had slid off the plate into a moosh on the rack.

    I have her recipes and used to make my own Boston Cream Pie for my family on my birthday, but I pass up the standing rib roast for a chicken barbecue. Several times, my friend has brought over a  Boston Cream Pie and sometimes, my husband will buy one, but they just don’t have the same texture, flavor, and specialness of Mom’s Boston Cream Pie…until now.

    My husband brought home a Boston Cream Torte that he’d bought from a well-known, big department/grocery mega-store.  At first I thanked him and privately thought:  right!  Here we go again, especially when he said the filling was sweet whipped cream.

     I took a tentative bite of the bottom layer of the 3-layer torte.  It was good.  I scooped a lick of the filling.  It was real custard.  Then, I sampled the chocolate frosting.  It wasn’t Mom’s fudge, but it was rich, real chocolate.  The rest of the cake became history.

    Oh Dear Gussie.  I have a new favorite birthday dessert and no-one has to slave over baking it in the hot July weather. (I’m assuming that the commercial kitchen is air-conditioned.).

Copyright © 2009 by Kate Chamberlin

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