Yes it sounds a bit "naughty" but other than the calorie count, there was nothing bad about this month's challenge, chosen by wonderful Mary of Alpineberry - Bostini Cream Pie!
Yes, you read that correctly.... I said Bostini Cream Pie, not Boston. No mistake there. This decadent dessert was Mary's choice, a favorite of hers from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni in the Napa Valley and Scala's Bistro in San Francisco. And having made and eaten some, I can understand why!
I chose to make mine for dessert for the grown up's at Thanksgiving this year, while the children ate caramel apples. Normally they would have gotten the better dessert, seeing as I love caramel's, but this time I think we got the best!
The challenge actually consists of three different recipes, if you could call the chocolate glaze a recipe (equal parts butter and melted chocolate.) A deliciously light custard, a mildly orange sponge cake and a slightly warm chocolate glaze. Mary gave us a bit of leeway with the flavoring, provided we kept the colors the same, and gave us permission to be creative with the plating. Unlike the Boston Cream Pie, however, which is cake, then custard, then cake, then chocolate, ours had to be custard, then cake, then chocolate.
Our friend Fanny, of Foodbeam fame, suggested early on after the unveiling the idea of using wine glasses. Seeing as I don't own 16 ramekins (or really even four), I loved the idea of the wine glass and ended up being the first of many to show a picture of a wine glass style Bostini! Thanks for the inspiration Fanny!
Now onto the recipe. I've made custard before, and sponge cakes, but this recipe surprised me a bit with the ingredients list:
13 -14 egg yolks
1 whole egg
9-10 egg whites
3/4 cup whole milk
3 3/4 cup heavy cream
Sounds pretty heavy, doesn't it? Yet despite the massive amounts of eggs and cream, this custard was light and airy. Completely unexpected! Having gotten all my eggs ready in advance, as well as all the rest of my mise en place for the custard, it came together very quickly and thickened up nicely. But it did not want to go nicely into the wine glasses without leaving splotches all over the sides! I finally had to get creative and used my rarely used turkey baster to "squirt" custard evenly into 8 wine glasses.
Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that. Probably should have.
Both the cake and the custard I made the day before our Thanksgiving feast, so that all I had to do for dessert was to cube up the sponge cake (I baked mine in my grandmother's tube pan and had 3/4 of the cake left after making 8 Bostini's), place the pieces on top of the custard and make the glaze for drizzling. I admit I did the glaze by eye, rather than by measuring out tablespoons of melted chocolate and butter, but it seemed to work out perfectly.
I did have one odd complaint about the dessert - the wine glasses I chose to serve them in did not give enough room to let fingers in to "lick" clean the sides of the glass! Which didn't stop us from trying.
This challenge was alot of fun. Not complicated, but fun!
And while we all very much enjoyed the flavors, I'm not sure how often I could justify making a dessert that uses that many eggs and so much cream!
Big Thanks to Mary for her choice in this month's challenge! Don't forget to head on over to the Daring Baker's Blogroll and check out some of the other presentations. Some of them are so gorgeous you will not believe it is the same dessert!
Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
(makes 8 generous servings)
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
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
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter
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.
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.