Recipe: bostini cream pie
This month, I joined the Daring Bakers which has exploded as far as membership goes. The Daring Bakers is an online community of people who bake a recipe selected by a host each month, and then post about the experience and the outcome on the same day. Our host was Mary of alpineberry who chose Bostini Cream Pie for this month’s DB challenge, and today is the day everyone is posting. Go to the blogroll to see everyone’s fine creations!
The Bostini is a variation on an old favorite, the Boston cream pie. The main components are: pastry cream, orange chiffon cake, and chocolate glaze. So I began with the pastry cream, because I looooove pastry cream. Love to eat it, love to make it.
crème patisserie: mixing in the yolks
whisking the tempered egg mixture into the cream
I have found that the trick to pastry cream is constant vigilance… and to strain it. The reason you temper the egg mixture with the hot cream is so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Temper, in this sense, means to add a small amount of hot liquid to raise the temperature of the eggs without cooking them. When cooking the pastry cream in the saucepan, I kept the heat on medium and stirred, scraping the base and sides and corners of the pan to prevent any clumps of cooked egg from forming. Of course, no matter how perfectly you cook your pastry cream, bits and pieces will form. Pouring it through a sieve is a good idea for a smooth and creamy consistency. Since I used vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, I added my extract after the pastry cream passed through the sieve.
i like smooth
Once the pastry cream was done, I poured it into tiny glasses and refrigerated them. Next was the orange chiffon cake. I baked my cakes in a 9-inch round, a 6-inch round, and two 3-inch ramekins (round). The ramekins were brushed with melted unsalted butter. The 9- and 6-inch rounds were brushed with unsalted butter, then set with a piece of parchment paper, and brushed with more unsalted butter (makes for easy release and easy clean up).
sift the lumps out
orange zest adds some lovely flavor to the chiffon cake
I learned to make chiffon cakes in my pastry skills course, and they have fast become one of my favorite base cakes. They aren’t difficult to make once you understand the role of the egg whites and how to incorporate them into the batter. Once the dry ingredients were sifted, I added the oil, yolks, juice (fresh squozen), and vanilla, stirring them into a smooth batter by hand. Oh, and I omitted the baking powder altogether because at 8500 feet above sea-level, this cake has no trouble rising without the leavening!
add the liquid ingredients
Next, I beat the egg whites to medium peaks. The recipe says soft peaks, and I meant to – but the Kitchenaid runs from under soft to medium in just a few strokes. Must remember that (always forgetting that). I fold my egg whites into the batter in thirds. Incorporating the first third is another form of “tempering”, but this time it isn’t temperature – it’s density. The egg whites are light and foamy. The batter is thick and viscous. Instead of stirring the two together and blowing out those lovely air bubbles in the egg whites, I like to scoop a wide spatula along the bottom and lift it out right onto the middle of the whites and repeat until the batter is lightened up and relatively uniform. Repeat with the next two thirds of the egg whites. It gets easier.
tempering the first third
folding the last third
into the oven we go
The cakes baked in 25 minutes. Actually, the larger cakes needed a little more time to set and the ramekins were done a few minutes earlier than 25 minutes.
The glaze was a straight 1:1 ratio of dark chocolate and unsalted butter. I used block Ghirardelli semi-sweet and… I didn’t strain my glaze. No lumps to speak of.
My first attempt at assembly involved 2-inch ring molds. I cut out pieces of cake with a 2-inch biscuit cutter and stuffed them into the base of the ring mold. I had extra pastry cream and spooned that into the ring molds on top of the cake. More cake topped the pastry cream. I refrigerated the ring molds for several hours and when I unmolded them it was as if my idea puked pastry cream all over the plate.
Plan B: tiny glasses. I had a suspicion that the structural integrity of the first assemblage would fail. I cut out more circles of cake and set them atop the pastry cream in the little glasses. I then poured the glaze on and did little garnishes.
bostinis at the ready
jeremy loved it
I am not a fan of orange and chocolate, but I have to say the combination was surprisingly delicious to me. Jeremy is crazy about orange and chocolate and happily obliged in his duties to finish them off (over several days). I had some leftover fresh squozen orange juice, so I made an orange reduction sauce for one version of plating. The sauce is wonderfully orangey and tart and sweet and concentrated – and I must say it was fabulous with the Bostini Cream Pie. I’ll include the reduction recipe at the end.
with some lovely orange reduction drizzle
Thanks Mary, for a terrific challenge. It was a definite winner in my house and at my neighbors’ house too.
Bostini Cream Pie
Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala’s Bistro
makes 8 servings
3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tbsps 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 tbsp sugar
orange chiffon cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 tsps baking powder (omitted at high altitudes)
1/3 tsp 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 tbsps grated orange zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 tsp cream of tartar
8 oz. semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 oz. unsalted butter
Make the 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 (if using vanilla extract, don’t add this until just before refrigeration). 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.
Make 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 (omitted at elevation) 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.
Make 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.
Assembly: 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.
Orange Reduction Sauce
1 qt orange juice
zest of 2 oranges
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer down to 1/4 the volume. Strain.