I have been cooking for a while now but I have not really been doing much in the way of baking. I still find baking to be a bit intimidating. I keep hearing that it is not like cooking where you can play around with the ingredients. Since I started food blogging I have been watching the Daring Bakers amazing creations. The things that they were baking always seemed to be very challenging. I thought, "What better way to improve my baking skills than to challenge myself?". And so I joined in on the Daring Bakers challenge.
This months Daring Bakers challenge was a Bostini Cream Pie. It is basically an orange chiffon cake, custard and chocolate. I was pretty happy with the choice of the recipe as it sounded really good and I had never made custard or a chiffon cake before. The original recipe made 8 serving so I cut the recipe in about half.
When I looked at the custard recipe I noticed that it looked a lot like a basic ice cream recipe. I was a bit worried as I have never actually been able to get ice cream to thicken enough to cover the back of a spoon. The ice creams turned out alright because they were frozen after and the custard would not be. It turned out ok though. I guess the cornstarch helped or I just finally got it right. The custard tasted great! It had a good texture and a really nice vanilla flavour. I wish I had been able to find a vanilla bean to try it with.
6 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg (beaten)
4 egg yolks (beaten)
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1. Mix the milk and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth.
2. Mix in the egg and yolks and beat until smooth.
3. Mix the cream, vanilla and sugar in a sauce pan and carefully bring to a boil.
4. When it just comes to a bowl ladle about 1/4 cup into the egg mixture and quickly whisk to temper the eggs.
5. Mix the egg mixture into the sauce pan and cook until it is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon while stirring constantly.
6. Strain the mixture and refrigerate to chill.
Orange Chiffon Cake
The chiffon cake was pretty straight forward. I was not able to find cream of tartar though... I made meringues a while ago so I was familiar with beating egg whites. I pulled out my trusty forks and whipped the egg whites into soft peaks in no time. (Getting a bit of exercise while baking is always good.) I baked the cake in 4 ramekins. They turned out pretty good, though they were not quite as light and fluffy as I was hoping for. The orange flavour in the cake was really good!
3/4 cups cake flour
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
2/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons beaten egg yolks (~2 yolks)
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3/4 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup egg whites (~8 eggs)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla and stir until smooth.
3. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks.
4. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
5. Spray the cooking dish(s) with nonstick cooking spray and fill with the batter.
6. Bake in a preheated 325F oven until the cake bounces back when pressed lightly with a finger, about 25 minutes.
3 ounces butter
3 ounces semi or bitter sweet chocolate
1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate to melt.
The assembly of the pie was pretty easy. I just placed some custard on a plate followed by the chiffon cakes and topped it with the chocolate glaze. It was really good! The orange chiffon cake went really well with the chocolate. (Orange and chocolate are such a great combination.) The custard rounded everything out with a nice cool creaminess.
In the end my first Daring Bakers challenge was a success! I did not run into any major problems. It took a bit of time to make and I did end up having to wash the dishes 3 times; once before starting, once in between making the custard and the cake and once after it was all done! But it was definitely worth the effort. Overall it a great learning experience and there was a tasty treat in the end.
Check out the other Daring Bakers.