I have a feeling that the Bostini, for many of us, is the most delectible picture in the book. This "re-imagined Boston cream pie" caught my eye time and again as I flipped through for some other cake-of-the-week, and I'd pause to look at the chocolate dripping down the sides of that cappuccino cup, maybe read a little bit of the recipe to see what the pieces were, then would flip on to another page. But now it's time for the Bostini itself.
As is my usual approach I did a half recipe, and for this individually composed dessert, I wanted half-sized servings--all the adults in the family are watching our weight, and while the active teenagers don't need to, they also are fine with smaller dessert sizes. Half-size seemed about right.
What to serve this in? Part of the reason the photograph of the Bostini is so attractive, I think, is the chocolate sauce flowing down the sides of the cappuccino cup used for serving. However, my practical side said that would be incredibly messy to eat--the cupcake would be pushed down into the pastry cream with the first few bites, sending (more) chocolate sauce and pastry cream cascading over the sides of the cup. Rose notes that if you have the right diameter of cup the cupcake will act as a stopper to keep the cream from running out of the cup, but I didn't have much choice of container diameters. Besides, I was going to have a half-sized portion, so coffee cups were out. After a scan of my cabinets, I decided on some slender 6 oz. white wine glasses (I had 4 of those) and custard cups for the rest. The custard cups weren't a good idea, as it turns out, for exactly the problem I'd thought of with the cappuccino cup. The wine glasses, on the other hand, were just right.
The first step was to bake the orange glow chiffon cupcakes, and for my half-size servings I couldn't use the specified cupcake pan. I went with a mini muffin pan. However, mini cupcakes are a lot less than half of a "regular" cupcake, so I ended up with 24 or so mini chiffon cakes. I was shooting for 8 half-sized servings, so decided that I'd use 2 mini chiffon cakes per.
Once the cakes were baked, it was on to the pastry cream. Rose describes it as a cross between a pastry cream and a crème anglaise--less cornstarch, richer, and much less sweet than a usual pastry cream. I created quite a mess of my island counter top by spilling part of the egg mixture over it while doing the juggling act to mix a little hot cream into the eggs, then mixing all the eggs into the cream, and not ending up with scrambled eggs. (No scrambled eggs, indeed, but lots of items on the countertop collected a coating of egg along the way.) However, the amount of egg lost to the spill must not have been enough to be a problem, as my pastry cream thickened nicely. After straining the custard, I poured it into the 4 wine glasses and 4 custard cups, and tried to put plastic wrap on the surface of each one. That's when the narrow wine glasses became a problem--it was very hard to maneuver a little piece of plastic wrap into the glass and onto the surface of the custard.
The last component is the chocolate butter glaze, basically equal weights of dark chocolate and butter. I used a ganache instead of the chocolate butter sauce. I'm sure the butter sauce would be wonderful, but I love ganache, too, and did you know that heavy cream has half the calories of butter, tablespoon for tablespoon? <g> I did use the same amount of cream in my ganache as butter called for in the chocolate butter sauce.
To compose the Bostinis, I put two of the mini orange chiffon cupcakes into each container with the pastry cream, and pushed it down a little. Then the warm chocolate sauce was poured on top--but not dripping down the sides, as my wine glasses had enough room to contain it.
This one is another unanimous hit, even from younger niece with her anti-cream/dairy attitude. (Which, you may recall, does not extend to whipped cream, so I suspected pastry cream would be OK.) She did ask if she could just have a wine glass full of the ganache, but being refused that, she ate a Bostini with no problem. There was some difficulty in eating them even from those who got the wine glasses--the chiffon cupcake was a little hard to cut into bites with a spoon. Perhaps I should have let them soak in the pastry cream for a while before serving, but in the end, one way or another, no one had leftovers in their cup.