No. Don’t worry. It’s not a typo. Bostini (not Boston) is, in fact, the capital of Daring Bakersville.
As the month of October arrived, Mary of Alpineberry let us know that our challenge for the month would be our very first plated dessert, one called the Bostini Cream Pie. The dessert is a take on the infamous Boston Cream Pie and is one of Mary’s favourites. Considering she first had it more than 12 years ago, I would have to say it must have been a most memorable dessert indeed.
Because I bow to Mary both for her beautiful blog and her tireless (and I mean tireless) work as the main administrator for The Daring Bakers, I approached this challenge with gusto.
When describing the recipe, Mary indicated that it yields eight generous servings. Wisely, Mary gave us the option of halving the recipe, which I did. It wasn’t easy, mind you, especially when it came to the custard but I think I did a reasonable job.
I began with the first element of the dessert, which was the custard. Made of whole milk, cornstarch, egg, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract, the custard was easy to pull together. Surprisingly, my attempt at halving the recipe worked quite well and my custard thickened very nicely. After straining it, I poured some of it into regular-sized ramekins and some of it into very tiny ramekins (pictured above). I set the custard in the refrigerator to chill and firm overnight.
After having completed the custard, I prepared the second component of the dessert which is an orange-flavoured chiffon cake. Once again I had a bit of a challenge in dividing the recipe. I also challenged myself further by baking the cake in a sheet pan (as opposed to molds as the recipe indicated) so that I could cut out pieces of cake to fit the different sizes of ramekins that I’d used.
The cake baked beautifully and looked gorgeous. I would have happily eaten it on its own if not for the fact that I had to use it for the dessert!
When it came time to assemble the dessert, I was able to easily cut out rounds to fit the ramekins. I quickly melted chocolate and butter for the glaze and rather than drenching the tops, I thought it would be best to spread a smaller amount of glaze on each. I topped each little dessert with a piece of candied orange zest to mirror the orange flavours in the cake and to contrast the flavour of the dark chocolate.
The desserts looked very pretty and certainly everyone that tried them enjoyed them. I found the custard to be a bit bland but this may be due to the fact that I halved the recipe and perhaps went a little too lightly in the flavour department. I didn’t use a vanilla bean as originally directed and used vanilla extract instead so perhaps that affected the flavour a bit.
The cake portion of the dessert was by far the best. This chiffon cake is light and so tasty! I’m looking forward to making it again. The chocolate glaze was a nice final touch but I would caution against drenching the dessert in glaze as the chocolate would overpower everything.
It certainly was fun to try my hand at a plated dessert and while I can’t see myself making this exact recipe again, I did really love the chiffon cake. I also appreciated the fact that Mary gave us the opportunity for some creative room with this challenge, which hasn’t always been the case with past challenges.
Many thanks to Mary for inspiring Daring Bakers everywhere this October!
For Mary’s original recipe for the Bostini Cream Pie, please click here.
To see what beautiful desserts the other Daring Bakers created, please visit the official Daring Bakers’ Blogroll.
Because I fiddled with the recipe quite a bit, here’s my version of the Bostini Cream Pie.
For the custard:
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1-1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites for the cake)
2 cups less 1 tbsp, heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. sugar
Mix together the milk and cornstarch in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
Add the beaten egg and the yolks. Whisk until well mixed.
In a saucepan, heat the cream, vanilla extract and sugar. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove from the heat.
Carefully add a ladleful of the cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking while you add it. (This is called tempering.)
Once mixed, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remainder of the cream and whisk. Return to the heat.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens so that it coats the back of a spoon (this means that when you drag your finger across the spoon, it leaves a trail).
Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the custard into the molds or custard cups that you’re using. I used 4 6-inch ramekins and 4 2-inch ramekins.
For the chiffon cake:
3/4 cup cake and pastry flour
1/2 cup superfine sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup less 1 tsp. canola oil
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites (use the reserved egg whites from the custard)
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a half sheet pan (mine is 13 x 9 inches) and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and set the pan aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla and stir until smooth.
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back lightly after being pressed with your finger.
Let cool on a wire rack before unmolding.
Flip the cake onto a large piece of waxed paper and peel off the parchment. Cut the cake into the appropriate sizes to fit your molds.
For the chocolate glaze:
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsalted butter
In a small pan, melt the butter.
Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Use immediately.
To assemble the dessert:
Cut out cake rounds to fit your molds. Place the rounds on the custard in each mold.
Top with chocolate glaze and serve.