Monday, October 29, 2007

A Whole Lot of Eggs

bostini_cream_pie_b


...and cream and butter and chocolate. That must mean that the Daring Bakers are back once again. Who are we? Well, we're an online community of bakers who, once a month, receive a recipe chosen by that month's host, make the recipe without modifications (unless allowed by the host), and then blog about the experience on the same day. By following the same recipe, we have a good basis for comparing our results and we get to flex our baking muscles. Our group is now about 200 members strong and we even have a separate blog just to list the links to the participants' blogs!

db_logo_orange
growthDB
my how we've grown


I had the honor of hosting this month's challenge. It was difficult to pick just a single recipe. There are too many great recipes and just not enough time. My first inclination was to choose something totally challenging. Something that would require days in the kitchen, ya' know, like the Tartine croissant challenge in January. I joined the group in February so I missed that one. Of course I could go ahead and make the croissants on my own just so I can empathize with the 7 ladies who toiled in butter and flour for days, but it's so much easier to just pop over to Tartine Bakery. I'm a bit of a lazy baker so I chickened out and chose a recipe that was relatively straight forward but still included some technical elements that home bakers should try.

It's the end of October so I decided to go with something that had the colors of Halloween (orange and black). I chose Bostini cream pie. No, it's not a typo. Bostini cream pie, like the name implies, is a twist on a traditional Boston cream pie (which is a vanilla layer cake filled with cream and topped with chocolate glaze). The Bostini cream pie is vanilla bean pastry cream topped with an orange chiffon cake and then drizzled with a rich chocolate glaze.

bostini_label

The recipe is from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni in the Napa Valley and Scala's Bistro in San Francisco and was published many years ago in the local newspaper. A dinner at Scala's Bistro just isn't complete without having a Bostini for dessert. I wanted to try making this treat at home and dug up the recipe.

When I first read the recipe I was really surprised that the chocolate glaze was just equal parts butter and chocolate. I always assumed the pastry chef had some secret sauce. Nope, it turns out that it was just Valrhona chocolate and butter. Just a warning, do not use salted butter. I did a small test batch with salted butter and it was gross.

I love the combination of orange and chocolate. The orange chiffon cake was so light, spongy, and airy. Just like chiffon cake should be. And it was oh so citrusy. I used a combination of tangelos and valencia oranges for my zest and juice. Freshly squeezed juice really makes a different in the flavor. I've tried it with Odwalla brand bottled "fresh" juice and it wasn't as flavorful.

bostini_chiffon_crumb

The recipe called it custard but it's really more like a pastry cream. I've made a lot of different pastry creams before, but this vanilla bean pastry cream / custard was a bit scary because it required 10 egg yolks, just 1 egg white, and almost a whole quart of heavy cream! The pastry was scary delicious but really, really super-duper rich. Next time I would use a less rich pastry cream or even a silky baked custard. This dessert is not everyday fare, but fun for special occasions. I plan on making this during the upcoming holidays.

And, by the way, if you're keeping track, the whole recipe required 14 eggs, 1 quart of heavy cream, some whole milk, half a pound of butter, half a pound of chocolate, half a pound of sugar and a smidge of oil. At least there was some fruit involved.

I've already had a preview of a few of the incredible Bostinis the other Daring Bakers have made, but I can't wait to see the creative plating and how everyone felt about the recipe. So please head over to our blogroll, visit the other talented DBers' blogs, and see their Bostini cream pies for yourself!

bostini_cream_pie_a

Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
(makes 8 generous servings)


INGREDIENTS:

Custard (Pastry Cream)
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 (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
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

INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare the custard (pastry cream):
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°F. 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.

Please note:
I baked my chiffon cake in muffin pans with 3.5 fluid ounce capacity wells. Instead of using custard cups or ramekins for the custard/pastry cream, I used small ceramic pie dishes (about 4-inch diameter across the top).

~*~happy halloween~*~
booscotti_night

93 comments:

nicisme said...

Looks wonderful! I get nervous just thinking about the amount of eggs in this recipe!

Quellia said...

About to go off and write my post for tomorrow Mary! You choose a great challenge for us this month, tasty and lovely!
And if you'd like to still try those croissants, I can probably dig out the 200+ emails we exchanged on that weekend to help you out with it! :-)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

Thanks for picking a great challenge, Mary--super tasty! Your version of course looks beautiful, and I love that you have included a very analytical graph in your write-up!

Jennifer said...

Looks delicious! Quite decadent and perfect for Halloween. You daring bakers always aim to please.

Anne said...

Thanks Mary for the wonderful challenge. Orange and chocolate are two of my most favorite flavour so it was a pleasure making it :)

Andrea said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Is that how they plate the Bostinis at Scala? Thanks for a fun and tasty challenge this month!!

And my analytical side just LOVES that graph! :-)

Brilynn said...

I just finished mine at the last minute! Thanks for the great challenge Mary, this is the first time I've made chiffon cake that it has actually worked!

gigi said...

Yours looks amazing! Thanks for such a great challenge!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Thanks for a wonderful challenge! And indeed it was. I had to do the custard twice to be satisfied - don't add that stuff all up again, it gets really scary.
Never did a chiffon cake before, very pretty indeed.
Nearly a perfect exponential growth graph!

Pille said...

I'm still completing my challenge:) But yes, it's looking good, and your photos look great!
Thank you for a lovely challenge, Mary!

Kelly-Jane said...

Great challenge and beautiful dessert =)

DaviMack said...

Thanks for the challenge, Mary! I like your interpretation of it.

linda said...

Your Bostini cream pie looks wonderful! Mine is nearly ready to be photographed...will post it tommorrow... Can't wait to taste everything together!

Chris said...

Yours looks very tasty, Mary! Thanks for a fun challenge. It was quite tasty for sure! I can't wait to begin my journey through all the postings.

Julius said...

Mary,

Thank you so much for this challenge.

It's a very special dessert, indeed.

I have posted my bostini here.

Michelle said...

This was a great first challenge for me...Thank You Mary!!

Your post looks wonderful and I enjoyed the pictures and your comments.

Anh said...

Mary, thank you, thank you for a great challenge! Not only the dessert tastes wonderful, it is a good chance for us to learn something new, too!

glamah16 said...

Thanks for the wonderful challenge and for Daring Bakers allowing me to be a part of this group. I really enjoyed the Bostini and have been quite impressed with everyones presentation. Thanks for challenging all aspects of my baking . Love your graphs, prose, and images.
I will post later on tonight/ early morning.

Annemarie said...

I love your diagram showing the parts of the Bostini. :) Great looking pie and thanks for the recipe!

Katerina said...

Mary, this looks fantastic! Thank you so much for the challenge, this is my first time with the Daring Bakers and it was a lot of fun. Your blog is fantastic I can't wait to try the Raspberry Walnut Coffee Cake.

Ivonne said...

Honour, indeed! Mary, it was a lot of fun to bake this dessert and it certainly was different.

Thanks so much for hosting and for all the incredible work you do for The Daring Bakers!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Beautiful photos! Thanks for chosing this month's recipe! I loved it!

Michelle said...

This looks great! Thanks so much for hosting the challenge - it was a great excuse for me to conquer my fear of custard :)

Belinda said...

Your version of your Bostini challenge looks beautiful, Mary. :-) I will definitely have mine posted after midnight here in the South! You did a great job as this month's host.

Susan said...

Mary, thanks for this delicious challenge. Your version looks wonderful in the little pie dish.

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

It looks fantastic - it puts mine to shame! You present beautifully by the way. This was my first challenge and though intimidating, I was wayyyy too excited to be worried about that. Thanks a bunch!

marias23 said...

Happy Halloween, Mary! It's unfortunate that I'm not able to make this month's challenge... :(

But great job on picking a recipe and your bostini looks absolutely divine!

Butta Buns said...

Thank you so much for hosting the month and having this as a challenge! I agree, definitely a holiday dessert.

Have a great Halloween!

buttabuns.wordpress.com

Deborah said...

Your cake is beautiful! Thank you so much for this month's challenge - it was a wonderful one!

breadchick said...

Mary, thanks for a wonderful challenge recipe this month! It was absolutely one of the best tasting custards I've ever made!! You sure hit this one out the park!!!

Claire said...

Fun challenge. Thanks! i love the biscotti, BTW.

Marce said...

Thanks for the challenge, Mary, and by the way, your rendition looks great, and that chart just killed me! haha

Lis said...

Excellent challenge this month, Mary! And a fantastic job hosting, too. =)

Your lil Bostini looks adorable.. that chocolate looks so rich and delish! *swoon*

xoxo

Shandy said...

Thank you for a wonderful and delicious challenge! My first challenge and I have met some very talented people along the way. Your post ofhte dessert was beautiful also =D

Shandy

Elle said...

Happy Halloween Mary. It really is a great dessert for the season and truly rich, but delicious. I think you picked the perfect recipe which was approachable enough for our newer members but still presented some new experiences for the rest. Thank you!
The graph is sort of awe inspiring...we have that many memebers?

Maryann@FindingLaDolceVita said...

Thanks for hosting, Mary :)

kellypea said...

A great choice, Mary. I love the labeled photo and agree that the colors of this look terrific for October!

Julie said...

Wow, your Bostini looks so delicious! I love the shape of your cakes, too.

I am so, so, so glad that this was my initiation challenge! You picked a wonderful, challenging, and delicious recipe, and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Wow, that graph is amazing! I can't believe how much the group has grown!

Baking Soda said...

Thanks for hosting this challenge Mary! Again we had great fun completing it!

abby said...

that looks great mary - i think less of the chocolate sauce is definitely more - it's so rich!

Anne said...

Haha - I actually did use salted butter and thought it was fabulous! It added a twist that for me made it much more interesting :) Thank you for picking a fun recipe - something I'd have *never* made on my own :)

Ilva said...

Thanks Mary, we loved our Bostini Cream Pies and I too used salted butter, so much nicer with a little resistance!

Nora B. said...

Wonderful choice!! I joined too late this month to participate, but looking forward to the next challenge.

p/s: love the Halloween biscotti

Rita said...

Hello! Beautiful job everyone and great idea! I have eared about DB, but where can i find the next challenge and dates? I went to the blogroll and couldn't find that information there. Is it by mail?

BC said...

This was a great challenge and everyone loved the taste! I'll be posting soon.

veron said...

This was a great challenge , Mary. Thanks. Your rendition looks gorgeous and that chart of how we have grown as a group is awesome!

Sheltie Girl said...

Mary - Your Bostini's are simply divine. Thank you for a wonderful challenge this month. I thoroughly enjoyed making this recipe.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Farah said...

beautiful bostinis, mary! thanks for picking such a decadent recipe! :)

marye said...

I was just glad we have our own chickens, and wished for a cow rather than goats while doing hte recipe..it was great..awesome choice!

Rose said...

I had a lot of fun and a few bumps during this challenge. But it was indeed a delicious cake and yours look spectacular. Thanks again Mary.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Thanks Mary this was a lot of fun and delicious! I can't get all of my pics to load but my post is up. Thanks again. Yours looks beautiful!

Erin said...

I'm going to blame my pregnancy brain, but I don't remember being shocked or surprised by the amount of eggs and cream in this recipe. Perhaps that says something about the kinds of desserts I usually make! My family loved this recipe! And it was so much fun to make. Excellent choice!

Courtney said...

looks beautiful, great challenge, neat graph on the growth

Carrie said...

Thanks for this challenge, Mary!
I love "anatomy of the bostinit" pic!

Brittany said...

Mary, what a great challenge this month! This was my first one and I had a blast. Thanks again for such a unique recipe!
BTW- I could not agree more about the OJ. I made a cake a few months ago and cheated with store bought "fresh squeezed"...blegh! I won't be making that mistake ever again!

clumsy said...

Congratulations on the challenge idea. Your cake looks scrumptious! I look forward to every month's baking challenge and I'm sure this one will be great!

Gabi said...

Great job Mary! Your Bostini is really beautiful. Just posted mine and it will take me a week to recover from the richness of these.
Loved the graph too!
xoxo

Shayne said...

I love the way you displayed your BCP it looks great.

Dolores said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for choosing this recipe.

Had I seen it published in the Chronicle (and I didn't), I would have dismissed it as way too much work. Thanks to you I've tried it, I love it, and I'll make it again the next time we host a dessert buffet.

Yes, it's indulgent. But it's wonderful.

Jen Yu said...

Mary, thanks so much for hosting this month (and for administering the DB site!!). You picked a winner and your results are scrumptious looking. You rock, lady.

-jen at use real butter

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a fun choice for the challenge, Mary. Yours looks heavenly!

Inne said...

Your bostini looks beautiful Mary. Thanks for hosting, I found it an easy challenge (no wonder, with the amount of cheating I did) but I cannot bring myself to liking chocolate and orange combined...

April said...

Looks yummy! Thanks again for a great challenge!

Laura said...

I'll add my thanks for a wonderful challenge Mary. Yours is beautifully done, I hope you enjoyed it as much as the one in Scala's!

Katie B. said...

Great choice, Mary! We loved it and it was the perfect introduction to the Daring Bakers!!

Elisabeth said...

This was my first challenge and so much fun. My family loved the Bostini.

Thanks for hosting.

Elisabeth

Hillary said...

What a great recipe you chose! And your version looks terrific. It sounds like a wonderful combination to mix the orange with the flavors of the boston cream pie. I need to try some!

african vanielje said...

Mary I did it. Mine don't look anything like your perfect specimens, but they are done and dusted. Thanks for picking a challenging..um..challenge

kitten said...

Thanks for doing such a wonderful job hosting my first challenge. I enjoyed reading your post and your photos are inspirational ! This is definitely a recipe that I will crave and a good one to whip up for a lot of people during the holidays.

Kim U said...

Thanks for the great challenge! It was lots of fun, and _very_ tasty

eatme_delicious said...

Beautiful photos! I love the last one - the cake looks so cute. Thanks for picking a recipe that, while I won't make it exactly the same way again, I will make it again in a way I found to be extremely tasty (by letting the custard soak into the cake over night).

Christina said...

Mary, thanks for such a wonderful challenge. I couldn't have asked for a better way to start of my first month with you all!

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

Mary, great challenge. I was on the fence the entire month, but glad I did it! I love your photos!!!

joey said...

Your Bostinis look fantastic! You chose a great challenge Mary :) This is not the type of dessert I would have chosen on my own, but now that I have made it (despite chiffon cake troubles) I can say I would definitely make it again! Love the layers, the flavor and texture contrasts...a winner :) So thank you for for choosing this!

Leslie said...

You did a wonderful job Mary! Thanks for hosting - I know I whine (hey, it's my style!), but I had a lot of fun making it.

Leslie at definitely not martha

Anita said...

Mary, I can't believe I didn't get around to commenting yet - I'm behind! Thank you for picking such a delicious and fun recipe to do, everyone's creations are amazing (including yours!) Thanks again for all your hard work!

thepassionatecook said...

thanks so much for this recipe, it was a real eye-opener. I didn't think i would like this dessert at all, but ended up adoring it. what a great combination of flavours, my husband called it a jaffa cake on custard and he's not far off... the chiffon cake was so fluffy and moist and gorgeous - a real keeper!

Amy said...

Thank you for choosing this wonderful recipe! We loved everything about it. I love your bowl, it's so pretty and is a perfect dish for presenting this dessert. :)

Simona said...

An interesting recipe on all counts: thank you! Your rendition looks wonderful. Maybe one day we can have a Bay Area Daring Bakers dessert party.

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for hosting this month and forcing me to overcome my fear of custard! I love your photos with the labels - awesome idea!

sher said...

Wonderful choice, Mary. I look forward to making it over the holidays. I can practically taste it, looking at your beautiful pictures.

The Caked Crusader said...

Had great fun with your challenge - particularly as it wasn't something I'd have chosen to make. But loved it!

african vanielje said...

Mary you are so right. It is the journey not the destination, and that is why it is so good for me to get me treading the road less travelled on occasion.

the pastry princess said...

fabulous bostinis! they're so gorgeous! you chose a great challenge, and i'm bummed i had to miss out.

Peabody said...

Lol...the nerd in me is so loving the graph of the ever growning DB's.
Thanks for the fun challange...I was glad I did it early!

Dharm said...

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how well do your Bostini's look??

Great Job - it even looks just like the picture you gave us as a guide! Wonderful!
Thanks for the lovely challenge. It was great fun and even more fun eating it.

Tartelette said...

Thank you Mary fr a super tasty challenge. I made the cream a cuple of days before plating and it improved its flavor a great deal. Wonderful! The cake is the best recipe for chiffon cake that I have ever made. Beautiful! It is an honor to be a DB with you!!

wmpe said...

Thanks for a great challenge!! I saw an article on the web in SF Chronicle and I thought it had been published recently and wondered about the coincidence, if any? I, too, would do a more silky custard next time. I am used to the traditional boston cream. I used salted butter in the valrhona chocolate and it wasn't good. At first I didn't know where the off taste was coming from and my 11 year son, said its the chocolate. The texture was lovely but I guess Your photos are beautiful. Great Challenge.

Frapp said...

Wow, that is a lot of eggs! I would worry about that custard, especially if I was making it. My custard always ends up terribly! Can I ask what the difference is in chiffon cake? I've never actually tried any myself.

Paz said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind words (as well as this awesome challenge). ;-)

Paz

Linda said...

I just ate dinner, I've been visiting your blog for 5 seconds and now I'm starving for dessert! This looks fabulous.

naila said...

ur bostini looks wonderful and im gona try it for a friends gettogehter im having on weekend. the recipe and instructions r clear and ez to follow. just one clarification needed. do we need HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM or just HEAVY CREAM? plz let me know coz i bought whipping cream but the link here: http://www.kitchenlink.com/cookbooks/2000/0811825027_3.html
from the original inventors says other wise. and also the whipping cream i bought is in liquid form. is it the same one uv used. i also was unable to get cream of tartar. is there any substitute?il b grateful for ur response. Thanx

Alpineberry Mary said...

Naila - Depending on where you live this liquid milk product can be called heavy cream or whipping cream. In the US it's heavy cream. But whatever it's called, it should have least 36% fat and contain no additives or stabilizers. I also avoid brands that are ultra-pasteurized and UHT.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a good substitute for cream of tartar.