Sunday, October 28, 2007

Daring Bakers challenge: Bostoni cream pie

I recently joined a baking group called the Daring Bakers. It works like this: a different blogging member hosts a challenge each month, picking a recipe the other Daring Bakers must follow precisely, save for certain pre-defined substitutions, and then the other members rise to the challenge, bake, photograph and report back on a pre-determined day. In the meantime, the members post questions, comment and chat on a private, common blog. It's a treat and a privilege to be a member of this group of talented, enthusiastic and passionate bakers! I've enjoyed all the banter on the private blog and have been planning and looking forward to my own adventure with the chosen recipe of the month (as described by the host): Bostoni cream pie, a twist on the traditional Boston cream pie (which is a vanilla layer cake filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate glaze). The Bostini cream pie is vanilla bean pastry cream topped with an orange chiffon cake and then drizzled with a rich chocolate glaze. Mary at Alpineberry is the host for the challenge this month.

When I first saw the recipe challenge, I must admit, I was a bit disappointed. I'm not a huge fan of pastry cream, I really hate chocolate and orange in combination (despite the fact that there's a chocolate orange liqueur that bears my name), and, having grown up in Boston, I think I've over-dosed on Boston cream pie (albeit the Pepperidge Farm version). I was really disappointed I joined on Bostoni cream pie month and missed last month's cinnamon bun challenge.

That said, I bucked up and approached the challenge with a good attitude. After all, there's still a lot of new cooking techniques to learn even if you're not looking forward to devouring the end result. The recipe contained an inordinate amount of eggs. I decided to halve the overall recipe to be safe. I decided to substitute lemon juice and lemon zest for the orange juice and zest (a permitted change) and went about tackling the recipe this morning, just under the wire of the deadline.

I was very surprised at the end result. The pastry cream was the best I've ever had - light and flavorful, the chiffon cake was a dream (and I loved the lemon) and, well, who could not like a chocolate glaze that's half butter, half chocolate? R made quick work of the first, super-sized portion. I love how pretty the presentation is in clear, individual glasses. I might very well make this again! Thanks Mary for the challenge. For the recipe and additional information, please visit the host's post here.

47 comments:

Julius said...

Hi skrockodile,

I also am not very fond of chocolate with orange, but am very pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this dessert. It could be because, as you said, the orange did not assert itself too much.

I'm a very new DB myself. Please feel free to check out my bostini here.

Julius

Julius said...

Forgot to mention - I love the work you've done on this blog. Everything's beautiful and well-researched.

Julius
http://occasionalbaker.blogspot.com

skrockodile said...

Thanks for your post. Just checked out your write-up - great information and a very beautiful heart-shaped cream pie. Wonderful how different our takes are!

glamah16 said...

Just beautiful. Love how you played with the chocolate texture.

Brilynn said...

Good to hear you liked it in the end! They look wonderful!

Christina said...

Beautiful! Good choice with the glass cups -- shows of the layers.

I've actually never made anything with chocolate and lemon (I made my Bostinis with orange) but it sounds interesting.

Belinda said...

Your Bostinis are beautifully presented...love your nice, distinctive layers. :-) I am not a fan of custard either, but like you, I love learning something new from every Daring Baker challenge.

Anne said...

I really like your presentation! The extra chocolate on top was a lovely touch! :)

Pille said...

Gorgeous presentation, Sabra! Glad to hear you did enjoy the challenge and the result after all. (I was the total opposite - I had no idea what a Boston Cream Pie, let alone Bostini cream pie, is!)

Anne said...

The photo's are stunning! It's good to know you liked the end product :)

amy said...

It was indeed beautiful to look at but even better to eat. Delicious!

Sheltie Girl said...

Lovely presentation on the Bostini's. I like the layered look in the glass cups.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

skrockodile said...

Thanks so much everyone for all the words of encouragement! What a nice surprise to wake up and see so many fellow DBers' comments! I'm off to explore yours now!
-S.

slush said...

Beautiful photos, and I wholeheartedly agree, there is always something to be learned, even if your not sure youll like the end result. I fell into that catagory this month. But I am no longer afraid of making custard or chiffon cake. WOOHOO!

Great job!

Anita said...

I love love love your presentation - so clean and elegant! Beautiful photos too! Your blog is gorgeous, I'm so glad I found it!

Kate said...

the tray u've served it in is fantastic. Love the composition love the light love the presentation.All in all a beautiful shot. Well done .
Saw u in Flickr , I'm an admin for Food Photography club.

Dolores said...

Beautiful Bostini Sabra... I love your progressive photo and I'm glad that despite your misgivings, the recipe worked out for you in the end. I had the same experience with my first challenge: the crepe cake.

Welcome to the Daring Bakers. You've got a beautiful blog, and I'm looking forward to getting to know you through the challenges to come. :)

skrockodile said...

Thanks again everyone.
Kate: the tray is a recent purchase and one of my very favorite kitchen items!
Dolores & Anita: thanks very much -that's very kind!

April said...

Beautiful presentation!

larryb said...

I was in New York for a few days - it's no lie
And got to watch Sabra make her Bostoni cream pie.
Then of course it was tasting time -
I wonder who ate and emptied glass number one?
It was Amy, me and Randy, my son!
Then Sabra took her photos with usual great style
And all of us agreed it was fabulous - with a smile.
The pastry cream was smoothe and dreamy
The chocolate topping was rich and creamy.
The cake was really light as a feather
Sabra please make this no matter the weather!

Ivonne said...

I'm so happy that you're pleased with how the bostinis turned out. They look gorgeous - beautiful presentation!

Chris said...

Your Bostini look beautiful! Great lil' cups...:)

kitten said...

I love the way you plated your bostinis, they look gorgeous! The orange juice substitution with lemon juice and zest is brilliant. That sounds very refreshing.

Lis said...

Gorgeous photos, Sabra! I'm so happy it worked out well for you, they look delish!

And I'm thinkin' Larry agrees. hahahaa!

xoxo

Jen Yu said...

Lovely photos of your gorgeous bostinis! Lemon sounds sooo good, I may have to try that. Wonderful work there.

-jen at use real butter

Anonymous said...

well, i'm happy to say that eric and got to sample this delicious dessert- and not just look at the delicious photos (tho the pics would have been less caloric!) great job on all counts- keep it coming!
bob

Julie said...

The grated chocolate looks awesome! The shots from the top, down, make the glasses look so much taller. It's a beautiful plating job, however I look at it. I'm glad all your disappointments were dashed with this dessert! As for the sticky/cinnamon buns, I recommend you make those, too--they're a snap!

Deborah said...

Your plating is wonderful!!

Claire said...

I love your layers! I was a bit disappointed with the recipe at first, too. However, it was good to try a custard and chiffon cake...I'd never done either! Yours looks great.

marias23 said...

Simply gorgeous and simply delicious! Great work, as always.

linda said...

Very beautiful presentation and pictures!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What gorgeous looking pies! I love your presentation and pictures! Really attractive...

cheers,

Rosa

breadchick said...

I love the great picture of two full bostinis and one empty one! great job on the challenge this month!!

skrockodile said...

Thanks so much again everyone for your kind words - I really appreciate all your comments. I'm excited for many more challenges to come!

Anonymous said...

Sandra

Hi skrockodile!
I love this version of bostoni.. very good! And the glass are very chic!
Bye from Italy!

DAD said...

i LOVE THE PICTURES, BUT I BET THE TASTE BEATS THE PICTURES.
i LIKE THE IDEA OF INDIVIDUAL PORTIONS. mUCH BETTER FOR ME ON A DIET OR FOR A SECOND SERVING. SIGN ME UP FOR EARLY DECEMBER. THIS SHOULD BE A COMPLETE COMPLIMENT WITH THE SALT CRUSTED FISH.

A VERY PROUD DAD

Elle said...

Beautiful job on the challenge! The grated chocolate topping your Bostinis is a great idea for presentation. Great photo. Glad you are a Daring Baker!

bea said...

These are lovely. I love them. They remind me of tiramisu for some reason. And, I am like you, I do not like orange and chocolate together. Easy to make you get reconciled.

Tartelette said...

Sabra, you just know how to put beautiful into words...and a picture speaks a thousand words....Brilliant!

Quellia said...

I love the chocolate shavings on top!

Peabody said...

I too am not a huge fan of pastry cream.
An excellent job on your first challenge. I look forward to seeing what you do with the challenges to come.

Inne said...

Great job, and such a beautiful presentation!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sabra: yes I'm with you on the individual servings they look beautiful when you can see the layers! I like chocolate just not with orange or mint - I'm waiting for something to change my mind, haven't found it yet.
Really great photos.
It would seem with your attitude this turned out to be the perfect first challenge. Glad you've joined us.

Gabi said...

Hi Sabra,
Beautiful skyview of the Bostini- looks luscious!
Glad you liked them in the end.
xoxo

Annemarie said...

I can't believe I missed your Bostinis when they first came out, but glad I've spotted them (and your blog) through DMBLGiT. Great job and great blog.

skrockodile said...

Thank you everyone again for all your kind comments and encouragement. I'm looking forward to the upcoming challenge (I'm, um, "sleeping on it" not procrastinating!). Annemarie: thanks for checking this out after the event - I appreciate it!

Lynnylu said...

Just saw your bostini cream pie and it looks marvelous-photos are excellent.

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