Monday, 29 October 2007

Daring (cheating, last-minute) Baker

It’s amazing how time flies, especially when you spend one weekend at a friends’ cottage in the countryside (doing nothing all weekend but eating, sleeping, and walking the dog) and another weekend hosting friends who take over your kitchen to cook you a lovely, amazing and delicious Japanese meal. Such a hard life, I know.

After waving goodbye to our Japanese friends on Sunday morning (S duly made crepes for breakfast, the third weekend in a row), I realised I had only the rest of the day left to finish this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, hosted by Mary of Alpine Berry: bostini cream pie, which consists of vanilla custard, orange chiffon cake, and melted chocolate.

Having already missed last month’s challenge, I didn’t want to miss this month’s again, even though work has been insanely busy, my weekends filled with, you know, other things, and, last but not least, the fact I simply don’t like chocolate and orange combined. But time was running out, so prepare for a bit of cheating along the way.

The chiffon cake was an absolute doddle to make and came together in no time at all - I think it took the whole of 10 minutes to throw all the ingredients together. I halved the quantities, used leftover egg whites I had frozen a while ago, and used orange juice from a carton. Oh, and I left out the zest because I don’t exactly like zest of anything either. That’s my first bit of cheating, but it will get worse. Consider yourself warned. I used my new mini-brioche moulds and a muffin tin, and the resulting cakes were nicely fluffy, airy and moist. They did shrink and change shape after cooling tough, which I also experienced when I made the infamous strawberry mirror cake for the DB July challenge. I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of chiffon cake, but I can see how it might work in a ‘supporting role’, to bring together other components of a dessert. Chiffon cake by itself always seems to lack something to me, I find it just too sweet and bland. Having said that, the orange juice added a subtle bit of tang to it, which made it taste slightly more interesting.

Warning: major cheating coming up. I didn’t have that much time left to finish and photograph the dessert – now that the clocks have gone back an hour, it starts getting dark ridiculously early in the afternoon, which means less time to make decent photographs. I could have got up early this morning to make some pics of course, but I know myself too well to know that wasn’t going to happen. So I may, ahem, have made custard from a packet. Powder from the packet, milk, vanilla sugar, and some vanilla bean paste added to it, a bit of stirring et voilà, the quick ‘n easy cheat’s way to custard. But at least I’m being honest about it - my parents brought me up well that way, teaching me not to lie.

The chocolate and butter I melted together in a soup bowl in the microwave, which took another entire minute, and I dipped my little chiffon cakes in it to give them a chocolate coating.

After a few quick piccies I found a willing guinea pig in S - who had been hovering around the kitchen, his spoon at the ready, ever since he saw the custard. He loved it (but he loves everything that comes drenched in custard) until I mentioned that there was orange in the cake, and then he didn’t like it as much any more. I knew I wouldn’t like it, but I didn’t dislike it as much as I thought I would. The orange was rather subtle; the combination of soft fluffy cake with custard and chocolate makes for a very comforting dessert; the cake by itself tasted ok; I’ll have to fight S for the rest of the custard; and it was incredibly easy to make and present, which makes it perfect to show off at dinner parties. It’s just not very ‘me’, this dessert. But if you like chocolate and orange combined, by all means, give it a go.

You can check out all the other Daring Bakers’ efforts here.

40 comments:

Abby said...

they may be cheat-bostinis but they look good! you must try the custard though inne, it was my favourite part of the recipe.

Gigi said...

Bravo! Beautiful Bostini!

Laura said...

Honesty is the best policy! I left mine to the last minute too and almost threw in the towel. But 2 out of 3 elements from scratch ain't bad!

broadcasting from a knitting parlour said...

Oh my Garde! You are a riot! Cheater cheater!!! Looks yummy anyway, enrobed and all. You have to try that custard before you die. It's just so damn, well, satisfying. That cream. God, Goddess, Godfrey!

breadchick said...

LOL!! Um...nope, didn't see you cheating...nope not looking! Glad you found a few minutes for us this week. Hope when you find time that you will make the custard from scratch. I thought it was the best part of the dish!!

Christina said...

You did the best you could for the amount of time you had!

Great idea, dipping the entire cake in chocolate. I don't think I've made a chiffon cake before so I didn't know what to expect, but I found it the perfect cake for a recipe with more than one component.

Courtney said...

your post is so funny, your parents would be proud. i got nervous I forgot to change my clocks, love the picture

Elle said...

Cute bostinis, even if a bit unorthodox. I used lemon since I like it better than orange. The crepes and Japanese dinner and lazing at a country place sound like reason enough to take a few shortcuts...after all life should be fun whenever possible.

The Caked Crusader said...

Your Bostinis are beautiful!

PS. Buy a kitchenaid!!! You'll never regret it. I think my love affair with my mixer is bordering on weird!

Baking Soda said...

Gasp!! a package! You can't be serious! *grins*
You did it girl, and we might forgive you but do send over some of that Japanese dinner just to make sure.

Anh said...

Your bostini pie comes together so well! Great job!

Truffle said...

I love the shape! I would never have known about the cheating if you hadn't told us!

DaviMack said...

From a packet ... might actually have taken a whole 2 minutes less to make. Just sayin. Nice job, though - and nobody would have known if you hadn't told us. :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Cheating Bostinis ;))
but one once ;))
Great fun.

Susan said...

10 minutes to throw the cake together? I am awestruck. Very cool the way the cake is completely enrobed in the chocolate.

Gabi said...

Beautiful picture even if the custard was a small cheat you weren't cowardly about admitting it :-)
I also used brioche tins - loved the fluted effect. And I love the idea of enrobing the whole cake in choc and sitting it on top.
xoxo

Deborah said...

Better to cheat and make it than to not make it at all!! I just made mine the day before, as well - I think there were a lot of procrastinators on this one!

Jen Yu said...

You couldn't not tell at all there was any cheating whatsoever. Nosiree. Looks fab and you did it so quickly - impressive.

jen at use real butter

Mary said...

I say it was not cheating but creative license. Great job!

thepassionatecook said...

i found the taste to be like jaffa cakes... sitting on a bed of custard! but how sad you missed out on the home-made custard, it's sooo much better than from a pack! next time ;-)

marias23 said...

Inne, the bostinis look fabulous and I particularly love the orange curl garnish and the way you presented it! Great job!

Shandy said...

You are to cute! Absolute doddle I have never heard before and I love it! I also admire your panicked enthusiasm to get the dessert together at the last minute, with some, uhmmm, slight. . .shortcuts. I agree with so many others here with the idea of dipping the chiffon cake into the chocolate glaze as being brilliant! Sweet!

Shandy (Pastry Heaven)

Sheltie Girl said...

You are a real champ to get into the kitchen and bake for the daring bakers as soon as your company left. Congratulations on finishing the challenge.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Julius said...

Looks fabulous! :) Your post is hilarious.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such encouraging words on my first DB challenge.

Julius, The Occasional Baker

creampuff said...

Inne,

That weekend sounds just amazing! And your bostini looks beautiful!

Claire said...

Hey...we all cheat sometimes, right? Looks great.

Anne said...

love the chiffon covered with glaze. you did a fabulous job!

Quellia said...

Funny how it was being enjoyed until you mentioned the orange!

Julie said...

Too funny! Your Bostini looks really good, jell-o pudding aside! ;D That said, I often feel self-conscious about my food photography. I live in a sub-level condo, so I really don't get any good natural light, and my camera was a $100 deal from Best Buy. I stopped food blogging altogether when my last hand-me-down camera broke. I say sometimes, you've just gotta sacrifice a good photo for a good recipe! ;)

Megan said...

I love the chocolate dipped cake!

wmpe said...

You got it done just under the wire. Your bostinis look great enrobed in all that chocolate. Wendy

steph- whisk/spoon said...

haha! that's pretty funny! sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do...yeah, normally i think chocolate and fruit of any kind should remain in separate worlds and never meet, but i didn't mind it so much either. the brioche molds gave you cakes such a cute shape!

eatme_delicious said...

I agree with others, the custard was the best part of the dish so you must try it when you have time! :)

Chelsea said...

Love the packaged custard! You are far braver than I am. I just sweat the details until the thing comes togther. You truly are a DARING BAKER!

Dolores said...

I want to spend a weekend doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and walking the dog!

I'm glad you found a way to join us, even if that meant cutting a few corners along the way.

If you enjoy custard and have a dozen eggs to sacrifice, do try the original custard cream at some point though... I agree with those who found it sinfully delicious.

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Ohhh..I'd say that relaxing at a cottage and being cooked a japanese dinner is well worth the cheating on the custard. Either way, your bostini looks adorable in that shape. Love it!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Well done! Your Bostonis look gorgeous no matter if you have been cheating or not...

Peabody said...

I'm not sure what a doodle is but I think it is good.

LizG said...

Great post...and good on you for full disclosure...The bostini still looks great!

Tartelette said...

You are so bad.....But they look so good! Glad you could join in!