the appetizer:

Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum, includes recipes like Le Succès; Double Chocolate Valentine; and The Bostini (Boston Cream Pie).


The Bostini (Boston Cream Pie)

Serves: 8


Baking Time: 25 to 30 minutes

This transformed Boston Cream Pie is the signature dessert of pastry chef Kurtis Baguley. My dear colleague and friend Flo Braker introduced me to him because the cake component of his dessert is my recipe for orange chiffon from The Cake Bible. The Bostini is so popular that when he worked at Scalia's in San Francisco, Kurtis had it written into his contract that he could take the recipe with him wherever he goes. When you taste it, you will see why.

Kurtis's silken pastry cream is a cross between pastry cream and crème anglaise (one-third the cornstarch of pastry cream though richer, with more yolks and heavy cream and perfumed with lots of vanilla bean). It is also much less sweet (about half the sugar).

The Orange Glow Chiffon, baked in muffin molds, is exceptionally tender and more velvety than usual and when inverted into the cream sauce, absorbs some of it into its crumb. For an incredibly opulent effect, the dark chocolate glaze, poured over the tops of the cupcakes and dripping down the sides of the cups, gives rise to the impulse to lick it on the spot.

To make just six Bostini, use half the cake recipe and three-quarters the recipes for pastry cream and chocolate glaze.


Orange Glow Chiffon Cupcake Batter

Makes: 12 cupcakes


  Volume Weight  
cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (or 1 cup), sifted into the cup and leveled off 4 ounces 112 grams
superfine sugar 3/4 cup, divided 5.3 ounces 150 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon    
salt 1/4 teaspoon    
canola or safflower oil, at room temperature 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) 2 ounces 54 grams
about 4 large eggs, separated, plus about 1 additional white, at room temperature      
          yolks 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) 2.6 ounces 74 grams
          whites 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces) 5.3 ounces 150 grams
orange zest, finely grated 1 tablespoon, loosely packed   6 grams
orange juice, freshly squeezed 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) 3.2 ounces 91 grams
pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon    
cream of tartar 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon    

Special Equipment
Silicone muffin pan with twelve 4-ounce cavities, set on a wire rack and then on a baking sheet, or muffin pans (either type of pan should be coated very lightly with baking spray with flour; without flour the cupcakes would collapse). | Eight tall slender 6- or 7-ounce custard cups or cappuccino cups (the diameter should be about the same size as the top of the cupcake mold).

Preheat the Oven
Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C.

Make the Batter
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, mix the flour, all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Make a well in the center. Add the oil, yolks, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1-1/2 minutes, or until very thick. If you don't have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue
In the clean mixer bowl fitted with the clean whisk beater, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. With the mixer off, add the cream of tartar. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until very stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

Add the Meringue to the Batter
Using a large balloon wire whisk, slotted skimmer, or large silicone spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter in two parts until just blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans filling them up to the top.

Bake the Cupcakes
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed in the centers.

Cool and Unmold the Cupcakes
Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, or until just warm. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pans and the cupcakes, pressing against the pans, and turn each cupcake gently in its pan to loosen it. Lift each cupcake out and invert it onto a wire rack, coated lightly wlth nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely.


Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Sauce

Makes: 3-1/2 cups/28 fluid ounces/1 pound, 14 ounces/860 grams


  Volume Weight  
milk 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) 4.2 ounces 121 grams
cornstarch 2 tablespoons 0.7 ounce 19 grams
about 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3.5 fluid ounces) 4 ounces 112 grams
1 large egg, at room temperature 3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces) 1.7 ounces 50 grams
1 vanilla bean, preferably Tahitian (see Note)      
sugar 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons 3 ounces 85 grams
salt pinch    
heavy cream 2-1/2 cups (20 fluid ounces) 20.5 ounces 580 grams

Prepare the Egg Mixture
Have ready a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Have ready the custard cups.

In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in the yolks and whole egg until completely blended. Set it aside.

Mix the Vanilla Bean with the Dry Ingredients
With a small sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and rub them in with your fingers.

Make the Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Sauce
In a medium heavy saucepan, scald the cream, sugar mixture, and vanilla pod over medium heat (bring it to the boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery), stirring often. Whisk vigorously while adding about 1/3 cup of this mixture to the egg mixture. Quickly add all of the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture, whisking rapidly. Continue whisking rapidly for 1 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove it from the heat and strain it into a bowl. Use the back of a spoon or silicone spatula to scrape any thickened cream from the bottom of the pan and to press it through. Whisk vigorously to cool it slightly. Remove the vanilla pod and rinse and dry it for future use.

Immediately pour the cream sauce into the custard cups to fill them about two-thirds full. (If you use a short, wider-mouth cup, it is best to fill it only half full with cream to prevent the cream from overflowing when the cake is eaten. The tall slender cup works best because the cake acts as a "cork" to prevent the cream from corning up over the cup.) Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the cream to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold.

Note: You can use 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, but a vanilla bean really shines here.


Chocolate Butter Glaze

Makes: 1-3/4 cups/14 fluid ounces/15.5 ounces/436 grams


  Volume Weight  
unsalted butter 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) 8 ounces 227 grams
dark chocolate, 60% to 62% cacao, chopped   8 ounces 227 grams

Make the Chocolate Butter Glaze
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter until it starts to simmer. (Or place it in a 4-cup heatproof glass measure in the microwave on high power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.) Remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Whisk the mixture until smooth and strain it into a 2-cup or larger heatproof glass measure. Keep the glaze warm. (You can pour it into a thermos or reheat it in a microwave or double boiler.)

Compose the Bostini
Up to 30 minutes before serving, place the custard cups, filled with the pastry cream sauce, on small dessert plates. Push each cupcake top side down into the custard cup so that it rests on top of the cream sauce and the bottom rises at least a little above the cup.

Just before serving, pour the warm chocolate glaze over each cupcake so that it coats the cake and a little of it dribbles down the sides of the custard cup. Serve immediately while the glaze is still warm and fluid. If desired, garnish wlth chocolate shavings and a light dusting of powdered sugar.


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This page created February 2010