Monday, October 29, 2007

Daring Bakers: Bostini cream pie



After the success of my first Daring Bakers* challenge last month, I was looking forward to this month's recipe: Bostini cream pie. Not being familiar with either Boston cream pies or the Bostini version, I'm grateful to definitions from this month's host Mary (from Alpineberry): a traditional Boston cream pie is a vanilla layer cake filled with cream and topped with chocolate glaze, while the Bostini is a vanilla bean pastry cream topped with an orange chiffon cake and drizzled with a rich chocolate glaze.


My biggest challenge this month was the conversion of the American recipe into Australian measurements and then, as it was such a large recipe (nine egg yolks for the custard alone!), to somehow scale down these measurements (what's 1/3 of 1/2 cup?)


I found a convenient conversion chart on the Internet and discovered that 3/4 of a US cup is 2/3 cup + 1 dessertspoon in Australian measurements. I converted/estimated all measurements as best I could and they obviously worked, as this recipe was a great success.


The custard was rich and creamy and very moreish. Other DBs have noted that the custard was quite runny and more like a pastry cream, but I found that my custard set nicely and was quite firm, similar to the custard in a trifle (it oozed a little bit when I turned it out onto a plate, but it managed to stay in a mound, rather than running all over the plate). I would normally make a custard with eggs and milk, rather than cream, but this was a nice change and the dessert certainly benefited from having such a rich custard.


The next step was the chiffon cake. A chiffon cake is a light cake made with vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, flour and flavourings. As it doesn't use butter, the texture of the cake is derived from beaten egg whites (similar to an angel cake). The lack of butter in the cake means that the flavour is light and delicate and makes it perfect for partnering with custards, pastry creams and sauces. Other DBs had warned that the recipe made a huge cake, so I made a half-quantity (and had plenty left over). The recipe called for cake flour, which is not available in Australia, but Bill Granger came to the rescue, noting on the Sydney Morning Herald website that 1 cup of cake flour equals 3/4 cup of plain flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornflour. The cake was extremely easy to mix up. I chose to make it in a large cake pan and cut out pieces for the dessert, rather than baking it in individual pans.


So, to the final result! I served this dessert in two different ways. On the first night, we had the Bostini cream pie in fancy little glass dishes, filled with custard, topped with circles of cake and drizzled with the chocolate glaze (the easiest part to make, as the glaze is equal parts of chocolate and butter melted together). On the second night, I scooped out the custard (which I had set in little espresso cups) onto a plate, topped the custard mound with chiffon cake and then drizzled over more glaze. Either way of serving it worked well.


The Bostini cream pie was a taste sensation! As I was making the individual parts, I thought it would be a nice dessert but nothing special. One mouthful though and both Adam and I were in raptures! The chiffon cake was dense but airy and was a perfect foil to the sweet custard, with the chocolate glaze soaking in to the cake and adding extra flavour. I was thrilled with the final result and would definitely make this dessert again. The individual parts of the dessert are easy to make and not very time-consuming and the final result is so impressive that people think the dessert is more difficult to make than it is.


Thanks to Mary for hosting this event and for choosing such a wonderful dessert to make. The recipe is available on Mary's site, Alpineberry. Several points to note: as I mentioned, I converted all measurements to Australian measurements. Cake flour is made with plain flour and cornflour, and the American cornstarch is cornflour in Australia.




I'm eagerly looking forward to the next challenge!


* The Daring Bakers are a group of foodbloggers who, once a month, receive a recipe chosen by that month's host, make the recipe without modifications (unless allowed by the host), and then blog about the experience on the same day.

39 comments:

Julius said...

Wow, I'm impressed with your bostini, it's wonderful. I like how your custard is set.

Please feel free to check out my bostini here.

Julius

glamah16 said...

Your custard looks so good.

Anh said...

So lovely!

I didn't convert anything to Australian metric system... Mine turned out ok, but I guess I really need to be more careful next time!

Brilynn said...

Nicely done, I think this was a fun challenge to photograph!

kellypea said...

I agree with you on the custard. It was thick, rich, and yummy. Set right up and was very easy to work with. Now, to prevent myself from eating more...Nice job!

Anne said...

Great job on your bostini! :)

Pille said...

I cook metric in my kitchen, so I had to convert everything into grams and millilitres as well :) However, it looks like we both did quite well :)

Red Dirt Mummy said...

Your bostini looks wonderful. Well done!

Anita said...

Very cute presentation! Lovely job!

Belinda said...

My custard set fairly well too, so I was pleased that it set up as opposed to being too liquid. Your Bostinis came together really nicely...they look beautiful! :-)

Andrea said...

Wow, nicely done!

slush said...

Looks great to me, Fantastic job! My custard was in between set and runny. An odd medium I guess.

breadchick said...

Great job on your Bostini. They look as yummy as you describe them!! Glad to have you along for the fun!!!

April said...

Beautiful Bostini!!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your bostini. Welcome to the Dbers!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Jen Yu said...

I totally agree that the combination was so unexpected compared to the individual parts. You did a wonderful job on your bostinis!

jen at use real butter

Deborah said...

They both look great, but I especially love the first one in the glass. Great job!

Lis said...

What a great lil Bostini!

Great job converting.. you should have seen me just trying to halve the recipes. Oy!

A terrific challenge! Great job!

xoxo

Claire said...

Glad you were able to convert. I wish we would all just decide on one unit of measure and stick with it! Nice job.

Christina said...

Great job!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Really nice looking! Congratulations!

Cheers,

Rosa

Ivonne said...

Well done! Especially since you had the initial challenge of all the conversions. Your bostini is so cute!

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Very nicely done! If what we call cornstarch is corn flour in Australia, what do you call cornmeal?

Tartelette said...

gReat job once again! I am glad your turned out this tasty!

Mary said...

Great job on your Bostini cream pie. I'm so glad you like it!

Annemarie said...

Your custard looks excellent - mine also set very nicely despite the warnings that it would be runny. Perhaps the custard works better in metric!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Two ways and both just lovely. And I think just the right size for this dessert.
The conversion thing is a major pain. It's really great when you've got one that works! Do you think maybe this online thing will evolve to where we just all use the same something? That would be nice wouldn't it.

Melinda said...

Julius - your bostini looked wonderful and I love the extra information you included in your post.
Glamah16 - great job on your first challenge!
Anh - I don't think conversion is strictly necessary but it made things much easier for me.
Brilynn - the photos are always the challenge for me!
Kellypea - I agree! Once I tasted it, I wish I had made the whole amount of custard!
Pille - it wasn't as hard to convert as I thought and it least it proves my mental arithmetic is still working!
Red Dirt Mummy, Anita, Belinda and Andrea - thank you for your lovely comments!
Slush - I wonder whether converting the measurements had anything to do with the firm texture? I may have used a bit more cornflour.
Breadchick, April and Sheltie Girl - thank you for your lovely comments!
Jen - I'm glad you agree. It was just a wonderful dessert that I probably would never have been inspired to try if not for the DBs!
Deborah, Lis, Christina and Rosa - thank you for your lovely comments!
Claire and Ivonne - converting measurements is just one of the fun challenges of baking! I'm just glad it all turned out OK.
The Chocolate Lady - in Australia, cornmeal is known as "polenta".
Tartelette, Mary, Annemarie and My Kitchen in Half Cups - thank you for your lovely comments. I don't mind converting the ingredients - it's a bit of extra fun each month. Maybe one day we will all use the same (and hopefully it's metric!!)

marias23 said...

Ooo, your custard hardened (or in geek talk, polymerized) very nicely :) Great presentation!

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Thanks Melinda, very interesting!

Julie said...

I'm glad your conversions and cornflour replacements all worked out! The desserts look delicious, especially in the top photo where the chocolate-covered cake is just begging you to eat it!

Inne said...

Great job Melinda, and hats of for converting everything properly. I just guesstimated halves and thirds of everything.

Quellia said...

I didn't realize there was such a difference in measurements in Australia! How very fascinating!
Nice job, btw!

Dolores said...

I had trouble with the measurements in American-English, I admire your tenacity in working out the Australian differences... and I'm glad you ended up with a successful result.

Gabi said...

Lovely fluffy custard on the last photo and both platings are beautiful!
Nice Job!
xoxo

Melinda said...

Marias23, Julie, Inne, Quellia, Dolores and Gabi - thank you for your lovely comments. I'm glad I'm not the only one balancing cooking with figuring out measurements!

Peabody said...

I found the custard to set pretty well too...mine was not runny at all.
Well done.

Amy said...

Hi Melinda,
First time at your site, love your recipes and ideas.

A couple of tips I've found on the way -
When i've been halving recipes with odd measurements (i.e. 1/3 of 1/2 cup) I usually dump everything onto my kitchen scales and divide from there. Grams are far easier to divide!

Woolies and Coles are now stocking a uber-range of flours - i've seen cake flour, scone flour, sponge flour, 00, 000, and pasta. (Maybe I made the scone flour up, but the rest, definitely.) However, it's so handy to know what they consist of.

Is there a chance you could email me the conversion website you used for future reference?

Thanks,
Amy

Melinda said...

Hi Amy - thanks for the tips! I saw some ads recently for the new range of flours and must check them out. Re the conversion website - I did a google search and found this table on the "allrecipes" website: http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Conversions-US-Standard-to-Metric/Detail.aspx