Monday, October 29, 2007

Daring Baker's: the Challenge in an eggshell..

14! Count. Count again. Write down. That many eggs? I'm afraid so, and that is even before I saw the amount of cream needed for this challenge. For your information..... 3.3/4 cups!... read again..... that is 3.3/4 cups which is equal to .... No, we don't want to know that do we?
I am beginning to get a faint notion that the challenge for me lies within keeping my weight in check, next to baking all these delights.
All these eggs were needed to bake our October challenge, a dessert called Bostini Cream Pie. This month hosted by sweet Mary at Alpineberry, just click for the recipe and also to see how we've grown! I am not sure Mary but is that my personal weight chart, or the success of this fabulous Daring Baker's group you're showing?

This dessert derives from the Boston Cream Pie which in it's original shape is not really a pie but a cake, filled with pastry cream and covered with a chocolate ganache. The recipe we had to follow dates back to 1996 when it was created by Donna Scala and Kurtis Baguley at Bistro Don Giovanni, they converted the cake into a dessert. The cake here is changed into an orange chiffon cake, set on top of a very rich pastry cream (not really a custard since it won't firm up like custard does) and then the fun isn't over yet, this all is coated with a chocolate glaze.

Again, we dug into the challenge together, a date was set and into our respective kitchens we went, Tanna, Ilva and me. They both got off to a roaring start, having their custard cooked before I even had a chance to assemble my ingredients... only to discover that I had only half the amount of cream needed. So...I cheated, didn't feel like going out to the store and substituted with milk. Used a whole vanilla pod because I like custard to be real vanilla and I just love the little tell tale dark spots. Even with all these eggs, the vanilla and the cream, I thought this particular recipe tasted quite bland, hoped for a more pronounced flavour once cooled.

The recipe called for straining the custard but I didn't see any reason to. It was a soft and silky pale yellow and it thickened unexpectedly fast in the pan so that gave me high hopes for a firm custard. Not. That was all what I was going to get, it stayed as it was in the pot, flowing.

Cake was next, on paper I already liked the addition of fresh orange juice and zest in the recipe, I even thought of replacing the required vanilla extract by orange extract but was afraid it was going to be too much of a good thing. Since we were allowed to play around with size and plating, I decided to make mini-mini cakes, a layer and some small cupcakes. This batter really was enough to play around with. And boy, did I play!

Chocolate glaze was the final stage, very simple straightforward, a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and butter. I only made a very small part of the glaze, just enough to drizzle some on because I felt this was rich enough on it's own.

Now, the hard part... my test team consists of one chocolate monster, a cake lover, a custard addict and a give-me-dessert-anytimer and a if-it's-food-I'll-eat-it and not one of them was satisfied. I liked the custard when it was still hot (happy to spoon out the pan) but thought it was bland even with the vanilla bean and all the eggs, structure was beautiful though. Cake was said to be airy, light and rubbery at the same time and my chocolate monster wasn't enchanted enough to ask for extra drizzles.

I think the fact that the major part of this dessert stood on the counter for a day untouched pretty much sums it up. Challenge completed, happy with the experience but no repeats.

Check out my fellow Daring Baker's on the Blogroll to see their creations, this dessert sure lends itself to some magic and creative platings! Can't wait and you? Go on, click!

60 comments:

  1. Wow I do love the egg shell. All the other little bowls seem the perfect size for such a rich dessert.
    Shucks, I was really trying not to acknowledge the challenge of keeping the weight in check. Mary's chart could be viewed as a weight chart . . . did we really have to go there.
    What the heck, the cooks always have fun!

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  2. Looks very very nice, I love the little cake rounds! I too found the custard a little bit bland.

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  3. Wow you made some really mini cakes. They are so cute. My custard thickened very quickly too. Love your pictures.

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  4. love how you actually placed it in an egg shell :) they are cute and adorable. I too had fun playing with the bostini's.

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  5. The egg shell cake looks just as pretty as I thought it would! Now, what will we do next months I wonder!

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  6. I love the bostini in the egg shell!! What a perfect way to serve them. =)

    I totally agree with you on the custard. Mine was pretty bland too.

    Lovely presentation, sweetie!

    xoxo

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  7. What a brilliant idea!

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  8. I loved how you played around with the size of the dessert. Your pictures came out great! What is your secret?

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  9. great plating of the bostini! my custard was so delicious we ate most of it sans cake...maybe i put a little too much sugar and vanilla in? never was real good at counting :)

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  10. I love what you did. I agree the custard was great warm. Upon chilling you could taste all the fat in the cream. Your egg-tinins are so cute.

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  11. You certainly had enough of the recipe to try out different presentations of it - I love the egg-shell one. :) I also wasn't blown away by the recipe (perhaps because mine came out a bit wrong) but I did love the custard part, and was lucky enough for mine to be nice an thick.

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  12. oh all the presentations look wonderful ! the egg shell one take the cake :P pun intended :P

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  13. My husband and I really liked the egg custard that I made with coconut milk. The cake we didn't like. The chocolate sauce was heavenly. My family ate the egg custard and chocolate sauce, but left the cake on the plate. I have thought about making this recipe again, but changing the flavors in the cake for something we would enjoy more.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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  14. The eggshell one is simply inspiring!
    Too bad you didn't enjoy it - it almost sounds like we made different recipes, based on the outcome.

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  15. I thought I would like the challenge more than I did as well... the individual parts just didn't wow me as a whole. But a good challenge nonetheless. Well done!

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  16. I can't get over the bostinis in the egg shells! They are adorable!
    I didn't strain my custard either... there wasn't anything to strain out.

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  17. OMG your 'tinis are adorable! Too cuute!

    I agree though, I wasnt totally sold. My kids loved them, but they will eat anything with some sugar in it. I liked the 3 parts, just maybe not together.

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  18. I love how you put the dessert together in an eggshell! How cute. The custard was quite plain yes but I liked it's subtlety.

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  19. I'm sorry that yours turned out bland and unloved - but I'm sure that your body thanks you for not eating all of it!

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  20. I loved the custard. I've already made it again for a cake filling. Glad you enjoyed the challange.

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  21. You know, I didn't think about it too much till your blog. I did like the custard warm too. It's a satisfying warm feeling. :-) I love your egg shell presentation. How creative!

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  22. I agree that this challenge did lend itself to creative presentation, which is lots of fun in its own right, but I too could pass on the custard. The eggshells as part of your presentation, to shed light on the sheer number of eggs that were sacrificed for the Bostinis, was a very clever idea. And they look so cute! Beautiful job!

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  23. Oh that cake in the eggshell looks so cute. Mary - you did justice - not only for choosing a brilliant challenge but for making your own version look so delish!

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  24. I don't know if I would consider the bostini to be a huge hit at my house either. Another DB suggested fruit rather than chocolate next time, which might work with a different, more flavorful custard. Nontheless, your bostini is beautiful!

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  25. Great job- love the presentation.
    Working on my weight now too :(
    Your summary is also spot on!
    xoxo

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  26. That is so funny - about Mary's chart being the weight gain from being a Daring Baker!!! And the bostini's in the egg shells - too adorable!!

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  27. Me too! Liked it, but not doing it again. There are easier ways to produce the same effect :)

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  28. I love the presentation in the egg shell!!! Very cute!!!!

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  29. i love your mini cakes - so cute!

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  30. Your variations are lovely! I was all about the custard as well...yum!

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  31. Oh, Karen! I'm sorry you weren't completely thrilled with the bostini but I must say ... I would eat those little cakes you made in those little egg shells any day! Very cute!

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  32. Sadly I could say that the chart represents the growth of my hips and thighs since joining the DB! I really like your eggshell presentation. Sorry this recipe wasn't to your liking. Tanna's up for next month so I'm eagerly waiting the reveal!

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  33. What wonderful presentation. The eggshell is GREAT!

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  34. Oh, your eggshell idea is brilliant and beautiful. Rather fitting since this recipe is practically a shrine to the egg(s)! I also love your layering of slices of cake. So creative. My husband and neighbors loved this recipe, and I can live life without it... I think most of our DBers were for or against ;)


    -jen at use real butter

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  35. Your pies look so pretty and it sounds like you had a ball :)

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  36. I completely agree, it was successful but underwhelming. Love the eggshell containers! You are a clever cookie.

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  37. Your platings are terrific. i liked the custard and the chocolate, but the cake was only interestign because it provided a good textural contrast. Interesting that your test team was not impressed...I'll bet they get lots of superb goodies from you :)
    Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms

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  38. The teeny Bostini in an egg shell is precious! I enjoyed all your presentations.

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, though. I wonder what you'd think of the custard if you'd used the prescribed amount of cream instead of using half cream and half milk.

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  39. Thank you all for your comments, I traveled around a bit and enjoyed every creative plating I've seen thus far.
    Confession time: there was this bowl of custard tucked away in the fridge, it was so lonely... Yesterday night it called out to me and I ate it. And liked it. Liked it enough to finish the bowl. The subtle flavour more there than the first time. Strange! Heading for the gym now.

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  40. You've had such fun here =) I love your picture of all the coloured dishes, mind you they all look great!

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  41. Your presentations are so cute! I love the little mini cakes, especially the one in the eggshell. Even if the dessert wasn't a hit for your family, you certainly made it look wonderful!

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  42. I love the egg shells, you had enough of them ;)

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  43. I love that you used the egg shells for the plating!! Great idea!

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  44. Wow, that eggshell presentation is amazing! Great job!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  45. I agree with those who've been here before me... what a sensational way to employ all of those eggshells!

    I'm sorry you weren't happier with the final outcome, but I'm glad you played along. I love reading your experience!

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  46. What a stellar way to serve them! Lovely pictures.

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  47. Hi,

    Thanks for your comments on my blog! I really appreciate it.

    I love your bostini, and I gotta try that roasted chicken.

    Julius, the Occasional Baker

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  48. SueCooksWild1/11/07 2:37 PM

    Karen,
    All that work and not a winner! But your pictures make it look enticing enough! Maybe it was all those eggs that took over and stole the taste away!

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  49. Served in an eggshell - that's the cutest idea by far!

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  50. love the different presentations--especially the eggshells!

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  51. Good job! They sound like so much hard work. You did a really good job. I don't think I'll even attempt to make these.

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  52. nou met zoveel reacties hoef ik er eigenlijk niet meer bij. Vind het altijd wel leuk wat jullie bij die daring bakers bakken, elke keer weer een verrassing!
    Nog even een vraagje, heb je (enorm leuk trouwens) die eischalen op een speciale manier schoongemaakt (in de oven gezet of zo) voor je de cake erin zette? Jammer dat het niet zo in de smaak viel.

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  53. I love the eggshell Bostinis too! Just precious! I made the custard a cuple of days before we ate the assembled dessert and foud that it had improved greatly. Maybe that was the trick to it...and it really ruined my thighs this month!!

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  54. Such a creative solution to present them in an egg shell, I love it! Having said that, I wasn't such a big fan of the dessert either - custard by itself, on the other hand, now that's an entirely different story!

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  55. I found you through a comment on another Bostini post :-)

    This looks really lovely! Even if you weren't happy enough to make it again...I sure enjoyed looking at the pictures! :-)

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  56. Love the use of egg shell for the presentation! They all look fantastick! Well done! :)

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  57. Love them in the egg shell. Even I was taken back with how much cream...and I love cream.

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  58. Great job! I am slowly getting to everyone's blogs...
    I really like the different presentations.

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  59. The egg shells are adorable! Maybe if using milk instead of cream one could add just a bit more cornstarch. And also just a bit more sugar for a stronger flavor. Or add brandy, that always helps.

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  60. Oh they all look so good! Love the plating...especially the little eggshells :) Ingenius! :)

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