Well, fellow Daring Bakers, it seems we can do anything at all if we put our minds to it, even inspire the Boston Red Sox to their second World Series sweep in 4 years! The collective power of hundreds of Bostini Cream Pies baked over the course of the month was no match for my solitary, yet tasty, rocky road tart on Saturday. For those of you who haven’t been in on it, the Boston-related dessert I mentioned yesterday was indeed this month’s Daring Bakers challenge: the Bostini Cream Pie.
Because I saved this challenge for the end of the month, on a weekend when we already had 75% of a decadent brownie tart already in the fridge, I decided to cut the recipe in half. This was no minor feat, as you’ll see if you take a gander at the original recipe: odd measurements all over the place! I also decided, as allowed, to make a substitution for the orange juice and zest that flavors the chiffon cake element. In their place, I decided to use coconut milk with a bit of desiccated coconut and a touch of coconut extract for oomph. We’re not fans of the chocolate-citrus combo, but chocolate-coconut is another animal altogether.
I was a little worried about my chiffon cakes because of the abovementioned reduction and substitution. I’ve also never had as much trouble separating eggs as I did for this recipe: several of the yolks broke, and I kept having to fish little wisps of it out of my whites. As a result, my whites didn’t whip up quite as much as I might have liked, and the batter seemed kind of runny and flat. I dripped it into a muffin mold and several small ramekins, and crossed my fingers.
As you can see, I needn’t have worried. My little cakes puffed up nicely and browned just slightly on top, though the ramekins, being larger, did need several extra minutes to bake. They came out tender and moist, with a light coconut scent.
Next, I tackled the custard. Since I’ve had quite a few custards separate on me, I was more than a little nervous about this one, but it gave me absolutely no problems, other than trying to figure out appropriate vessels in which to pour it. I did use vanilla extract added at the end, rather than a bean; but to my credit, it was Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Crush, so I still had those appealing little flecks of bean.
Once everything else was ready to go, the chocolate sauce was the work of a minute. I toasted some coconut for a garnish and put everything together. We dug in during the 9th inning of Game 4, and it was a more-than-fitting way to celebrate the Red Sox victory. As rich as this dessert was, it seemed very light, and we both really enjoyed it. The coconut flavoring in the cake was to our tastes, and if I may say so, I thought my toasted coconut garnish added much-needed textural crunch in an otherwise pillowy-soft dessert.
Thanks so much to Mary of Alpineberry for choosing such a delicious—and very aptly timed—baking challenge. You can find the recipe for this fine dessert at her blog here. And be sure to check out the 200-odd other Daring Bakers’ versions of this dessert on our blogroll: I wasn’t very creative with my presentation, but from the previews I’ve seen, there were some spectacularly beautiful Bostinis made this month!
I am a member of the Theta Class of the Daring Bakers, induced in July of 2007. For more information and a list of my previous challenges, click here.