Sunday, October 28, 2007

Daring Baker Event #1: Bostini Cream Pie

1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."

I spent the last week making sure I had all the ingredients for Bostini Cream Pie, the assignment of the month for the Daring Bakers. All kinds of incredients needed to be procured. By the time I was ready to tackle the project this afternoon the kitchen table was full. Along with the typical items one always has, I needed two oranges, a vanilla bean, cake flour, chocolate (I chose Moonstruck chocolates, as one of my daughters works for them as a barista, and they make excellent chocolate), heavy cream, canola oil, whole milk, and unsalted butter. As soon as we got home from church this morning I assembled all the ingredients I had, and put as many utinsels as I could think I needed on the table. We then went out to have a quick hamburger and pick up the missing items - whole milk and canola oil. We got back at 12:30 and I started right in on the dessert.

I began with the custard, as it would need time to set, and it was the first thing done in the recipe. It was very straight forward. The only little hitch was when I was mixing the eggs and milk. They wouldn't become homogenous, so I strained it then instead of later. This worked quite well.

I had selected eight Chinese dishes, and decided to put 1/2 cup of custard in each. There was just a bit left over, and I place it into two tea cups. The custards then went to the refrigerator in the basement, as it had room. It had taken me 45 minutes to this point.

Next came the cake. I've made many sponge cakes, so I wasn't too worried. But I didn't have the non-stick spray stuff, as I don't like it, so I took time to carefully butter and flour the molds. Then on to zesting the oranges, and what was for me the hardest part, juicing the oranges. I hate juicing oranges. The reemers are all made for lemons and limes, not oranges. But with a lot of effort I eked out enough.

The cake batter was really quite easy. At the end I dumped the liquidy part over the beaten egg whites, and took my time folding them together. There's a tendency to think you need to be very brief at this point, but I've found that it pays to be thurough. I filled the 8 ramekins, and two small ones for the tea cups, and there was still lots of batter left. I put the ramekins into the preheated oven, and quickly turned on another oven, and went to the basement to find an appropriate pan for the remaining batter. I selected a seven inch springform pan. I buttered and floured it, and dumped in the batter, and put it in the oven only seven minutes after the ramekins went in.

They came out looking lovely. And about 12 minutes later I took the big cake out. This proved to be a mistake, as it wasn't done. But it was a lovely brown and bounced back when touched, but I didn't take the time to stick something in it to check, as I was anxious to go out for coffee and sit for a while. But no matter, it wasn't the main event. It was now 2:30.

When we got back I went to turn the large cake out of its pan, and at this point, as my hand sunk into the undone cake, I knew it was in trouble. I managed to remove it from the springform pan and get it onto a plate. I then microwaved it for two minutes, and to my amazement it cooked. My solution for the very big dent in the center of the cake (caused by my hand), was to use the remaining cream, whipped.

The cakes were then removed from the ramekins, and the puddings were brought up from the basement, and I carefully smushed the cakes into the puddings. At this point I set the table, as there were going to be ten for dessert and champagne. Then shortly before I knew the guests would arrive I made the chocolate sauce, which was about as easy as anything could be. And then finally, there was the finished product.

After I took some pictures we all sat down and dug in with a chorus of "MMMMM". I think that what they liked the best was the custard. At Christmas I make pouring custard to go on the plum pudding, and everyone has a tiny bit of pudding under a big pile of custard. Annie, daughter numer two, liked the bostini so much that she said she would like to have it for her birthday next year. In the end, as the guests were gone and the dishes were brought into the kitchen, there were two dishes not completely finished (understandable, given the size of the portions), and one tea cup left, along with the remainder of the big cake. All in all I think it was a big success. And I really hope I now qualify to be a daring baker and get to put the logo on my blog and be on their blog list. We'll see.


But now that I did the recipe just like it said, here's how I would tweek it. The custard was lovely, but very rich and I think that I would use half and half next time. The cake was fine, but I don't like cake flour all that much, and I would much rather use good bread flour, allowing 4 ounces per cup called for. And finally, I love orange and chocolate together, but I think that instead of using oranges in the cake I would like to use Cointreau in the chocolate sauce. I would use milk in the cake. The portions and relationship of the different items - cake, pudding, sauce - didn't really match up. I am still not sure how I'd do that differently.


Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)

Daring Bakers Challenge #11: October 2007
Host: Mary (Alpineberry)
Post Date: Monday, October 29
Serving Size: 8 Generous Sevings


3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean (EDITED to add that vanilla extract is okay)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter

To prepare the custard:

Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:

Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.
Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.
Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze:

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble:

Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.


The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

The custard was my favourite to. Love the way you saved it too. Well done.

Pille said...

I appreciate your comments and tips for improving the cake - it's great how we all learn from each other while baking daringly :)
Well done for completing your first ever DB challenge, Molly! said...

great job! It looks yummy...

Christina said...

=) Microwaving the cake baked it because it's possible to bake a cake from scratch in the microwave!

Congrats on a job well done!

Megan said...

One yummy challange down. many more to come. Good Job!

Dolores said...

Congratulations to you on a successful first challenge. I'm with you... I love making pastry cream/custard. And I'm anxious to hear how your modifications turn out. I've never considered bread flour for chiffon cake and now you have me curious.

Annemarie said...

I am *so* impressed by your quick thinking to microwave the cake! Very glad it turned out well, and congrats of your first challenge

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your first challenge. You did a great job :)

Andrea said...

Nicely done on your first challenge! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Thanks to everyone for all the great encouragement!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh Molly you've done a fabulous job and certainly deserve the DB logo!
When you listed the items, I guess you counted eggs as a typical item that you already had but I kept yelling Where are the 14 eggs! It was so many eggs. And so much cream.
I think rather than bread flour I might use part whole wheat pastry and all purpose.
I was looking over your site earlier and thought you had a Mac site but you must have taken it down.
Welcome to the DB.

JRWoodDuck said...

I can attest to the fact that it was very tasty.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! They look wonderful!
I love your pretty kitchen...



April said...

Your kitchen is gorgeous!! And so is your bostini!

breadchick said...

The custard was my favourite part as well. Great presentation on your first challenge!! And I'm so jealous you got to meet Tyler too!!!

Ivonne said...

Love your step-by-step write up. Your bostinis turned out lovely!

marias23 said...

Looks wonderful, dear! Great reviews on the recipe after you made it. After all, that's one of the reasons the DBers exist: to learn from each other! Yay!

Tartelette said...

They turned out great! Glad to have you with us!

Molly Loves Paris said...


Quellia said...

I love your timeline with the entire project! Good work Daring Baker!

Gabi said...

Congratulations on your 1st challenge! Nice post- turned out great!
Is the Moonstruck logo what I can see in your chocolate on the finished Bostini? It looks pretty cool there!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Thanks, and yes, that is a Moonstruck logo on top, actually it's a piece of Moonstruck chocolate on top, the kind you get there with a drink.

Peabody said...

Excellent job on your first challenge.