Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm a Daring Baker!!


(This photo was taken by my brother. I have never thought to put food on the floor and take a picture of it! An obvious idea to many of you I'm sure but I'm glad my brother introduced me to this.)


I'm extremely excited to have participated in my first Daring Bakers' challenge! I wasn't sure if I'd have time for it with school keeping me busy but I decided to just make the time since I knew it would make me really happy. For those of you that don't know, the Daring Bakers are a group of bakers who choose one baking recipe a month and all make the same thing, following the recipe without alterations, then post about it on the same day. This month Mary at alpineberry chose the bostini cream pie for us all to make.


(I had my brother take a photo of my adorable niece holding the cake. She knew exactly how to pose with it!)


I was hoping for something with pumpkin for the October Daring Bakers' challenge, but I know my boyfriend was happy to find out it was something that combined orange and chocolate. I've never heard of bostini cream pie before so it was definitely something new for me. The recipe didn't seem like it would be too difficult, just putting a few separate parts (orange chiffon cake, vanilla custard, chocolate glaze) together.


I've never made a chiffon cake before and haven't actually made that many cakes at all. I thought it would go okay but when it came time to folding in that massive bowl of whipped egg whites into the cake batter, I started to get a bit anxious. I found it really hard to fold the egg whites into the batter without collapsing the egg whites and at the same time making sure everything was properly mixed. It seemed like the batter didn't want to be pulled up from the bottom to mix with the egg whites. Perhaps using a giant spatula (like ridiculously giant) would've been more helpful for that amount of batter.

I was really happy when I took the cake out of the oven and it smelled good. The recipe just said to gently press the middle of the cake with your finger and if it springs back then it's done. I stuck a toothpick (or three) into it just to make sure. The next problem was when I thought it wasn't going to come out of the pan (I made it in a sheet pan type thing), but a little coaxing with a spatula, and thankfully it fell out.


(The goo on the cake.)


When I took the cake out of the oven, the top was dry. But after cooling for a couple of hours, the top became wet. No idea why that happened or if that was supposed to happen or how I could've avoided it. Another problem was the bottom of the cake looked like it had all these little lumpy things (which I'm glad I didn't notice when I was eating the dessert so they didn't end up being that big of an issue.) I picked one out with a spoon and tasted it and I think it might've been a bit of the batter that hadn't mixed properly with the egg whites? Even though it seemed like I might've overmixed the batter. So overall, I was not really happy with the cake making experience. I tried a little piece of it separately and it tasted okay. It's pretty spongey, not sure if that's what it's supposed to be like.


Now the custard, I love making custards (though I do get quite hot standing over a hot stove for at least 15 minutes.) And I loved the taste of this custard. It had a really comforting homey taste to it (if that makes any sense). Some people are really good at pie crusts, at cakes, or whatever else, but for me I think it's custards. I know some people are scared that they won't stir fast enough and it will burn or curdle, but I think the trick is to use a big pot so you have lots of room to whisk. I really enjoy the whole process. Mixing a bit of the hot cream into the egg mixture to temper it and then quickly whisking the egg mixture back into the cream and watching it all thicken up.

This recipe definitely made a huge amount. Since I cut the cake into pieces to put on top of the custard, I just mixed the leftovers together (custard, cake, chocolate) and put it in the fridge. When I had the dessert after it was first put together, I thought it was okay but not my favourite or something I'd want to make again. After it sat all mixed up in the fridge overnight, it was so insanely delicious. The chocolate had hardened a bit (but was still a bit soft due to the butter in the glaze) and the cake had soaked up some of the custard. I almost couldn't believe it was the same dessert because it just tasted so different. I would definitely make it again and do it that way, with putting it in the fridge all mixed up overnight, but probably try a vanilla cake instead of the orange (since I'm not a huge fan of orange). I can't wait for next month's challenge!


For the recipe, check out Mary's post, which has some beautiful photos. To see all the other lovely Daring Bakers' bostini cream pies, you can go to the Daring Bakers' Blogroll.

45 comments:

Baking Soda said...

Oh you wouldn't want to know where I put my food to photograph.. Sorry to hear your cake wasn't a success, it didn't affect the result though, your niece is too cute!

Valli said...

I'm sure that the end was result was just as delicious as any. Congratulations on completing your first Daring Baker challenge.

Deborah said...

How funny - I just read someone else's post that liked it better when the chocolate was warm, but you liked it cold!! I'm not a chiffon cake master - so I'm not sure I can help with your cake problems, but I do love the squares of cake! They remind me of croutons!

Brilynn said...

Nicely done!

I put my leftover custard into my ice cream machine with some baileys... mmmm Baileys...

Celine said...

hip hip hooray for you, daring baker extraordinaire!

Susan said...

I think the cake looks great and I love it cubed like that. The expression on your niece's face is just perfect!

Belinda said...

I think your Bostinis look absolutely perfect! And how adorable is your little niece?! I hope she got to have a few bites of that Bostini after the photo was taken! :-)

kellypea said...

The cube idea is so cool! It presents very well. Clearly, your daughter thinks so ;) Nice job..."goo on the top" or not.

Annemarie said...

I love custard too - I think custard making and custard liking are two very good skills to have. Your dish looks great (especially in the hands of your niece). Congrats on your first challenge.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

It looks totally delicious! I can see why your niece was eager to hold it. Good job!

Laura Rebecca said...

Oh, the wet thing happened to me, too! But I baked them the night before and stored them in an airtight container so, the next day when I plated them, they were fluffy but moist throughout. They're perfectly fine for submerging in custard & chocolate, but I can't imagine the cake standing up to any sort of frosting being spread on it.

In any event, your Bostinis look great (thanks for the tip for photographing food on the floor) and congrats on completing your first challenge.

Anh said...

Welcome to the daring bakers!

Yours look very good despite the little prob with the cake!

slush said...

Something about a little girl and her cake... too cute!! Great job despite a wet cake. Mine came out with an odd texture too. Having not made chiffon before, Im going to say its perfect!

Hannah said...

What fun, I didn't know that you were a daring baker! I'll be joining you guys in next month's challenge, so I can't wait to find out what's in the plans.

Oh, and seriously, taking pictures on the floor is a great idea since there's usually no clutter and little background noise. In fact, one of the pictures that will be in my book was taken outside on the floor of my tiny porch, because I couldn't get enough light elsewhere!

abby said...

i love the jackson pollock style drizzles of chocolate on your bostini!

Courtney said...

your niece looks adorable,i like the cake in squares looks great to me. well done on your first db challenge

Claire said...

I just LOVE the picture of your niece...that is SO cute! I've taken pictures on the floor and always feel weird about it b/c I don't have hard wood but carpet!

Ivonne said...

Congratulations on completing your first challenge! You did a great job!

April said...

Congrats on competing your first challenge. Part of the fun in this is to learn as we go..

breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge!! And love the little chunks of cake and the picture of someone really enjoying the Bostini!! Welcome aboard.

Lis said...

I HEART that photo of your niece! What a fabulous pose! hehee

I like how you chunked your cake.. it looks yummy! And yeah, i can totally see how it'd be really good all mixed up. I might have to try that!

Terrific first challenge!

xoxo

Sheltie Girl said...

Beautiful. I love your presentation of the little cubes of cake on top of the custard. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Jen Yu said...

I had goo on my cake too. It always develops after cooling (perhaps the steam escaping from the cake as it cools?). I rather liked that nice dry crust when it first comes out of the oven... Your niece is such a ham, a really cute and adorable one at that! Good job on the bostinis!!

jen at use real butter

VeggieGirl said...

yay, congratulations on becoming a Daring Baker!!! I'm always so aw-struck at what everyone creates for the various challenges - excellent work on the cake, even if you didn't think it was a success (it looks just fabulous in the photograph!)

Andrea said...

A beautiful Bostini! I've not put my food on the floor for photographing because all three of my boys would dive in! he he he

Nicely done on the challenge, and welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great job! I'm sorry to hear that... Anyway, I'm sure that it was delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Christina said...

Good idea to cube the cake. It makes for an interesting picture, too.

For some reason, all the tops of my cakes and muffins end up getting a sticky, moist coating on top while cooling. Also, I had a little run in with the cake releasing from the pan, except for the pan lined with wax paper, but I ended up getting it out without breaking the cake.

Great job, your cake has a nice-looking texture, and you niece is adorable!

Oh, I've been known to put plates of food on the floor of the deck to take a picture of it!

Julie said...

I love the cubed cake! And I eat on the floor all the time (not off the floor, mind you--I just like to sit on the floor). I think the gooey cake top has something to do with the condensation that collects as it cools.

Carla said...

Mmm it looks so yummy! I'll be right over ;)

marias23 said...

I love the you cubed your sponge cake in the presentation. The chocolate glaze drizzles are also pretty and your niece is absolutely precious! :)

Julius said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog.

Your bostini is adorable - and delicious, I bet (your niece looks very happy).

:)

Julius, the Occasional Baker

Elle said...

Love the cute cubes of cake and it was brilliant to mix them with the custard and chocolate and refrigerate the mix. I saved a stacked Bostini for my nephew in the fridge and what he had tasted better than the cute little thing did the first day. Great job on the challenge & photos.

Tartelette said...

Congrats on your first challenge...and your niece is a future star! Your Bostini look mighty tasty!!

Anita said...

Love the shot of your niece! And your presentation of the bostinis is gorgeous!

DaviMack said...

I'd say that the cakes pull moisture from the air because of their sugar content, but as to the lumpy things ... maybe they were egg?

In any event, they seem to have tasted good enough, and they certainly look wonderful!

Dolores said...

One of the many reasons I spent a large chunk of my kitchen remodel budget on a hard wood floor was because it photographs great!

I love your "crouton" bostini, and the glassware you chose to serve it in. I enjoyed your story, and I'm glad you decided to join us. :)

Inne said...

I had just the same thing with my cakes - they came dry out of the oven and became a bit sticky later on!

Great idea about the floors - I've just renovated my wooden floors (stained them a dark colour and then oiled them) and I've been using them as a backdrop non-stop!

doolaik said...

your niece is adorable!

Quellia said...

You have a natural taste tester in your niece!
Nice job on the challenge.

The Expedited Writer said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog while I was looking for Ricardo's raspberry and white choc pie. Kudos to you for trying it out. I made mine too but with dark chocolate, i must say the outcome is pretty good as well!

Just popping over to say hello I guess and to commend you on your wonderful blog :)

digix said...

Morgan's sooo cute! this dessert sounds good.. i love orange and chocolate combined :] and custard. who doesnt love custard? will you make me custard when i come back?

Lyrically speaking said...

I'm salivating over here at home, the pics look sooooooo delicious...thanks for sharing this with us, I will need to come back again

Gabi said...

I think chiffon cakes with egg white,sugar and oil have a natural tendency towards gumminess.
Your presentation turned out beautifully though and the pic of a happy niece is priceless!
Good job!
xoxo

Peabody said...

Well done...love the photo of your niece.

eatme_delicious said...

Thanks everybody for all the wonderful comments. :)