Monday 29 October 2007

Another month, another challenge done

Its been a month since I first wrote about the Daring Bakers, the online baking group that I've become a member end, and since its the month end, it means that its time to unveil the challenge for October. The host for this month's challenge is Mary and she's chosen a Bostini Cream Pie to be the recipe for the month.

Now prior to reading about this month's challenge, I had absolutely no idea what a Bostini Cream Pie is. Thanks to the Daring Bakers, not only do I know what it is and how it is made, but I also know what it tastes like and its good. Seriously good.

Bostini Cream Pie is probably one of those desserts which I would never have ordered on my own accord in a restaurant (just because my tendency is usually to head for something that is pure chocolate) so I'm thankful that this challenge forced me to try it out because I got the opportunity to discover something new.

Now for those of you still wondering what I'm talking about, Bostini Cream Pie was created by Donna Scala and Kurtis L. Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and selected as the San Francisco Chronicle's best recipe of 1996. It was created to be a take on the famous Boston Cream pie and is really more of a cake than a pie. It is composed of an orange chiffon cake sitting on top of a rich vanilla custard and covered with a warm gooey chocolate glaze. Sounds good, eh? Trust me, it is!

If you're looking for something to serve at your next dinner party, look no further. This will definitely wow your guests but be forewarned, it is incredibly rich. The recipe uses a grand total of 14 eggs so maybe you should just skip right to dessert.

Bostini Cream Pie

(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)


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


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.

Makes 8 generous servings