I can't believe it has already been a month since our last Daring Bakers' challenge, and once again I had such a good time getting this one done. I got the greatest opportunity of all by making it in my kitchen with my mom beside me....It is quite special since we don't get to cook or bake together much often since I left France. Mom laughed when we were done putting it together because she felt she was not doing much. Since I move rather fast and I know where all my utensils are, I get around quicker but I really appreciated the help she provided by handing me the ingredients, weighing everything, washing the dishes and most of all being there with me in the same room, chatting about nothing and everything at once. I can't begin to tell you how much I loved the moments spent reminiscing about my grandmother or her teaching me how to make my first dough or chocolate mousse.
Mary, from my Alpineberry (one of my first blog reads) and our host for October chose a recipe that took a classic looking Boston Cream Pie and turned it into a completely 100% deliciously buttery and creamy: a Bostini Cream Pie. Eggs a plenty, heavy cream flowing like a river...everything to make your Tartelette a happy gal! Working with that many eggs, can be daunting for new cooks and bakers but remember to temper your egg yolks for the custard (adding some hot liquid to them so they get acclimated to the temperature rise) and folding in 2 or 3 times the egg whites for the sponge. Once to thin out the cake mixture thus making more susceptible to the texture change when you incorporate the rest of the whites. Eggs are fussy but when you get the basics, they really are just as sweet as the cake they make.
This Bostini Cream Pie is a soft orange chiffon sponge set on a pool of vanilla flavored custard and covered with a buttery dark chocolate glaze. I am thankful that Mary allowed us to change the cake flavor while keeping it light colored. I immediately went for coconut water. I have become addicted to this over the summer as it was the only thing I could put in my stomach before and after an outdoor run in the morning. The chiffon sponge turned out beautiful and this is by far the best recipe I have used for chiffons and believe me I have gone through many a recipe for that airy, soft not mushy texture. Beside its health benefits, it is colorless, has a nice toasty coconut flavor that get very mellow while bakes, which gave plenty of space for the custard to shine through. And what a custard! I rarely make custard sauce with that many egg yolks or rich heavy cream, and now I know why....there was barely enough for the dinner time plating!! I used vanilla paste, since all my vanilla beans are flavoring my vodka to make extract and oh my god....B. had to hide the bowl away from me and mom!! The custard was quite thick enough that I was able to plate a cake round (3 inches) on top of the custard set in a pastry ring and refrigerated it, unmolded and had a short time to photograph it before it fell apart in contact with my spoon. The part I liked the least was the chocolate glaze, equal parts chocolate and butter and that was a little too much butter for me..oh I can't believe I just wrote that but it was. I would have preferred a light ganache, but I have had Boston Cream Pies before that featured both styles so I guess I could "push" myself t eat them anyway (ahahahaha... "push", eheheh!!)
I am also thankful to Mary for giving us creative license with the plating of the Bostini. The first night with my parents I used a cookie cutter and cut out 3-4 inches circles out of the sponge (baked in a 9x13 inch pan). The remaining servings were set in different sized and shaped glasses to be taken to a dinner party down the street. When I make the recipe again, and notice I did not say "when", I will halve it if it is for us or a small dinner party or keep it the same if I know I have more than a dozen guests (if I use 3 inches diameter cookie cutters again)
Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
Makes 8 generous servings
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 ( I used 1 tsp. vanilla bean)
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 (I used coconut water)
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:
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.
Or layer the custard, cake and glaze in glasses or cups.