Wednesday, June 27, 2007 FOOD




Chocolate peanut-butter cake


Makes one 2-layer cake


Krista Burgoyne came up with this cake for her senior project in the culinary arts division of Minuteman Regional High School. She spreads any extra filling on bagels or toast in the morning. The new graduate is headed to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in the fall.



2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water


1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch-round cake pans. Set aside.


2. In an electric mixer, combine the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


3. With the mixer set on low speed, blend in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Blend in the boiling water in a slow, steady stream. The batter will be very thin.


4. Divide the batter between the pans. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Let cake layers cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn the rounds out onto wire racks to cool completely.




1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature

1 cup solid vegetable shortening

2 pounds confectioners' sugar

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup water

2 cups smooth peanut butter


1. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, mixing well until it is all incorporated. The mixture will be stiff.


2. With mixer running, slowly add the vanilla and water, beating until fluffy. Add peanut butter and beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use.



1 cup smooth peanut butter

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups chopped peanut butter cups


1. In a bowl, beat together the peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth.


2. To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread with a thin coating of filling. Make the layer thin to keep the cake delicate. Place the second cake layer on the first. Spread the top and sides with buttercream. You will have extra buttercream; freeze the leftovers for another cake. Or, use the buttercream to pipe a border around the top of the cake. Sprinkle the top with chopped peanut butter cups. Serve at once, or refrigerate until ready to serve.



Adapted from Krista Burgoyne





Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company


Wednesday, June 27, 2008 FOOD




Student chef's cake is as easy as A-B-C



Jane Dornbusch,

Globe Correspondent


BOLTON -- Krista Burgoyne, who graduated earlier this month from Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington, has something that makes her the envy of many seniors, not to mention their parents: a full college scholarship.

Actually, make that three college scholarships -- and possibly more.

Burgoyne, 18, studied in Minuteman's culinary arts program, and will be attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America , in Hyde Park, N.Y., in the fall, but she could also have chosen a free ride at Johnson & Wales University or the New England Culinary Institute . And she has qualified for each of those scholarships two times, by twice winning a national gold medal in commercial baking at Skills USA, a competition for vocational/technical high school students. This week, for the third year in a row, she's in Kansas City for the nationals, after winning a gold at the state level (for the second time) this spring. Burgoyne has been told that three national golds would be unprecedented in the history of Skills USA.

The baking prodigy nearly missed what seems to be her calling. When she started Minuteman as a freshman, she planned on studying cosmetology. "I spent one term in that program," says the petite and pretty brunette, "but there was too much drama." She transferred into the culinary arts program, and things clicked right away. "Everything came so easy, for the first time in my life."

Skills USA is a demanding baking competition. Burgoyne has to perform a long list of technical tasks and the pressure can get intense. She makes puff and Danish pastry, pies, rolls, and more, all within an eight-hour time frame.

Krista Burgoyne's original cake recipe was her senior project at Minuteman Regional High School. (Jon Chase for The Boston Globe)

On a recent weeknight, Burgoyne is relaxed in the kitchen of the Bolton home she shares with her parents, Richard and Kileen, and two sisters, Kara, 20, a Minuteman grad who attends the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Kerri, 14, who will be a Minuteman freshman this fall. Krista is preparing an original creation, chatting as she assembles it with deft, offhand professional skill. The chocolate layer cake with peanut-butter filling and peanut-butter buttercream frosting was her senior project, required for graduation, and she's made it (and other cakes like it) so many times, it's, well, a piece of cake for her.

"People are afraid to make frosting," she says, sounding much like the chefs she admires on the Food Network, "but once you make frosting at home and see how easy it is, you'll never buy it again." Easy for her to say; besides her Minuteman training, she works at Esler's American Bakery , in Marlborough, where she makes 80 pounds of the stuff a week , and she can eyeball the ingredients in perfect proportions without measuring them. Still, the simple peanut-butter buttercream isn't beyond the reach of home cooks, although to achieve the proper fluffiness, it helps to have a heavy-duty electric mixer.

That piece of equipment -- a bright red KitchenAid stand mixer -- is exactly what Burgoyne bought with her $500 cash winnings after her first Skills USA victory. The first Kansas City contest was pretty heady stuff for a high school sophomore who'd never been on a plane before. She actually got sick to her stomach during the competition, but returned to finish two hours early and win the gold. For her success, she credits her parents ("they're my spine"), and Minuteman instructor Norman Myerow , a teacher who is so driven about his students' successes that he's been known to call Burgoyne at 2 a.m. before a competition with last-minute advice. "He just knows left, right, and sideways what to do," she says.

As she talks, she smooth s icing onto the cake and pipes a simple border around the top, then sprinkles it with chopped peanut-butter cups. "It's just a dessert cake, as opposed to a wedding cake or birthday cake, so it doesn't have to be perfect," says Burgoyne. The finished confection, handsome in its tan buttercream coat, looks quite professional.

Its taste is surprisingly refined and delicate: The thin layer of peanut butter and cream cheese in the middle, which is unsweetened, adds a tangy counterpoint to the light, moist cake and fluffy buttercream, whose peanut-butter flavor is pleasantly understated. Burgoyne says it sometimes gives her pause to think how close she came to pursuing a career in hair and nails instead of flour and sugar. Cosmetology's loss is a culinary gain.




Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.