Monday, October 29, 2007

Bostini Cream Pie

Bostini Cream Pie

At the start of every month, all the Daring Bakers eagerly await our host/hostess to announce our daring challenge. This month the lovely Mary of Alpineberry chose the Bostini Cream Pie, a variation of the Boston Cream Pie. As always, after finding out the recipe of the month, I tell Steven what we are planning to make. And his response? "Oh that sucks... you're bad at cakes." Ouch... *sniff sniff* He still remembers the last cake with the rubbery layer of doom. With my ego slightly bruised, I was determined to bake a good cake! (For the record, I am not bad at cakes, just bad at whipping eggs and egg whites).

The traditional Boston Cream Pie is a cake, not a pie, made with two layers of sponge cake with a vanilla pastry cream filling or custard filling in between and covered in chocolate glaze, usually a ganache. A Boston with big strawberries was always the cake I would choose for my birthday when I was growing up. :) A Bostini cream pie, however, is a silky smooth vanilla custard on the bottom, orange chiffon cake (a close relative of the sponge cake) in the middle, and chocolate glaze on top. Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations so chocolate covered orange cake already sounds good to me but add some vanilla custard and oh my goodness this dessert sounds sooo delicious.

Summary of the Challenge:
- Steven, who is not a big sweets fan to begin with, loved the dessert. So this means it was a smashing success! It was as delicious as I expected. The custard really brings everything together. I went light on the chocolate sauce so it didn't overwhelm the vanilla and orange flavors.
- My custard never set; it was more like a thick vanilla cream sauce but it was still really tasty.
- The only problem I ran into was the "plating" of the dessert. The mini bundt pans were just too cute to resist. I floated the little cakes on top of the custard and mistakenly drizzled it with chocolate sauce rather than covering the cake. I took my pictures and happily ate my cake. So far so good, nothing abnormal or unusual as I dig into my cake. Then I look at my pictures on the computer and oh... my... god the drizzling made it a freaking tarantula cake. I am absolutely terrified of spiders so if I look at my cake picture too long, it makes me cringe. Eek. I debated if I should even bring this up.
1. If I don't bring it up, maybe no one will notice, because if I do, everyone is going to see the tarantula cake and not "unsee" it ever again.
2. If I do bring it up, maybe I should say it was intentional, ya know, with Halloween being a few days away and all... um... yeeeeah... look everyone... I made a spider cake for Halloween. *nervous laughter*

Happy Halloween everyone! :)

The Allowed Modifications:
- We could substitute another flavor for the orange that compliments the other components but the cake must be kept light colored so no espresso, etc.
- The recipe can be halved. The chocolate glaze can also be scaled. The size and presentation can be modifed. The cake can be baked in any type of pan.
- Substitutions for dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan etc. are also allowed.
- But we could not add additional thickeners to the custard or substitute butter for the oil.

- I made 2/3 the custard and 2/3 of the cake since the recipe was easier to scale in thirds. The original recipe quantities can be found on Mary's blog or here. Next time, since I loved it so much, especially the cake, I will make the full recipe.

Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
1/2 C whole milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch (rounded up)
2/3 whole egg (this was a tough one so you can just add the whole egg)
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Orange Chiffon Cake
1 C cake flour
1/2 C superfine sugar (run regular granulated sugar in the food processor for 10 seconds)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C canola oil
1/4 C egg yolks (about 2 - 3)
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
2/3 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 C egg whites (about 5 - 6)
2/3 tsp cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze

4 oz. semi or bittersweet chocolate
4 oz. unsalted butter (1 stick)

Prepare the custard:
First whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the whole milk (this is to prevent clumps). Once the cornstarch is completely whisked in, add the rest of the whole milk and whisk to combine. Then add the egg and yolks and whisk until smooth.

Note: If you are using a vanilla bean, add it in with the cream as it heats so it can steep. If you are using vanilla extract, add it in at the very end because the heat will cook away the flavor.

Combine the cream, vanilla bean, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture bubbles remove from heat and whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture at a time. When about half of the cream has been whisked into the egg yolk mixture, whisk the egg yolk and cream mixture to the remaining cream in the saucepan. Cook over medium low to medium heat while stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve and pour into your serving bowls. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and chill.

Prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray your baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. I used a muffin tin and mini bundt pans.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl, add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla and whisk until combined. Keep these separate for now.

Beat the egg whites until frothy then sift in your cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks. If the egg whites look like marshmallow cream and cannot hold a peak, beat them a little longer.

After you have finished whipping the egg whites, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix the batter until it is almost smooth. Then fold about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Continue to fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter. (You will finish mixing the batter as you fold in the egg whites). Fill your baking pan, molds, or whatever you are using to the top.

Bake about 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when it is pressed lightly. It will take longer for a cake pan but a little shorter for a muffin pan.

Remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. The cake will deflate a little. When cool, remove the cakes from the mold.

Prepare the glaze:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has completely melted and is beginning to bubble, remove from the heat and add in the chocolate. Stir to completely melt the chocolate.

Place a piece of cake on top of each individual serving of custard and cover with chocolate.

Bostini Cream Pie


Anne said...

Oh, very very nice! I love your presentation, it looks very restaurant-y :)

Anh said...

Amy, excellent job! Now you know you can bake the perfect cake!

Lydia said...

You are truly a daring baker! Lovely little "pies".

Meeta said...

Delicious looking presentation Amy! Brilliant job!

Brilynn said...

Egg whites are usually my downfall as well but this cake turned out really well!
Excellent presentation!

kellypea said...

One of the best presentations I've seen...Weren't you just dying to nestle something in the center? Something with no calories? ;)

Bettina said...

wow that sounds like an amazingly delicious dessert! :9

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Ha ha - tarantula cake made me laugh! I don't think it looks like that at all. I think it looks delectable and I love the little chocolate squibs along the edge.

Hillary said...

I really like your take on this! Instead of the ramekin, the bundt cake looks friendlier for serving! Great job!

Deborah said...

I would have never thought it looked like a tarantula (until you mentioned it....) I think it looks beautiful! I'm now wishing I would have used my mini bundt cake pan!!

DaviMack said...

Beautiful! And don't worry - more than half of us didn't get the custard to set whatsoever. I think that it's supposed to be that way?

Dolores said...

Um... judging by the pictures, I wouldn't have guessed you're "bad at cakes". :) Aren't the mini bundt pans great?!? I love your floating island bostini spider.

Belinda said...

Oh my gosh! I honestly would have never looked at your beautiful Bostinis and thought of tarantulas! That's so funny...of course, not so funny if spiders creep you out. I particularly love the pretty orangey hue of your cakes...lovely. :-)

playdohpeanut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
danny said...

wow, i've been seeing a lot of people in this baking challenge with the boston cream cake and your presentation of it looks amazing!

breadchick said...

Your bundt is so cute sitting in a sea of custard!!! Great job this month!!! And you are not bad at cakes...

slush said...

Aww, I dont think it looks like a tarantula at all. Its beautiful!

Katie said...

I don't think it looks like a spider, execpt perhaphs that last photo looking down. Well you acomplished two things for the price of one, the challange and a dessert suitable for halloween. They look beautiful

Carrie said...

Although I can see a spider, I didn't see a spider (until you mentioned it of course). ;-)
It sounds and looks as though your cake turned out beautifully! I'd say you should no longer fear the rubber cake!

April said...

Your presentation is beautiful!

Katie said...

Cute! I love the mini bundt! :)

Sheltie Girl said...

I love your presentation...including the accidental tarantula. Perfect for Halloween.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Jen Yu said...

Well, I think it's beautiful! I can't believe he told you that you suck at cakes. I don't think he can say that anymore!! Good job!

jen at use real butter

Christina said...

Great job, I love the presentation!

linda said...

It doesn't look like you suck at making cakes at all! Wonderful presentation of your Bostini!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Breaking New Here: Amy bakes great cakes! And at Halloween she bakes Fabulous Tarantula Bostini!! I think your tarantula is really cool!

Ivonne said...

It's just adorable! And I'm so glad that it turned out well for you!!!

Tartelette said...

You can bake cakes! The previous mishapps were just the recipes' faults!! IT looks beautiful! Happy Halloween!

Claire said...

Fun mini bunt...nice job!

Mary said...

Heehee. Now that you mention it, it does look a bit like a spider. But good thing it's Halloween. =) Your bostinis look great and I can tell from the photo that your cake turned our perfect.

Kevin said...

Looks good. I really like the shape of the chiffon cake.

Annemarie said...

Oh, I *do* see a freaky spider! :) But your presentation is lovely and perfect for halloween, and your little chocolate commas in the custard sauce are perfect.

Andrea said...

Your tarantula Bostini is quite elegant, actually. I love how you dotted the chocolate in the custard. Very pretty!

Lis said...

Amy, I love you lil bundt cakes! And I larfed out loud (not a good thing while I'm at work! hee!) at the spider thing. I don't think they look spidery though!

I love how you plated!


marias23 said...

Amy, I simply adore your mini bundts! Adorable! Your plating is breathtaking :)

Valli said...

Excellent job with the Bostini challenge. You are definitely a Daring Baker!!!

Peabody said...

Yes, but now is the perfect time of year for a taratula cake!

Anita said...

So very pretty plating! Beautiful job!

Julie said...

First off, good for you for proving Steven wrong--your rocked this cake, so there! Second, I totally saw only a choco-drizzled bundt cake, and even after your tarantula comment, I saw only a choco-drizzled bundt cake. But tarantula is a fun word, and now I just want to say it because it makes me laugh. Anyway, well done on your challenge! I'm happy it turned out so well for you!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Gorgeous looking! Well done! I love your presentation!



Kate / Kajal said...

that looks lovely. Watching all the daring bakers show off their boston cream pies has been a visual treat.

Inne said...

Great job Amy. Didn't notice your tarantula chocolate at all until you mentioned it - and I love the little chocolate dots in the custard.

Amy said...

Thanks everyone for such sweet comments! :) It makes me so happy to be part of this group. Looking forward to next month's challenge!

It was the perfect time of year for a spider cake. :)

Gabi said...

Lovely presentation!
Very Beautiful Bostini!

eatme_delicious said...

My first thought when I saw your plating was oh it's beautiful! And I love how you added little chocolate drops to the custard. I had no thoughts of spiders until you mentioned it!

Anthony said...

YUMMY! I just tried making your cream pie last night as I had friends coming over. What a hit. They asked me for my 'secret recipe'!

My secret is now saved in my favourites.


s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

Julius said...

I'm glad I stumbled onto your bostini post while looking for the November Daring Bakers' Challenge.

I love your presentation!

Julius from Occasional Baker

Aumento Del Seno said...

Mmm.. delicious post! ))


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