Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Fauxpoleon
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo

Faux means "fake," but not necesarily in the lying sense. It could be environmentally conscious. It could mean economy. It could mean that you've distilled the spirit of whatever is being faked, meaning it's as "real" as anything you're emulating.

But sometimes, the "faked" version is the "real" one. Just ask Jayne Cobb, the merc / security of the ship Serenity. Despite his tough and dangerous demeanor (there was nothing fake about that!), he was also softhearted — in a good way.

He sent nearly all of his earnings to his family, for one. In exchange, they sent him knitted caps, socks, scarves, notes with news of the family and how his money was being used, and memories of special things like his very favorite birthday cake. Being poor, they used canned and powdered goods in a place where food was scarce.

Jayne enjoyed this dish, but he never cooked, so he did without it. He did talk about it once to Kayleigh, the ship's young mechanical engineer. They have a sometimes difficult relationship when his teasing hurts her feelings, but he cared for her like the sisters and aunts he missed at home.

And being from a poor family too, she knew this dish, and worked to get the powdered, frozen, and shelf-stable ingredients. We're not sure if she ever got to make it for him, but she planned this "Faux Napoleon," for a man who was tough, but was a total fake about not having a heart or feelings or love.


    Faux Crème
  • 10¼ oz (285 g) instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 16 oz (450 g) non-dairy whipped topping or heavy cream, whipped
Whisk together the instant pudding mix and milk till the mixture thickens. Note — you must use INSTANT pudding, not cookable pudding. When the cold mixture is thicked up, fold in the whipped topping or whipped cream.

    Fauxdont
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons boiling water
In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the hot water. Add a few drops of hot water if the mixture is not flowing as a glaze.

    Assembly
  • 72 saltine crackers (about 8 oz / 225 g)
  • strawberry jam
  • Faux Crème;
  • sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen (48 slices, total)
  • Fauxdont
  • Chocolate syrup
Prepare a 9" x 13" pan (a lasagne pan) by lining with plastic wrap or foil or parchment. It needs to cover the bottom and come up the sides. Then, place a third of the crackers in an even layer, covering it completely. Break the crackers if you need to accomplish complete coverage. Dollop a bit of the jam on each cracker, or spread thinly.





Top with a third of the pudding mixture. Place a slice of strawberry over each square, flat side up. Layer over with saltine crackers, and repeat the jam coverage, followed by a third of the cream, the sliced strawberries. Top with saltines, the jam, and end with the last of the pudding. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.

When ready to serve, peel off the plastic wrap on top, and invert a large serving dish over the pan, then invert. The dessert is now upsidedown. Peel off the paper/foil/plastic wrap. The top will be unsightly.

Prepare the fauxdont at this point, make sure the glaze is runny enough to cover the whole surface, but solid enough not to run off the cake. Work quickly to prevent it from seizing up before you've covered the whole surface.

Rapidly dribble parallel lines of chocolate over the surface of the still-wet fauxdont. A quick movement will keep the lines thinner. Using the back-side of a knife, run the knife perpendicularly across the chocolate lines. Alternate the direction of the knife-dragging lines to create the distinctive "napoleon icing" chevron shapes. (Remember, since you are "faking" a real dessert model, taking advantage of the deep details will help trigger a "real" response.)

Using a sharp narrow-blade knife, to cut down the layers. Serves up to 24, depending on the size of the slices.

Presentation note — trim the messy edges before showing or serving.


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