Monday, 29 October 2007

Daring Bakers October Challenge – Bostini Cream Pies

It’s that special time of the month again, time to post about this months Daring Bakers Challenge. This month’s recipe was chosen by Mary from Alpineberry and when I first saw the recipe that was exactly what I though – challenge!

Bostini Cream Pies were Mary’s recipe of choice and these are miniature versions of a traditional Boston Cream Pie with a few subtle differences. I Boston Pie is a Chiffon Cake split in half and filled with a thick fresh custard and topped with a chocolate glaze. A Bostini Cream Pie is miniature Chiffon Cakes on top of set fresh custard and drizzled with chocolate sauce.
I have never tasted or even seen a real Boston Cream Pie and so I was instantly feeling a little nervous about how it should look and taste – challenge no.1. As I read through the recipe I discovered that it involved making a Chiffon Cake (a cake made with mainly whisked egg whites) and although I have made one of these before, it didn’t turn out well – challenge no.2. Then I read that a rich fresh egg custard was also required – challenge no.3 as the last time I attempted one it spilt into a horrible mess. By the time I had read through the recipe a few times I was feeling quite nervous about attempting to make this creation. I did a bit of internet browsing and found out what the pie was supposed to look and taste like and I gradually started to feel more at ease and decided to go ahead and give the little pies by best shot.

The recipe calls to bake the cakes in ‘custard cups’ which I took to mean ramekins. However I don’t own enough of these for the recipe but I did have a silicone muffin tin that was shaped into individual hearts and so I used this instead.

Preparing the cake itself was not as daunting as I had thought. Separating the eggs and whisking the egg whites was the thing which took the most time but it was quite enjoyable. After making the batter I poured it into my little heart moulds and baked them until puffy and lightly golden. Thanks to the joys of silicone they came out of the moulds easily.

Next I prepared the custard. I weighed all the ingredients, mixed them together and put them on the heat before realizing that the recipe suggested heating the milk and cream first before adding the egg yolks – opps! There was no way I was going to throw away my custard mixture containing 9 egg yolks and over half a pint of cream and so I decided to go with it, heat it gently and just hope for the best. I stirred it constantly for about 5 minutes and when I dipped my finger into the liquid it was barely warm and so I (stupidly) thought “I’ll just fill the sink with water to soak the utensils in, the custard will be fine for a moment.” When I returned to my custard barely a minute later, the surface looked like it had developed a slight skin and I picked up my spoon it give it a stir only to find the beginnings of a thick stodge, resembling instant potatoes. ARRGGG how did that happen so fast?! I whipped it off the heat and stirred like a maniac and thankfully it hadn’t split and was still smooth. A small word of advice, never leave your custard. I spooned some of the custard into the same heat shaped moulds I had used to bake the cakes and left it to cool down on the side before covering and placing in the fridge overnight.

The next day I prepared the chocolate glaze which was very quick and easy to do. I then nervously un-moulded by set custards from the heart moulds and amazingly 5 out of 6 of them came out perfectly. I topped each custard base with a little cake and drizzled over the shiny chocolate glaze. They looked so cute and elegant that I almost didn’t want to eat it but my curiosity got the better of me. The verdict? Rich, smooth, creamy, satisfying, sweet, chocolaty, indulgent and utterly moorish. The cake is slightly dense in texture and yet springy and light to taste and works perfectly with the very rich and creamy custard. The dark chocolate glaze adds a bitter sweet note that brings everything together perfectly.

A work of warning though these are very very rich from all the eggs and cream. They may look small but I don’t think I would want them any bigger. I had lots of cake batter and custard left over the first day and so I baked a deep 6inch cake, cut it in half and then froze it along with a container of custard ready for when I next need a cake or dessert at short notice.

I was very happy with how the Bostini Cream Pies turned out and now thanks to Mary I have got over my fear of Chiffon Cakes, although maybe my custard making skills still need a little practice.

I converted the recipe below into grams, but if you would prefer it in cups then head over to Mary at Alpineberry for the original.

Bostini Cream Pies
For the custard
135ml whole milk
2¾ tbsp cornflour
1 whole egg
9 egg yolks
550ml whipping cream
Seeds from ½ vanilla bean
95g caster sugar

For the Chiffon Cake
210g plain flour
115g caster sugar
11/3 baking powder
1/3 tsp salt
55ml sunflower oil
3 egg yolks
140ml fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 egg whites
1 tsp cream if tartar

For the chocolate glaze
225g dark chocolate
225g unsalted butter

To prepare the custard:
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°. 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.

(I made 6 mini Bostini Cream Pies and 1 deep 6inch cake)

52 comments:

Anne said...

Those heart shaped bostini's look super cute :)

gigi said...

I agree with Anne, the heart shaped Bostini's are just too adorable.

Baking Soda said...

Second all the above, I'm in love with your heart shapes (and the pan)!

Anne said...

Ha! My custard did the same thing - thickened as soon as I looked away! It was fine though, but I nearly had a heart attack. Love your muffin hearts - they're really cute!

Julie said...

Your Bostinis look adorable--I like the stacking! Hooray for overcoming fears and learning new things! I had to learn the hard way that I had to hover over custard, too, especially toward the last few moments.

Lis said...

Katie! I love how tall your cakes turned out! And the heart shape of it all is just too cute!

Glad your custard didn't turn into a disaster- it set beautifully. =)

Way to go!!

xoxo

Annemarie said...

Custard is like having a toddler - you can't turn your back on it for a moment, otherwise disaster will strike. Glad you pulled it back from the edge, and your chiffon looks perfect - I want to touch it and feel its springy softness.

Anh said...

The heart shaped cake is such a brilliant idea!

marye said...

Yours came out lovely!

Sheltie Girl said...

I love the heart shaped Bostini's. Great job on rescuing your egg custard too.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Kate said...

using the heart shapes was a really brilliant idea. They look so adorable. its scores so much more on the presentation.

Brilynn said...

Your little heartinis are adorable!

I churned my extra custard into ice cream and that worked out well.

Courtney said...

well i would say not doing the custard right worked out great for you, those looks wonderful and your custard looks fantastic

Belinda said...

I agree with everyone else...the heart shapes are the cutest! And the custard looks to have set perfectly. :-)

Brittany said...

love your little hearts!

Meeta said...

I join the group - those hearts look adorable. Good job on the challenge!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Your pies have very nice shape. I was recently making heats shape cookies for A Spoonful of Christmas event.

Greetings form London, Margot

kellypea said...

"Never leave your custard" indeed! But none the worse for wear because that is one of the cutest Bostinis I've seen. I need one of those little heart pans...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You are some kind of a charmed custard goddess. Incredible! Beautiful Bostini!

marias23 said...

Hi Katie! It's very easy to see that you put a lot of love into the bostinis. J'adore!

Jen Yu said...

Oh! Those hearts are ridiculously adorable!! Looks great. Congrats :)

jen at use real butter

Simona said...

I love all those sweet hearts!

Julius said...

I *love* your bostini. The way you presented them is what I had in mind but couldn't pull off. Way to go! :)

Please feel free to check out my bostini here.

Julius

Ashencircle said...

They look so perfect! I love the look of the finished one with the chocolate sauce - and agree with so many of the other posters - the hearts finish it beautifully - I think the mould was made to create mini bostinis! Wish I could try one.....

April said...

very, very cute presentation!

Deborah said...

I love how you've plated these!! Beautiful!

Laura said...

I heart your hearts too Katie!

Julie said...

Fantastic looking Bostinis.
I had never heard of them before.
Can't wait to have a go.

Ivonne said...

Are those ever pretty! You did a great job overcoming your challenges and I love your heart-shaped mold!

Claire said...

Such cute heart cakes. Love it!

Elle said...

Those are the cutest heart cakes! I'm impressed that your custard set and kept the heart shape from the silicon molds. Beautiful job!

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

I love the hearts - too cute!

The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

Ohhh runney goodness, looks great!

Emilie said...

Oh my goodness! They look so good! I love the little hearts.
Wow, this seemed like so much work. I would love to join the bakers, but I don't know if I can take the pressure!

Oh, I know what you mean about the custard. I have had some experiences like that.

Dolores said...

Beautiful heart shaped Bostinis Katie. And congratulations on overcoming the obstacles!

linda said...

Very cute the hearts. Luckily your custard was ok in the end!

Andrea said...

Your heart shaped Bostinis look so cute! Nicely done on the challenge!

thepassionatecook said...

LOVE those heart shapes! what a great idea. this is perfect for valentines day, as my husband fell in love with bostini pie. and you managed to make custard that set properly, mine would never have kept the shape, but i didn't mind that one single bit!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

I love the heart shaped bostinis! They are beautiful!

breadchick said...

I "heart" your hearts!! Great job on the challenge this month!!!

Michelle said...

I love the hearts!!

Quellia said...

How cute!
I am very impressed that you managed to get the custard thick enough to set and still release from the pans!
Job well done!

Christina said...

I love how your custard thickened enough to shape! It looks wonderful, great job!

ChefSara said...

I LOVE your heart shaped bostinis! Very cute!

Anita said...

I love how big and fluffy your hearts got! beautiful bostinis!

slush said...

Your cake has great height on it. And if that wouldnt make the sweetest Valentines dessert, I dont know what would. Beautiful job!

Tartelette said...

Your heart Bostini came out perfect! Great job on the challenge!!

Amy said...

I love the heart shapes! They look delish. :)

wmpe said...

Your heart shapes are great! I am surprised that your custard kept its shape - mine was so soft. Your photos are lovely and your write-up was very informational. Your freezer idea is great too. Wendy

Inne said...

So cute Katie, those little heart shapes!

Cheryl said...

Beautiful results. I love the way everything stacked up and the custard set for you.

Gabi said...

Beautiful Heart shaped Bostinis- very nice presentation!
xoxo