Bostini Cream Pie

I cut this Daring Bakers Challenge close. I waited until the last day and pretty close to the last hour to get this cake made and posted!

This month the bakers took on the challenge of a Bostini Cream Pie. I’d probably classify this as a restaurant version of the classic dessert; it is small, loaded with eggs and cream, and intended to be made in individual servings. If you check the recipe, you’ll see that the recipe is actually from a restaurant so my initial impressions were correct.

As is true with many pastries, this one is easily broken into several basic parts: chiffon, pastry cream, and ganache. I chose to make a few (allowed) adjustments to the recipe: using coconut milk in place for orange juice, only making a half recipe of pastry cream, and coming up with my own presentation. I was surprised to see how much pastry cream there was leftover even with half the recipe; I’m sure I can find a way to make it disappear though.

I served this to the eater and my parents tonight and the pies disappeared shortly before I was done taking photos. I’d consider making this dessert again but I’d change a few things up that are mostly personal preference. I’d probably choose a thinner cake like a joconde and would most definitely use a pastry cream that is a bit less rich. I was really surprised at how thick it was after it was chilled. I prefer a cream with a lighter, less dense, texture. I might even soak the sponge with some sort of boozey concoction that would tie all the flavors together.

Here’s the original recipe to try, if you dare…

Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala’s Bistro)
Makes 8 generous servings



3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean
(EDITED: vanilla extract is okay)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze

8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter


To prepare the custard:

Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.

Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.

Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze:

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble:

Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

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31 Responses to “Bostini!”

  • foodie says:

    Thanks everyone. It looks like the layered presentation was a real hit.

    The custard really did setup thicker than I expected, too. If I were to make this one again I’d probably use a less rich cream.

    As for the plating, everyone eventually gets ‘it’; you just need to plate about 1000 dishes and things finally click. I’m still surprised when I get something to look the way I want.

  • peabody says:

    I love the Napoleon look you have going on…it’s hip to be square(well rectangular!)

  • Gabi says:

    Wow, so beautiful, a sort of Bostini a la Napoleon! That is a truly professional plating.
    Nice job!!!

  • Dolores says:

    The coconut milk substitution was a popular one this month… and it sounds like a very good one! I love your creativity in plating this one; the rectangular layers look great!

  • Jenny says:

    Wow! Very nice! I’d order it in a restaurant, for sure.

  • Inne says:

    wow, Jef, that looks great. So elegant and professional.

  • Michelle says:

    I love your presentation and they way it all comes together. Great job and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  • Julie says:

    What a great presentation–I like how sleek and edgy it is. Your custard really did set up thick if you were able to pipe it! You can’t beat the look of it, though! I tried a vertical presentation, too, but it came out a lot more roughly–more ooze and crumbs!

  • foodie says:

    Whoa! Look at all the comments!

    DaviMack: The coconut milk was actually in the cake, not the custard. I just cooked it until it was good and thick like a pastry cream should be. It turned out a little thicker than I hoped.

    Adrion: Keep your photos up, there’s no shame in a completed challenge. If you keep daring, your desserts will only get better.

    Jen Yu: I wish I could take credit for the DB logo but I got some help from a secret DB. I actually have another that I may use next month.

    Tartelette: There were several spots I could have used more coconut but I just forgot. Next time I’d use coconut oil in the cake as well as coconut milk in the custard.

    Everyone else: thanks for all the compliments. Keep them coming, I enjoy the motivating comments!

  • maria~ says:

    Hey Jef! I’m like, totally blown away by your plating. Simply breathtaking and great photography! As for the booze, may I suggest a dash (or two) of Cointreau if you’re going to stick with the orange flavor. Great job!

  • abby says:

    i love the idea of soaking the sponge in something boozy jef – great thought!

  • Merav says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog from the DMBLGIT comment section and wanted to say you are very talented! Everything looks delicious and the plating is perfection!

  • Andrea says:

    Now that is really elegant looking! Very, very nice presentation!

  • Susan says:

    One of the most unique presentations I’ve seen. Really beautiful!

  • Tartelette says:

    It’s like Bostini meets Mille-Feuilles! Although I respect your comment that coconut water was too precious a nectar to use in the cake, I liked it because it did not make it heavy like coconut milk. However, coconut milk in the custard, absolutely yes! Had to taste great!

  • breadchick says:

    Wow! Love the stacked presentation. Looks like puff pastry Bostini!!!

  • Ivonne says:

    Ooh! A stacked bostini … nicely done!

  • MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    I really like the rectangle Jeff! It’s really beautifully presented. I would have to lighten this up a lot to make it again. Like your ideas on that for sure.

  • Christina says:

    I love your presentation! Great job.

  • Claire says:

    I’ve seen several people use coconut. Could be a nice change, though I did like the orange.

  • Lisa says:

    Gorgeous, Jef!

    I like how you would change it up too – sounds like a winner. =)


  • Jen Yu says:

    Your DB icon is awesome! Love it. Great plating on your bostini and wow – your pastry cream was moldable 🙂 And I too was tempted to soak with some sort of liqueur-based syrup…

  • Sheltie Girl says:

    Your bostinis turned out beautifully. I love the layered presentation. I agree with you about the flavors though…it needs some adjustment to be really good.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  • Alice Q. Foodie says:

    You were smart to halve the pastry cream! I like your plating, looks like your pastry cream did come out quite thick. I also agree with you that it would benefit from some booze!

  • Deborah says:

    Amazing presentation!! That looks like a true restaurant serving!

  • April says:

    Your bostini looks great!

  • Adrion says:

    WOW!!! There are just no words to describe how fantasic your Bostini looks. I almost want to take my photos down in utter shame.

  • Courtney says:

    That looks amazing! Like a napoleon of sorts. And your garnish is lovely. Like your logo.

  • DaviMack says:

    Awesome! Truly professional looking dessert, and I can’t believe that you got your custard to thicken so well! Was it the coconut, I wonder?

  • Mary says:

    I’m so glad you were able to do this month’s challenge. I love the look of the piped cream with the layers of cake. Nicely done. =)

  • Julius says:

    Hi Jef,

    I really like the way you plated this dessert. Ditto for your substitutions (coconut instead of OJ), which I think I will try next time.

    Please feel free to check out my bostini here.


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