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Monday, October 29, 2007

...and I felt like the Queen of the world until..

Project Bostini day was a gorgeous sun filled time to tackle the latest Daring Bakers challenge chosen by Mary at Alpineberry. The sun was shining. Hubby was doing house fixes - his way of showing me that he loves me. The kids were running in and out and all over the neighbourhood. Perfect day to get down and bake...

... and I felt like the Queen of the World until the wind blew my muffin cups all over the kitchen.

I cracked the windows open to let the breeze ruffle my long Kate Winslet-like locks. *snort*

In my hard won wisdom, I've learned never to mix dry ingredients or sift flour in front of an open window on a windy day. But, I left the paper lined muffin tins basking in the sunlight ready to rock and roll.

After mixing the chiffon I went to fill my cups but they were gone. The wind blew the paper liners all over the kitchen. I panicked thinking that the air would leak out of the batter while I scrambled for more liners. Can't use the ones on the floor; that's just nasty.

I bet Kate Winslet never blew off her muffin cups.

Not a problem. I quickly filled the small cake pan and shoved it into the oven. Then I replaced and filled the muffin cup liners. Holy Batman, there was a lot of batter. Ha, I am not defeated yet, I snatched the hot cake pan from the oven and put more batter into the tin. Not something I'd recommend but if it doesn't work, I'm eating the evidence.

I forgot the directions to strain the custard as I put it into the glasses and dish. But in my top of the world mood I could leap over tall buildings and catch a vanilla bean and I did... catch the bean.

(We offer a reward at my house to the person who gets the "treasure" of the forgotten bay leaf, bean or whatever. It's not much, but the kids don't complain anymore when some detritus shows up in their dish. They just hold out their hands for the cold hard cash reward of two bits.)

However, the straining was really good advice because I wasn't expecting a few little egg curds to plop out at the end. Oh well, protein builds muscle.

Speaking of the eggs, mine seemed to have runty little yolks. It took 5 yolks to make 1/3 cup and only 7 egg whites to make 1 cup. There must be some unhappy hens in this world. Since there wasn't enough yolk or cornstarch to make a firm custard, it was more like a delicious creme anglais. In the future I would tweak the recipe to have a firmer custard. My youngest described it as A drink with a muffin dunked into it.

The orange chiffon "muffin" was delicious. The texture was fantastic and the orange taste sharp enough to stand up to the creamy custard and chocolate sauce. The juicy fragrant oranges were from South Africa (they are better travelled than I am). They zested and juiced beautifully for a perfect pairing of orange and chocolate.

The cake that I snatched out of the oven worked because I poured the excess batter in a circle around the middle and left the cake in the oven a bit longer at a lower temperature. But I still don't recommend doing this because I think it was really luck.

Thank you Mary from Alpineberry. You're building a better baker, one lesson at a time.

Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)
Serving Size: 8 absolutely gigantic servings! Easily makes 16 normal servings.


3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon 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 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter


To prepare the custard:
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. 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.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:
Preheat the oven to 325°. 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 and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not over beat.

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 over bake. 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.

To prepare 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.

To assemble:
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.


Brittany said...

Your post is so funny! For some reason your pictures don't want to show up right now, but I'm sure they're luuuvly : )

Julius said...


Thanks for all your comments on my blog, I really appreciate the kind words. You have a very beautiful and inspiring blog.

Your write up on the bostini is just hilarious! For some reason, your pictures aren't showing up? I'll check in again later.

Have a great Monday!

Julius, the Occasional Baker.

Deborah said...

I'm jealous that you had good oranges - my orange flavor wasn't as strong as I hoped for. I can't see your photos, either - I will have to make sure and come back to check them out!

BC said...

I don't know what is wrong because I can see the pictures! I will repost them to see if that solves the problem.

glamah16 said...

I wish I could see your photos . This seems to be a issue with a few blogs. But love your prose.

Quellia said...

Ah Kate, good catch on the bean! (hehehe)
I knew my kids wouldn't appreciate the custard, but they sure did love the cake! Muffin sized ones were a great idea!

gigi said...

You're too funny! I love the part where you open the window so your hair can blow in the wind. Your Bostini's look amazing especially the ones in the wine goblets. Well done!

Belinda said...

I couldn't see the photos earlier either, but now I can, and I'm so glad I popped back in to peek! Your Bostinis turned out great, and I enjoyed your whole funny! :-)

LB said...

Nice blog. I'm a no-recipe, make it up according to what's in the fridge kind of cook. But baking and cooking afe different, aren't they?

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Laura Rebecca said...

Your Bostinis look terrific -- I can't believe you had issue with them yet managed to do such a nice job. :)

Anh said...

You have great sense of humour!

April said...

Great looking Bostini's....even after a little drama in the kitchen! :)

Annemarie said...

You clearly have high standards if you won't pluck those muffin cups off the floor - I would have just reckoned the temperature of the oven would burn off any nasties. :) Lovely little drinks of custard you made.

BC said...

Our house has been undergoing some renovation. I couldn't predict what was on the floor with workers, boots, children etc. Sigh. I'll be glad when it's finished.

Ivonne said...


Kate Winslet wishes she could make a bostini as beautiful as yours!

Lis said...

Dammit! Ivonne took my comment!! :P

Well the good thing is, Kate Winslet isn't all to comment on.

Such as I love the wine glass Bostinis, but I'm particularly taken with the big one.. that chocolate looks like a pond that I could yanno, jump in a slurp up?

hehe Excellent post!


Deborah Dowd said...

I enjoyed reading your post more than any of the other Daring Bakers accounts that I have read today! It is refreshing to read about the challenges of baking something great... now that's daring!

Jen Yu said...

Your post had me laughing at my monitor, much to my dog's dismay :) Love it. Love your bostinis, they look gorgeous in those tall glasses. Awesome.

-jen at use real butter

marias23 said...

I love both your presentations! J'adore!

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

heh heh,
you are valiant in the face of adversity, bc!

Julie said...

I wish I could tell you how much I love and appreciate funny posts! I hope I never forget your Kate Winslet line! The part about the treasure hunt cracked me up, too! Your Bostinis look so pretty in those little glasses!

Susan said...

Very fun post to read! The not-so-firm custard "drink" sounds great to me, like it would soak up into the "muffin" and produce a wonderfully soft mouthful.

Andrea said...

"I bet Kate Winslet never blew off her muffin cups."


Oh gawd, that's the funniest thing I've read in a while! Great post and yummy looking Bostinis!

kellypea said...

Hilarious! I loved this post and snickered all the way through. There's something comforting about grinning like an idiot in a room all by myself first thing in the morning. High points? The missing paper cups and flour, the whole Kate Winslet thing and the prize of a bay leaf. Great writing! Oh, and your bostinis are just perfect!

joey said...

Hahaha! Loved your post! :) Especially the Kate Winslet line...I have wild curly hair and I too like to channel Kate...even if in reality it's more like Slash.

Anyhoo, flying muffin papers aside your chiffon cake came out perfect! And the Bostini looks terrific! :)

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

I loved your post! The bostinis look great!

Mary said...

If Kate Winslet's muffin cups went flying all over the place, Leo DiCap would surely come to her aid. Your bostinis look really good. Well done!

breadchick said...

HAR HAR!! I loved the Kate Winslet comments. I could see you dancing through your kitchen as if you were dancing on the deck of the Titanic!! Great job on your challenge and love the comments about the muffin drink!!

Christina said...

lol, great read! I'm glad you had success in the end. Lovely pictures!

Dolores said...

...and I bet Kate Winslet never made such perfectly gorgeous Bostini! Thanks for sharing your amusing story.

Kelly-Jane said...

You are such a funny writer! and your Bostinis look great =)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Hehe ;-P! Your pies looks wonderful! Great job!



Shandy said...

I am still laughing! I must have the same unhappy chickens laying my eggs too. I required more yolks then estimated. Your presentation is beautiful and so are your pictures. You have such a great sense of humor and I definitely enjoyed it. =D

Shandy (Pastry Heaven)

Dharm said...

Great post! Love your humour too. Your Bostini's turned out just great. Well done!

Inne said...

Such a funny post - I love the way you named it 'project bostini'. Sounds like a reality tv show competition thingy.

Gabi said...

I'm sure your Bostini is way beyond what (I'm sure) Kate Winslet (Bless her and her long locks!) can whip up!
Lovely and luscious!

Peabody said...

I'm just picturing your paper cups flying everywhere. Well done on your cakes though.

marye said...

you bostini is awesome..and YOU are hysterical.

Jeena said...

Yum those look wonderful! Lovely recipe I imagine how it would taste so delicious, great pictures. :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

BC I think you are Queen of the World and your Bostini Rule. Great write up! Good chuckle, thanks.