Monday, October 29, 2007

Bostini Cream Pie for the Daring Bakers

This is the first recipe I have prepared for the Daring Bakers, a blogging community devoted to the delight and edification of all bakers who dare, or would like to dare a bit more. This month’s recipe was selected by Mary of Alpineberry. Have a look at our blogroll, to see how everyone has interpreted this recipe.
It is a deconstruction of the dessert commonly called Boston Cream Pie, another misleadingly-named food, along with Zuppa Inglese (neither English nor soup). Boston cream pie is not a pie, nor has it any historic connection to Boston, apocryphal claims of the Omni Hotel megalith to the contrary.

I am grateful to have been challenged to make a recipe I would have been unlikely to select for myself, because of the prodigal amount of cream and yolks, and the use of cornstarch as a thickener.

For many years I thought this was the only worthwhile use of cornstarch, but I have come around of late to appreciate this unfashionable ingredient (I also use a cornstarch slurry in sauces for Chinese vegetables like these baby bok choi). The pudding is the star in this dessert, and immoderate as the recipe seems, all elements are in perfect balance. Each of the three components is easy to make in itself, and you may assemble them as simply or elaborately as you wish. The alert reader will note that lots of eggs go into the cake and pudding. The pudding recipe calls for one egg and nine (lordy, nine) yolks and the cake takes eight whites and three yolks, giving us a net of four extra yolks. I now have four whites from this recipe and four from the maple sugar cookies to reckon with. In the blogger labels below this recipe is listed under “4 yolks,” and I will similarly file other recipes with a yolk or white surplus so you can find them easily when you have extra whites or yolks on hand.

Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
Makes 8 very generous servings


Vanilla Pudding
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 use bourbon vanilla beans)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

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 wineglasses. Refrigerate to chill.

Orange Chiffon Cake

5 ounces 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 (juice from 2 and ½ oranges)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest (zest from 3 medium oranges)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 12 by 17 inch half-sheet pan with parchment. Brush the parchment and the sides of the pan with oil and dust with flour.
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. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and spread it gently to fill the corners.
Bake 18 minutes, or 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. Cover the cake to keep it moist.


Chocolate Glaze

8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a steel bowl over hot water, or simple let the bowl rest near the hot oven while your cake is baking. Stir the glaze well and allow it to cool slightly.


Assembly
Use a biscuit cutter of the same circumference as your wineglasses to cut the cake into little rounds. Place one or two cake rounds in each glass and pour or spoon over the chocolate glaze.

I cannot believe I have eaten one of these every day since I made them.

The Omni Hotel what?

Sorry about that. There are legends that this dessert was first made at the Parker House Hotel, and the chain that has acquired the Parker House has been trying to make the most of these, but recipes for the dessert predate the hotel’s existence.

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25 Comments:

Blogger BC said...

That Youtube clip is fantastic. I'll never look at cornstarch the same way.

Yep, it was alotta eggs.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Brilynn said...

Well done!
So that I wasn't eating the dessert for days on end, I churned my extra custard in the ice cream machine, with a little baileys, it was great!

9:39 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

bc, I'm so glad someone clicked on that video. hee hee!

brilynn,
the custard is even richer than what I would usually use for ice cream, but yes, it would be wonderful.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Elle said...

What a great rendition of the Bostini! Beautiful photos and presentation and I love that you put the 4 yolks at the bottom...I'll think of you next time I have extras. Glad you are a Daring Baker!

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Marce said...

beautiful rendition of the bostini, congrats on your first challenge! And about eating a piece everyday, are you brave or what? I served them at a big family reunion so I could just have one portion, otherwise, it would have been too dangerous!

12:36 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I had to cut way back on the recipe to keep me from eating these for days!! Great job on your first challenge!

11:59 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I can understand why you've eaten one every single day since you made it! I love the custard! Congrats on your first challenge, and welcome to the Daring Bakers!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Paz said...

I love your creation! It looks terrific and I know tastes terrific, too!

Paz

1:58 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

Good for you for doing a GREAT job on your very first Daring Bakers challenge! You did a beautiful job with the Bostinis! :-)

4:04 PM  
Blogger Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers!! Well done on your first challenge, it looks great!

5:11 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

elle,
thanks--I am motivated to go and update my old posts now.
marce,
that was very astute of you. Next time I must remember to have an exit strategy before I prepare the challenge recipe!
deborah,
thanks! Yes, cutting the recipe would have been another wise strategy.
andrea,
thanks! They are great for late at night, but when I ate one at lunch, I really wanted to take an afternoon nap.
paz, belinda, and dagmar,
thank you, thank you, thank you! I just so gratified by the joy and support of the daring bakers.

5:52 PM  
Blogger breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge. Glad to have you with us!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Dolores said...

Another beautiful Bostini! I'm so glad you decided to join the group; I'm really enjoying your 'voice'. I learned something new about cornstarch and about the Omni Hotel. :)

2:32 AM  
Blogger sher said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your Bostini looks to die for! I love it in the glass. It looks like a challenge for the arteries. Oh, who cares! I want to make it!

3:00 AM  
Blogger Jen Yu said...

Great job on your bostini - looks delicious! BTW, that video is just awesome. Thanks for sharing it :)

jen at use real butter

3:27 AM  
Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Guess I'll have to go back and check the utube.
Looks like you did a lovely Bostini. I have it on very good authority that no DB is allow an egg next month.
Welcome to the DBs!

4:31 AM  
Blogger Annemarie said...

Ah, I love your catalog system for extra yolk or white surplus - very clever! I usually just scramble whatever's left since my creativity tends to only last as long as one recipe, but you may encourage me otherwise.

7:42 AM  
Blogger April said...

Beautiful job on your first challeng!

8:05 AM  
Blogger kellypea said...

Congrats on your first challenge and a very nice job! I'm convinced that I need to explore the "dessert in a wine glass" as the presentation is so fancy! Unfortunately, I made the entire recipe, so much of it has ended in the garbage as everyone seems to be on a diet. :(

1:22 PM  
Blogger Tartelette said...

Beautiful job and congrats on your first challenge! I think we did the same thing, eating some everyday and now my jeans are reminding me of it!! Welcome to the DBs!

2:36 PM  
Blogger slush said...

Beautiful!You did a fantastic job on your first challenge. And it was a ton of eggs! I think the most I ever used at once thus far.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Hi - congratulations on completing your first challenge! The finished dessert looks wonderful. You asked on my blog what we call cornmeal in Australia - we call it polenta (and cornstarch is known as cornflour). Finding out the different names for the same ingredients around the world is another fun part of foodblogging!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

hiya chocolate lady! (we just hang out sometime..haha!)
Great looking bostinis and heres to many more challenges to come!
~brittany (the pie lady)

2:01 AM  
Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderful looking! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

9:08 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

breadchick, dolores, sher, jen yu, halfcups, annemarie, april, kellypea, tartlette, slush, melissa, brittany, and rosa,

wow, thank you thank you thank you! This has been amazing.

4:53 PM  

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