Monday, October 29, 2007

The Daring Bakers Take on a Classic and Serve it With a Twist

Bartender, I'd like a Bostini....Shaken not stirred and easy on the chocolate!! Oh, and can I have a dash of World Series Champion Boston Red Sox with that?

How appropriate that this month's Daring Baker Challenge is a riff on the classic dessert Boston Cream Pie and the day we are filling the blogosphere with more calories than you can shake a whisk at is the day after the Red Sox sweep the World Series??!! Can you say WHOO-HOOO, GO SOX!!!!

Anyways, back to layers of light orange flavoured chiffon cake, rich vanilla cream and chocolate.

This month's challenge was the brainchild of Mary the keeper of not only the fantabulous blog, Alpineberry but the private Daring Baker Blog as well. She's one busy gal but that doesn't stop her from introducing the guys and gals who are the Daring Bakers to this taste explosion that is her favourite restaurant dessert, the Bostini Cream Pie.

Before we discuss the finer points of the Bostini and the assembly there of, I think we should explore a little Boston Cream Pie History. The Boston Cream Pie was created in the kitchens of the Boston Parker House Hotel by French chef M. Sanzian and has been the hotel's signature dessert since 1856. There must have been some good ju-ju in that kitchen because along with Boston Cream Pie, the kitchens of the Parker House have also given the culinary world Boston Scrod and the namesake Parker House Roll. Having partaken of Boston Cream Pie at the Parker House many times, I was excited to try Mary's Bostini. Besides, any dessert that combines chiffon cake, custard and chocolate pretty much sums up my idea of a sweet heaven.

Mary gave us the creative option presenting the Bostini in any shape or style we chose, the only caveat being that there had to be cake and custard layered with chocolate on top. Being a big fan of a classic James Bond martini served to me preferably by a bartender who looks like Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan, I chose to serve mine in a martini glass with two layers of cake and custard and healthy dollop of chocolate sauce on top.

To create this attractive presentation, first I made the orange flavoured chiffon cake. The recipe for this cake is probably the best chiffon cake recipe I've ever made. It was light and fluffy and tasted like a dream with a fine crumb. The key here was the gentle but complete folding of the egg whites into the batter.

Since I knew I was going to be cutting different sized round layers to fit the taper of the martini glass I was using to serve the Bostini Cream Pie, I baked two 9 x 9 square cakes, let them cool, cut them into layers, and then cut out my round circles from a pattern I made of the martini class (OK, engineering nerd moment here, I used a compass on a sheet of wax paper and micrometer to measure the size circles I needed).

While the cakes were cooling, I made the other absolute keeper recipe from this challenge, the custard. I am not kidding you, this custard is about the best tasting custard I have ever made. It doesn't set up solid but if you are looking for a custard for desserts like trifle, this is your custard!

Once the custard was finished and had cooled a bit, it was time to assemble my Bostini Cream Pie.

First I put a small dollop of custard in each of the martini glasses

Then I added a layer of the cake and on a whim (and slightly going out of bounds of the Daring Baker rules...forgive me brothers and sisters, I just couldn't help myself!) I drizzled a little bit of Grand Marnier on the layer to compliment the orange flavour of the chiffon cake.

Then another layer of custard and another layer of cake

Then I put the cake and custard filled martini glasses in the fridge for a few hours because I was going to finish the Bostini when I served them as a special dessert for my first dinner party where my guests would be my trainer C and her roomate K!

After a good dinner with great conversation and wine, I pulled the martini glasses out of the fridge, made the chocolate topping and with a little help from C, who held up the white napkin so you couldn't see the dirty dishes on the counter, topped the Bostini Cream Pie.

Judging from the empty glasses that came back to the kitchen, I'd say Mary has a good reason to have the Bostini Cream Pie as her favourite dessert. I know, because it became one of mine.

Now to see how the rest of the Daring Bakers fared this month, go check here to find links to all their blogs and if you want to make this creation at home for yourself, you can go check out the recipe on Mary's post here!