My freshman effort for The Daring Bakers
a came in the midst of one of the most hectic time periods in recent memory for me. In the past six weeks, both computers blew up, the printer won't work, our furnace wouldn't turn on because the thermostat failed, our water heater wouldn't heat water, we are having electrical problems, and a faucet less than a year old had to be replaced. And these are just some of the things that have gone wrong. My computer still won't read some CDs, or download software properly. I apologize for the poor photography; never great to begin with, I don't have the use of software to clean it up a bit.
In the midst of this insanity, I dove into my first effort for the Daring Bakers: Bostini Cream Pie (not a typo). Mary, from Alpineberry
chose this dessert for the month of October (follow the link to her site for the original recipe). One of the neat things about the Daring Bakers is that people pick things that I might never try on my own, and this recipe is an example. An incredibly
rich pastry cream or custard, topped with a light and airy orange-scented chiffon cake, drizzled with semisweet chocolate at the end. I would describe this dessert as a symphony: each element, while tasty by itself, is elevated to new heights in combination with other parts of the dessert. Actually, pastry cream doesn't need any help. Ever. I had to stop myself from eating it by the spoonful!
I tweaked the recipe a bit by halving it, more or less, and it turned out just fine. There's just so much cream custard and chocolate that I consider safe to have around the house. I also baked the cake in a jellyroll pan, and used a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds for the dessert.
Bostini Cream Pies
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala’s Bistro)
To prepare the custard
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
5 oz. sugar
Mix together the milk and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth, then add to the eggs and mix well.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the cream, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and sugar on medium heat. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove from the heat.
Temper the eggs by adding the hot cream mixture gradually, a little at a time, to the egg mixture while whisking all the time. When the egg mixture is warm, add it to the cream in the saucepan and return the pot to a medium heat. Cook until the mixture thickens so that it coats the back of a spoon. For me, this happened within seconds, so watch it like a hawk.
Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a sieve and into a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent the formation of a "skin," and refrigerate for several hours.
To prepare the chiffon cake
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and line a half sheet (jellyroll) pan with parchment, and then grease the parchment. Don't skip the greasing of the parchment - you want to be able to actually remove the parchment from your cake!
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not over mix.
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. I recommend taking a third of the egg whites and mixing them rather vigorously into the batter, then gently folding in the remaining whites.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back lightly after being pressed with your finger. It will be a soft golden color.
Let cool on a wire rack before unmolding. Gently turn the cake over onto a cutting board or another piece of parchment or wax paper, and carefully peel off the parchment. Cut the cake as desired (I used round biscuit cutters).
To prepare the chocolate glaze
You can make as much or as little of this as you like, as there are only two ingredients and they are in a one-to-one ratio. While you can prepare the other parts of the cake, prepare the glaze right before serving.
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsalted butter
In a small pan or the microwave (if you use the latter, err on the side of caution and don't burn your chocolate!), melt the butter and chocolate. Strain through a sieve if needed (I didn't need to).
Place the custard on the bottom, top with the sponge cake, and drizzle or drown the cake with the chocolate glaze. Enjoy!
Labels: Daring Bakers