Monday, October 29, 2007

East Meets West: The Daring Bakers are at it again...

And this time, I'm playing too!

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Bostini Cream Pie

It's official! One of the many reasons why I started this little food blog was to get in on the action with the Daring Bakers. This is a rapidly growing community of baking enthusiasts who meet up via the blogospere to partake in a monthly baking challenge. Created in November of 2006 by Ivonne of Cream Puffs In Venice, and Lis of La Mia Cucina, these guys and gals have tackled everything from Strawberry Mirror Cake (involving components such as Bavarian cream, sponge cake, and gelatin) to the doozy of them all: Gateau St. Honore. Also known as "The Patron Saint of Bakers", this dessert in his honor involves puff dough, pate a choux, pastry cream, and caramel sugar work to boot. All of which are some of the most difficult skills to master. Especially from the home kitchen. I've watched in awe from the sidelines, amazed that the majority these talented people don't do this for a living. Last month, after drooling over the milk chocolate caramel tart they conquered, I knew I wanted to play.

I waited all month in anticipation of what our October challenge would be. The ants can now leave my pants. This month's event, hosted by Mary at Alpineberry, is a Boston classic, updated by the San Fransisco Restaurant scene. "Bostini Cream Pie" is a similar idea to the Boston Cream Pie, but sexed up a little. Rather than the standard issue vanilla sponge cake, filled with standard issue vanilla pastry cream, and finished with ganache; the bostini version is an individual dessert of orange chiffon cake nesting atop a layer of vanilla bean custard. Each portion is glazed a la minute with warm bittersweet chocolate. I knew right off the bat that this dessert and I would get along famously. Chocolate and orange is such a heavenly combination, and I love a good eggy custard.
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The actual recipe required that we first make the custard and pour it into ramekins. We were then supposed to bake the chiffon cake in ramekins that were the same size as our custard cups. This way we would have an individual cake to unmold and place inside the ramekin of custard, then pour chocolate over it. It was meant to be served inside the ramekin. Confused yet? This seemed like a very silly way to go about putting this dessert together. For one thing, I don't have the 16 ramekins required for this recipe sitting in my cupboard. I was convinced the procedure could be tweaked and I was right. The custard is basically a pastry cream, which will hold up on it's own if it's properly cooked. And why not just bake the chiffon cake in a sheet pan and use cookie cutters to punch out the desired size? This was a recipe from a very well reputed San Fransisco restaurant, but sometimes the way things are done in professional kitchens are not prudent for the home.
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Armed with ring molds, parchment paper strips, and refrigerator space, I went about making the custard. The recipe for this is pretty straight forward. I ladled the cooked pastry cream into the parchment lined ring molds and refrigerated them overnight. The chiffon cake was also easy to put together, and delicious! Once the cake was cooled, I cut out adequately sized rounds and placed them over the chilled pastry cream. Once the glaze was cooked (no problems there either), it was time to unmold. I slipped off the ring, peeled away the parchment and poured the warm chocolate over the whole thing (side note: the sight of warm chocolate cascading down a piece of cake is the hottest thing ever. It kind of turns me on).
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The verdict? Pretty darn good. The custard itself was just too rich for me. I'm used to pastry cream made with all milk. This was mostly cream. A few bites were all the hubby and I could get through with out feeling sick. The chiffon was my favorite. It has lots of orange juice and zest, adding tons of flavor to a normally somewhat dull cake. And the chocolate? You just can't go wrong with good bittersweet chocolate (I used Scharffenberger- a San Fransisco treat) and butter. It was as good as it sounds. I would make this again, but for the sake of my ever growing bum, I would make an all milk pastry cream. Other daring bakers have substituted the orange in the cake for things like coconut milk and raspberry puree, which also sound delicious. speaking of other daring bakers, check out their versions of the bostini, you will be impressed, I promise...these people have chops!
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For the recipe for Bostini Cream Pie, head over to Mary's blog

47 comments:

kellypea said...

Very nice! And congrats on your first DB challenge. I have only one stinking ring to play with. And I didn't even think of lining it with parchment. Duh. And I wish the custard made me feel sick. I don't have a problem eating it at all...I just had more.

Anne said...

That looks great! I on the other hand have plenty of small cups, but not enough rings :)

Annemarie said...

Well done on your first challenge, and without breaking much of a sweat, either. I hope the challenges ahead make you just as happy and you're just as able to barge through them and take no prisoners!

Carrie said...

Looks like your custard set up beautifully! Nice work!

Susan said...

Those do look great! Ring molds...another addition to my "I want that" list.

BC said...

Beautiful work. That custard was sinfully delicious... and my sins are coming back to haunt me!

Julius said...

Hi,

I love your post - now I know how to make the custard set! I'm doubly-pleased because I have some ring molds here that have rarely been used. Also, I totally agree with what you said - this is one sexy bostini.

Please feel free to check out my bostini here.

Julius

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

I wish I would of thought of the way you set up the custard. That's much easier than what I did. It looks wonderful by the way! You live and learn I suppose huh?

Brilynn said...

Well done on a first challenge!

Katie said...

Your bostini look perfect! So striahgt and tall - brilliant

Deborah said...

Great job on your first challenge! I wanted to buy some rings for this challenge, but never did. Maybe next month's challenge will allow me to!!

Christina said...

You used Scharffen Berger??? I'm jealous! Great job with your Bostinis!

I have to say, my favorite part was the cake. It had a lovely subtle orange flavor that paired wonderfully with the other components.

Simona said...

Nice setup: I should learn to be a bit more organized before I get started.

Maryann@FindingLaDolceVita said...

Yes, very organized! Great job on your first challenge :)

Gabi said...

Looks great!
Congrats on your first DB challenge looks like you were definitely up for it!
Kudos
xoxo

Gigi said...

Way to go!Bravo! Perfect Bostini's!

breadchick said...

Fantastic job on your very first challenge! We are so happy to have you with us and can't wait to bake with you in the upcoming months!!

broadcasting from a knitting parlour said...

Love your method! And the "ever growing bum" line. Heck, that is ONE great name for a cook's blog.

Tartelette said...

If only that custard had been to my dis-liking..that would explain the unbuttoned jeans after dinner! You did a great job and we are lucky to have you on board!

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

hi pie lady!

i like your execution!

Courtney said...

great job on your challenge looks great. haha about turning you on, too funny. i took could only take a couple of bites before I was full on the taste

kitten said...

great idea with the ring molds and parchment paper. your bostini's looked yummy !

Mary said...

I'm so glad you could join the DBs. Looks like you're definitely off to a great start. Your bostinis turned out great. =)

Anh said...

Welcome to the DB gang! You have proven that you are a very Daring Baker! :D

Andrea said...

Good idea to use the rings. I don't own a single one so I had to go for other options, but maybe a future challenge will give me an excuse to acquire some. :-)

Your Bostini looks beautiful! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Belinda said...

Although the custard didn't tempt me in this challenge, the thing I did love about the recipe was the flexibility to improvise on the construction part. Like you, I don't have a zillion molds and ramekins waiting around in my cupboard, but I've seen so many creative ways of putting the Bostinis together. The rings were a genius idea...way to go! And your Bostinis look beautiful!

Mehgan said...

Holy tasty delights, Batman! Love 'em, they look delish.

Jen Yu said...

Hurray for your first DB challenge - a success! Looks great.

jen at use real butter

April said...

Great job on your first challenge!! They look yummy!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your bostinis look great!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Their are a number of our members who have and are doing this for a living, I'm not one of them.
I think you have chops to Brittany! Nice Bostini.
We still have a few things to take on and I hope you want to play with us all again!

joey said...

Congratulations on your first Daring Bakers challenge! What well behaved Bostinis you've got...they held their shape great :)

Anne said...

you did a great job! they look super delish :)

Claire said...

Good job!!!

Lis said...

har! ya dork :P

I looked at my bostini quite a few times.. even gave it a sideways glance.. but yeah.. nothing hot in it for me.. I did not even peak.

hee!

Beautiful with your parchment strips!

xoxo

Marye said...

great job Brittany!

marias23 said...

Wonderful step-by-step and I adore your presentation! Yummm...Scharfenberger...*droolz*

Anita said...

So glad that you joined the DBs! And such a gorgeous first job, too!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great job! Very nice looking!

Cheers,

Rosa

Shandy said...

You are awesome, wonderful, terrific! I had no idea how I was suppose to get those custards out of the ramekins and you are all over it. Your Pastry Chef skills are so fantastic for the rest of us because we get to learn new tips and ideas. I just made a pumpkin custard tonight and wanted to plate it without a ramekin. Nope, not happinen! Bummer *but* now I know how it's done. BTW, Great pictures! I love the spoon with cake and chocolate sauce. Black and lemon yellow are beautiful together =D

Shandy (Pastry Heaven)

Dharm said...

Great Job and welcome to the DBs! I love how your custard set so nicely and the ring made it look so grand! Fantastic Brit!!

Julie said...

They look good! Congratulations on your first challenge! I didn't have enough ramekins, either, but the recipe recommended using paper muffin or cupcake liners, and those worked out quite well, as did just pouring the batter directly into the muffin tin. Then, just invert or peel the paper, and plop it on! I agree totally with the Scharffen Berger--it's one of my favorite American chocolate brands, too!

Ivonne said...

Well done! And congratulations on completing your first challenge!

wmpe said...

I love the ring mold idea. I don't have 16 ramekins hanging around either. I am used to a milk based pastry cream and prefer to all the heavy cream. Your bostinis look great. Wendy

LizG said...

It looks great! Good idea about the rings. I've got to remember that for future recipes calling for setting of something. Well done. :)

Dolores said...

Heh... they don't call it "food porn" for nothing, huh? Anyone who doesn't understand food as a sensual experience has never had one of these...

Congratulations on your first challenge Brittany. I'm glad you decided to join us... I've enjoyed getting to know you over the course of the month and I'm eager to see where you take the challenges ahead.

Peabody said...

Lovely job on your first challenge...welcome.


Thanks Norm!