I'm back from the warm, sunny and fast paced Dubai. After a lovely 2 week vacation with my parents I come back home to a cold Germany! But it's good to be home and my head is already spinning around with many new ideas and recipes I'd like to present and realize.
Before I left though, I did manage to squeeze in this month's Daring Bakers challenge. It was just too scrumptious not to!
Our lovely hostess this month was Mary of one of my fave blogs Alpineberry. Mary chose a wonderful recipe for us this month. It was straight forward but still challenging enough to tickle our baking fetishes. She chose a Bostini Cream Pie.
A Bostini Cream Pie is a take on the Boston Cream Pie, which basically is a vanilla layer cake filled with cream and topped with chocolate glaze. The Bostini Cream Pie has been adjusted to give you a gorgeous vanilla bean custard cream, topped with an orange chiffon cake and then drizzled with a rich chocolate glaze. Sounds wonderful doesn't it? Now you know why I did not want to miss out on this.
I decided to invite a few friends over for a kind of pre-vacation dinner. I mean if I was going to be making someting so rich and delicious, I might as well share it with friends - right?
As it is the case with each challenge, we were allowed a few modifications. For this challenge the modifications were:
- We could replace the large volume of orange juice in the cake recipe and did not have to use orange for the flavoring. The flavor could be substituted with a flavor that we thought complements the other components as long as the chiffon cake was kept "light colored". Nothing "dark" like chocolate or coffee/espresso.
- As the serving size was quite large, we were free to half the recipe. However no guarantees were given that the recipes for the chiffon cake and custard would scale down successfully without affecting the final product.
- We could make as much or as little glaze as we liked. Scaling is straightforward since it's 1 part chocolate to 1 part butter.
- We could play around with the "size" of the dessert.
- High altitude modifications were allowed as long as we stayed "true" to the recipe.
- Conversion for certain dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan etc. was also allowed.
- Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in our region.
Today you will be seeing a lot of these fantastic treats. Our group as sky-rocketed to over 200 members! So my one word of advice is to eat before you start surfing the blogs today!
Printable version here.
180 ml (3/4 cup) whole milk
30g (2 3/4 tablespoons) cornstarch
1 whole egg - beaten
9 egg yolks - beaten
895 g (3 3/4 cups) heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean - you can also use vanilla extract if you do not have a bean on hand
95 g (1/2 cup) + 1 tablespoon sugar
150 g (1 1/2 cups) cake flour
145 g (3/4 cup) superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
80 ml (1/3 cup) canola oil
3 to 4 (1/3 cup) egg yolks - beaten
180 ml (3/4 cup) fresh orange juice
10 g (1 1/2 tablespoons) grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8(1 cup)large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter
To prepare the custard:
Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl and 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 or ramekin forms. I poured my custard in 6 flat oven-proof dishes. Refrigerate to chill.
To prepare the chiffon cakes:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (325 F). Spray or grease 8 ramekin molds with nonstick cooking spray or oil. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, oven proof wide mugs or even large foil 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 over-beat.
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 greased 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 over-bake. 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 and add the chocolate. Stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.
Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of the custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.
This was incredibly smooth and rich. The consistency of the cake was wonderfully smooth - just like chiffon. Paired with the thick custard and the rich chocolate sauce the dessert was simply delicious. My guests were simply bowled over by this dessert. It is everything one loves about a dessert - sweet custard with moist cake and a splash of decadent chocolate. Soeren loved the thick creamy custard and wanted extras on the cake. Tom enjoyed the lovely texture of the cake and as for me I loved every bite of the Bostini Cream Pie - custard, cake and chocolate, right down to the last spoonful.
Would I make this again?
I certainly will. I love the way this was quite easy to whip up offering maximum taste. It's the type of dessert that fits perfectly into a fancy dinner party as you can make this a day ahead. For me it was a brilliant way to offer my guests an extravagant finale to a simpler meal. And I am sure in the two weeks I was away they certainly did not forget me and my desserts ;-)
What did I learn from this challenge?
I learned that fancy desserts and cakes do not have to take too long to make. I also learned that it takes a whole lotta eggs to make a sinfully good custard LOL!
Thanks to Mary for this fantastic challenge. It was fun and I was glad that it was easy enough to follow so that I was able to fit it into by busy schedule just before leaving to Dubai.
You'll find a list of all the scrumptious recipes I created since I joined the awesome group here. Have a browse through and dare to give some a try!
Now I am back and look forward to spoiling you all with a lot of great new recipes, ideas and photographs. And also stay tuned for my tales and stories about Dubai.
For more Bostini Cream Pies surf on through the wonderful list of talented Daring Bakers located on the blogroll.
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