As we segue from October to November (just *where* has 2007 gone?!?) it's time again for another installment of my
trials and tribulations cursing a blue streak about misadventures with flour, sugar, butter and eggs: the Daring Baker challenge.
October's challenge: the Bostini Cream Pie. A twist on the traditional that pairs a rich vanilla custard with an orange-infused chiffon cake and then covers it in chocolate glaze, Mary of Alpineberry chose her favorite restaurant dessert to challenge and inspire us.
As I gathered the ingredients together -- more than a dozen eggs, close to a quart of heaving whipping cream *plus* a healthy dose of whole milk, a half a pound each of sugar, butter and chocolate -- I was pretty sure this one was going to be rich and opulent. And hey... with 3/4 cup of orange juice, it's healthy too, right? Gotta have that vitamin C!
The chiffon cake batter came together quickly and easily and soon the scent of baked orange permeated my kitchen. Because we're closing in on Halloween and the predominant colors in this dessert fit that theme and I've got a pumpkin shape cupcake pan I rarely get to use, I chose to make Halloweenie Bostini in pumpkin shapes. While I lubricated the pan well with oil and flour, my mini pumpkins still tended to cling to the pan for dear life. I worked with them patiently and ultimately got them all out with minimal damage (to them OR me), but I think this pan lends itself far better to a heavy battered confection. Since the recipe makes *far* more than twelve cakelettes, I used my silicon muffin pan for the remaining batter -- and these I was able to extricate without issue.
While the cakes cooled, I tackled the custard. Again, a fairly straightforward preparation. Over the course of the month several of my fellow Daring Bakers commented that the custard (really a pastry cream) didn't set firmly enough to slice it or pipe it to good effect, so I didn't even try. In hindsight, I think I could have. John's contribution was to stir the cooking custard to coat the bottom of a spoon, and at my instruction he may have gone overboard here - the end product was a firm, velvety voluptuous creamy custard base.
This recipe makes a LOT of rich (and caloric) individual servings. I think there are 14 in my refrigerator. And we have no plans to entertain soon. So I've stored the chocolate glaze in a squeeze bottle, brushed the pumpkin cakes with a bit of Cointreau so that they don't dry out and we're assembling them 'to order'. We tried one last night and these go to eleven -- a good thing, given the caloric content. They make a beautiful presentation, and I'll probably make them again when I need an impressive go-to dessert for a larger group.
For those of you inclined to try it out for yourself, you can find the recipe here. And hundreds of other highly creative interpretations here.
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