When I joined the Daring Bakers, this was exactly what I was afraid of, and exactly what I was hoping for.
I’ll come right out and admit it, I’m afraid of cake, my number one baking nemesis! Although the name of this month’s challenge is Bostini Cream Pie, it’s cake alright, individual orange chiffon cakes no less, atop creamy vanilla custard and drizzled with smooth chocolate glaze. I’m quite sure Mary (Alpineberry) didn’t mean to freak me out on my very first challenge, but goodness, did it have to be cake? With me and cake, it’s always something: it sticks to the pan, it falls, it cracks, it’s too wet, it’s too dry. It’s always something with cake.
But as much as I was dreading cake, I was also hoping to learn some things and have fun exploring new baking territory. And this challenge did not disappoint in those departments. Who better than a cadre of Daring Bakers to help me face my cake phobia and come out with something that was lovely and delicious? (See the recipe here.)
Seven things I learned making Bostini Cream Pie (including making the chiffon cakes twice):
- Chiffon cake is a foam cake made with oil (no butter).
- A distinct rubbery bottom layer on your chiffon cake probably means you didn’t beat the egg whites enough, or folded them into the batter incompletely.
- The folding is much easier if you “lighten” the batter by stirring in a bit of the beaten egg whites before folding in the rest of the whites.
- Folding is best done with a flat spatula and consists of cutting straight down through the whites before folding the batter over on top of them. Here’s a nice video demonstration.
- Making custard is a
piece of cakesnap, and using a whole vanilla bean gives it beautiful flecks.
- Using a high proportion of heavy cream produces a custard that’s a little too rich for me. Next time I’ll use more milk, less cream.
- The Daring Bakers are a very warm and very knowledgeable bunch!
Congrats on your first DB challenge! I loved your post. It’s funny to think that for all the baking you do, cake is something you’re not comfortable with. Although I bake, savory cooking is my passion. So I understand…
You did a great job! And I too find it quite funny that you’re uncomfortable with cakes, since you’re so amazingly super-ultra-very good at baking bread. 🙂
I thought the same – most people are afraid of yeast, but happy baking cakes – and you’re the opposite?? I love your small green square bowl – fits the bostini pie well!
baking soda says
Well, same type of fear here! Cakes really scare me! Maybe it has something to do with baking bread… My cake looked mighty fine but it still collapsed a little, and I found it to be airy and light but dense in the mouth..beats me!
Your choc glaze came out very luscious!
Your 7 learning points are all right on! Don’t you think all milk would work and still be plenty rich.
The cake thing is funny; I’m thinking more fear yeast than cake.
Beautiful Bostini, Congrats.
What a great first challenge, Susan!
I’m so happy the cake worked out for you and that you learned something new =) I hope every month is just as much fun as this one was!
I agree with Anne. I would have thought cakes would so easy with you asyouve mastered these great breads. Excellent job.Looking forward to seeing your future DB creations.
Hi Susan, and you did wonderfully! BTW, your breads are absolutely beautiful and the care you put into baking them sure comes out in your pictures. =D
I also loved the vanilla bean specks floating in the custard along with the vanilla aroma. My hubby has already peeked over my shoulder letting me know that he may just have to get involved more often. Great! The gloating begins =D (BIG smile)
Great post. We are Daring Bakers!
And your bread! To die for.
I love the learning process, the DB’s have taught me how to properly make a chiffon cake as well.
Great job on your first challenge!!
I love the dish you used for presentation!
Also thanks for the folding demo. I’ll have to remember that!
Susan, great job for a former Bostonian haha
Beautiful job! So glad to have you in the DBs!
Looks like you conquered the cake, Susan. Love your presentation.
It’s very daring of you indeed to take on joining a group when there’s just a high risk of cake-baking! Well done on your first challenge and hopefully you’ve been able to extend your baking comfort zone.
Well done! Wonderful job plating your bostini!
beautiful job. i loved your list of what you learned making the bostini, that is very useful !
YEA Susan!!! Fantastic job on your first challenge!!! I’m so glad you got through it with absolutely flying colors!!!
Great post! Your seven points are right on. Welcome to the Daring Bakers. Love your bread!
Pretty as all get out. That bowl sets off the rich color of the chocolate. Mmm. I made mine a week ago…is it too soon to make it again?
Gorgeous Bostini and your custard is miles better than mine!
Yeah for a great successful cake experience. You did a fine job and we are lucky to have you with us. I know I don’t always have time to comment but I read your bread baking sessions all the time. All of the ones I tried tured out great!
Your cake looks great! Too bad you had to make it twice but now you’re more prepared for future cake adventures. 🙂 Unrelated to the cake, the bread in the photos on the left side for your blog look amazing.
I, too, thought the custard was a bit rich, but it sure did taste good!
Courtney Foster says
wow you did great, i too am not a huge fan of baking cakes. i dream to bake bread though. I like your seven things you learned that is a great little addition.
the caked crusader says
Many congratulations on your beautiful Bostinis!
You are the first person I’ve seen who has chosen to present them exactly as I did (although yours are perhaps more lovely!)
Congratulations on your first challenge!
It came out great..good job!
Jen Yu says
Looking good! I think it’s lovely. That custard *is* rich isn’t it? 😉
Congratulations! You have overcome your fears and succeeded! Wonderful!
Congrats on completing your first challenge! Your bostini looks wonderful!
I used to have a fear of yeast until we did a bagel challenge and the cinnamon bun challenge. Great job on your first challenge. Looks like you don’t need to fear cakes anymore!
I don’t think you need to be afraid of cake anymore! Great job!
What a good job! Keep it up…can’t wait to see what November challenge is!
Yummy! That custard looks so thick and creamy! I wish I didn’t have to miss out on this month’s challenge…
Welcome to the DBs!
Great job and kudos on overcoming your cake phobia!
The Bostini is beautiful and I enjoyed your post!
Well done, Susan! Your Boston Cream Tart (because if it’s this small, it can’t be called a pie) looks very good. SSSSweet though, isn’t it? :^)
P.S. The fact that the daring bakers often make sweet cakes and pastries (and REALLY challenging ones at that) is the main thing that has prevented me from asking to join. Not to mention that I’m pretty hopeless with deadlines and with following recipes to the letter….
Can’t believe that you had a fear of cakes – yours looks so beautifully done! Beautiful job!
Sheltie Girl says
You did a wonderful job on your bostinis. Lovely presentation in the pottery bowls.
Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go
Learning is what our group is about, so it sounds like you had an extra successful first challenge! Well done!
I love the presentation! Beautiful!
I am terrified of most bread recipes, but cake is a good friend. Its funny that your the opposite! I love the DBs for that!
I love your dish! It looks like a pinch pot. And your Bostini looks really tasty. Congratulations on your first challenge!
Your presentation looks wonderful. I love the dish you bostini is in. I am glad you tackled the cake fear. I am continually challenged by the DBrs. Lovely cakes. Wendy
Miss Scarlett says
Susan – I’ve just joined Daring Bakers and will participate in my first challenge next month! I saw all the Bostini Cream Pie posts on Tastespotting and knew I had to get in on all the (yummy) action!
And I love that so much of your blog is devoted to bread. (I used to be TERRIFIED of yeast bread, but no more fear here!)
You passed this cake test with flying colours, Susan! Well done!…:)
Special kudos to you for a great first challenge built from components outside of your comfort zone. Learning — learning together — is the name of the game here. I’m glad you’ve joined us, and I’m looking forward to learning together in the months to come.
So funny that cake is usually a problem for you…since you bake with yeast all the time and most people hate baking with yeast.
Great job on your challenge.
Thanks so much to everyone who visited and offered such wonderful moral support! I can honestly say that the edge is definitely off my cake anxiety, which is good because I’m sure there will be more cakes in the DBs’ future.