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
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
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.
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.