Custom Search

Monday, October 29, 2007

I DARE: Bostini Cream Pie October Challenge!

YIPPEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SO excited that I get to participate with all the wonderful daring bakers! I could not be more thankful, as this gives me the motivation, and a VERY good reason to make delicious food and expand my baking horizon.

This is my first challenge: Bostini Cream Pie

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 ( I used soymilk)

2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 whole egg,

beaten 9 egg yolks,


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 (I used earth balance)


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.

This challenge REALLY scared me when I first looked at the recipe and the instructions. I've never EVER made custard in my life and from all the tempering horror stories that I have heard, I almost went numb. I thought 'Great, my first challenge from Mary of Alpineberry and I'm going to completely fail it.'

I have to say though, it turned out to be not as intimidating as I had thought and I had a bunch of fun making it. I was nervous though about how I would mould the custard so that it would stay in shape ( I just wanted it that way). So I lined mini loaf pans with aluminum foil and refrigerated it that way. Well, stupid me thought it would stay that way, but obviously it didn't so I stuck it in the freezer. It held its shape that way but it melts SO fast as you can tell from the pictures.

My favorite part though of the challenge was the chiffon cake. OH BOY! It was SO good. It was so moist and soft and the orange juice and zest stood out soooo well. I basically ate the cake by itself.

All in all, I had a blast with this challenge and can't wait for the next one! YAY! I promise better presentation and better picture taking skills (they really aren't very good. lol)

Till next challenge!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Beam me up Scottie!

Brandons parents stopped in to see us on their way back to Oregon from their African Safari trip. It was really good to see them again. Just adds that excitement to the boring world of daily life, you know? Thankfully for me I was able to entertain since I don't have exams to study for and I did my homework at school. Knew that would pay off eventually ;-). Not so lucky for Brandon. His studying never ceases, poor guy. Though saturday he took us to see the planes he flies. They are adorable!!!!!

Like father like son. They make a good duo!
Here's mom climbing aboard
Some instrument thingies on what-you-ma-call-it panels.
A view of some of the planes that are tied down for the weekend.
A helicopter for transporting people and equipment. I may be wrong but I believe it can lift a hummer.
The front view of the transport helicopter. Massive thing!
Here's one for transportation of people only.
My attempt at being a "professional" photographer. Okay, you can laugh.
Thought I would surprise Brandon Saturday morning with a chocolate marble loaf. I tried not to be loud but that didn't work. I'm SO noisy in the kitchen.

I made this healthier also, and boy I'm glad I did cause it tastes good.
2 1/2 C flour
2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts salt
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C vege oil
4 squares bakers chocolate
1/2 C soymilk
1/4 C plain yoghurt
1/2 C eggbeaters
1 ts pure vanilla
Melt the chocolate squares with 1/4 C of the soymilk, stirring. When melted, set aside.
Mix together flour, salt, baking powder.
Mix together 1/4 C soymilk and the yogurt.
In mixer, cream oil and sugar. Then add flour mixture and yogurt mixture alternating, starting and ending with flour. When combined, add vanilla.
Pour into greased loaf pan and bake 325 degrees F for 55 minutes to an hour.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkin BOOcake hero

Things have been going so fast here lately, that halloween kinda spooked up on us literally. Speaking of which, I won't even be at home to hand out candy to the kiddies cause I'll be at school that evening. I couldn't not do anything for halloween, so I thought I'd make some halloween pumpkin cupcakes and enter it into this months Cupcake Hero admissions. The ingredient is Cloves.

I thought I'd use the new black food coloring that is out, to make some cobwebs for the cupcakes and since I had canned pumpkin, I thought what the heck! I LOVE pumpkin. So it's been hard to resist not eating these, and resist I have not. ;-)
And yes, the black does stain your lips a little, so probably not a good idea to eat it right before you meet your date. lol. The texture of the cupcake is wonderful, it almost has a spring to it when you bite into it, and the smoothness of the frosting combines well with the cupcake texture. The crumb is soft but it does not crumble when you take a bite, so no messy crumbs. :-D I am a messy cupcake eater to be honest.

Pumpkin BOOcake
Mix together:
2 2/3 C flour
2 ts baking powder
2 ts baking soda
2 ts cinnamon
1/4 ts ground cloves
1/4 ts ground nutmeg
1 ts salt
In large bowl mix together:
1 can canned pumpkin
1 C sugar
1 C light brown sugar
1 C vegetable oil
1 C eggwhites (1/4 C at a time, mixing after each addition)
Mix dry into wet ingreidents:
In 3 additions and mix well
Pour into lined muffin tins
350 degrees F for 25 minutes
Let cool before frosting
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz white chocolate chips
(melt in a double broiler and add to):
12 oz cream cheese whipped with 1/2 C of earth balance buttery sticks
Add whatever coloring your heart desires ;-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

gimme some pie!

Well, I didn't think I was going to even get to school today because again, there was a tornado warning, but it only ended up being a thunderstorm. I'm SO sick of this weather, plus it's getting cold. Florida, I loved here firstly because of the Navy, but secondly, because it is warm! Supposedly. Anyways, I got there safely and all. Thank goodness.

Todays lesson was part II of pies. That is fruit pies and cream pies. I'm not hot on cream pies so I was glad that we got apple pies. Unfortunately, we had to 6x the pie crust recipe, to make 2 homestyle apple pies, and 4 Mrs. Smith pies (industrial canned apple pies) and 1 apple steusel crumble pie. Yeah, lets just say lab took a good 3 1/2 hours. We got out 35 minutes after class was suppose to have ended and I didn't even eat any, cause well...the amount of butter in those crusts scared me.

My friends Danni, Kim, Pierre and Scott (I believe that's his name) made the butterscotch pie above. All the cream pies had to have a prebaked pie shell:

CLASSIC PIE CRUST(makes 2 9 inche pie crusts):
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 ts salt
3.5 oz butter
3.5 oz shortening
12 tbs ice water
Stir flour & salt in bowl. cut lard into 1/2 inch cubs; add to flour and with fingertips mix until pea sized fat remains in the flour.
Gradually add water, tossing flour/fat mixture with fingertills uill dough can be drawn into a ball.
Divide in half, flatten into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
TO PREBAKE SHELL FOR CREAM PIES: roll out and place 1 disk into a pie dish, then insert another pie dish ontop of the dough. Put it upside down and bake 400 F. Then remove top pan, dock the bottom of the pie crust and bake until golden brown right side up.
3/4 C brown sugar
3 tbs flour
1 tbs cornstarch
1/4 ts salt
1 1/2 C milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch & salt in top of broiler. Mix with wooden spoon. Blend in milk gradually, then add egg yolks. Add butter
Place over boiling water with pan touching water. Stir constantly until thick & smooth (7 minutes). Scrape sides of pans as necessary.
Take off heat, add vanilla and stir till smooth. Pour hot filling into prebaked pie shell.

Here is a chocolate cream pie. Here you would melt 1.5 squares of chocolate into the milk in the double broiler and allow to cool. Instead of 3/4 C brown sugar, use granulated sugar.

My group made the Mrs Smith pie above, from canned apples - ew.

1 No. 10 Can sliced applies
2 lbs water ( we used the juice from the can and apple cider to equal 2 lbs)
1 lb sugar
1/4 oz salt
1/4 oz cinnamon
1/8 oz nutmeg
4 oz cornstarch
We drained the apples and kept the liquid.
Add apple cider to liquid to equal 1 qt.
Use 3 C of that liquid, mix with sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and bring to a boil in a pan.
In another bowl mix together cornstarch & 1 C of the liquid.
Slowly add the cornstarch mix to spice mixture constantly stirring.
Once thickened, pull off the heat and add the apples into the thickened liquid. Allow to cool before pouring into unbaked pie shell. Fill just to level and wet the sides of the bottom crust with water then put top crust over filling and flute the edges of the crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, then 350 degrees F for another 20 minutes.

This is the homestlye apple pie which I personally think looks a whole lot better and I'm sure it tastes much better than the Mrs Smiths pie.


3 lbs 14 oz apples
4 Tbs bread flour
1 1/2 C sugar
2 ts cinnamon
milk to brush top crust
2 packets turbinado sugar

This is simple, just mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together and pour apples into flour mixture and coat apples. Then top apples high in the bottom unbaked pie crust. Spritz edges of bottom crust with water, and top with top pie crust. Cut top pie crust level to table to rid of excess pie crust that are overhanging. Then tuck the top crust edges underneath the bottom crust and flute edges. Brush with milk, top with turbinado sugar and make 3 vertical slits down the middle. Bake 400 degrees F for 20 minutes and 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. It will be done if the apples are soft when you stab your knife into it.

This is the streusel version of the apple pie. It looks pretty enough. We had extra streusel from last weeks class with the sour cream streusel muffins recipe.

Now we have 2 versions of the banana cream pie. The one above has the banana slices incorporated into the cream mixture it self while the one below has it on the top. I'm not really sure how they made this actually. I should probably figure that one out. lol.

There was a group that made a keylime pie but they used graham cracker crumbs that had been mixed with rancid cottonseed oil and they didn't notice it until everyone took a bite of it. Yuck! So glad I didn't eat it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lime away!

I've noticed ever since I have been here in Florida, that the prominent dessert in every restaurant is the one, the only.....


I had my doubts as to whether my tastebuds would accept this "key lime thing." I mean, the ingredients were so few, I wasn't sure it would turn into anything really. Turned it did though. I must say that I really LOVE the flavor. It's almost cheesecake like in consistency and taste. That tartness was fantastic, but I've always been for tartness. Brandon however, wasn't too thrilled about it, though he had said he would like to try it since he likes the keylime yogurt. lol. I have a huge pie in the fridge that I feel really badly for. So I suppose it's up to me to eat it ;-)


Graham Crust: 3 C graham cracker crumbs, mixed with 2-3 oz butter. Pat into pie dish. Bake 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (may be less)

Pie filling:
24 oz condensed milk (I used low fat)
3/4 C freshly squeezed lime juice
2 eggs (I used 1 whole egg, and 1/4 C eggbeaters)

Mix condensed milk with beaten eggs, mix thorougly. Then add 3/4 C lime juice.
Combine, then pour into graham cracker crust. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Refrigerate till ready to serve.

Traditionally, it is topped with a meringue topping so I thought I would be "traditional" rather than serving it with whipped cream. Yeah, I didn't like the meringue much. It was much better without any topping.

I found out this morning that the bakery I was going to work for isn't going to hire me now because the head pastry chef had a heart attack and there is no one to train me. So, naturally I was pretty devastated and when brandon left to study with Dermit, I just had to bake away the nerves. Getting back on track with my bible study helped the most though. I don't know why I stopped, but that is a goal of mine from now on, to get back on track with my bible study time. So back to baking. I needed to bake. Whenever something goes not "my" way, it is relaxing for me to bake. My mind just zones out completely from the world. I made mini banana loaves.


3 bananas, mashed
1/4 C eggwhites, beaten
1/3 C total apple sauce & oil mixed together (half of each)
1/2 ts baking soda
1/4 ts salt
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour all purpose
Chopped up bakers chocolate (as much as your little heart desires :-D)

Mix the bananas with the eggwhites, then the oil & applesauce, the baking soda, the salt and the sugar. Mix thorougly to combine. Lastly, add the flour and mix till incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Pour into greased mini loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or till thorougly cooked and browned on top.

The last step: EAT!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flour bag bread

Studying all day really makes you want to bake. Well, it makes me want to bake. I wanted to make a keylime pie today but I had been driving all morning long back and forth running errands that the last place I wanted to go was to the grocery store. So I opted for the 'Cheesy Italian Oatmeal Pan Bread' from the back of the pillsbury flour bag. I know, I know. How adventerous of me right? Hey, it sounded good and honestly, it tastes pretty darn good too. So I present to you:


2 C water
1 C rolled oats
3 tbs butter/margarine (I used earth balance)
4-5 C flour
1/4 C sugar
2 ts salt
1 T active dry yeast
1 large egg (I used 1/4 C eggbeaters)
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
Boil water, stir in rolled oats & butter. Cool to 100-110 degrees F. Combine 1 1/2 C flour, sugar, salt & yeast in a large bowl, blend well. Add rolled oats mixture & egg. Blend at low speed in mixer until moistenened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, sir in 1 3/4- 2 1/2 C flour & cheese to form stiff dough.
Knead in 1/2-3/4 C flour on floured surface, until dough smooth & elastic, 5 minutes. Shape dough into ball; cover with large bowl. Let rest 15 minutes. Punch down dough; press into greased pan (13 x 9 inches). Using sharp knife (I used a pizza cutter), cut diagonal lines 1 1/2 in apart, cutting completely through dough. Repeat in opposite direction creating diamond pattern. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place, 45 minutes.
Heat to 375 degrees F. Uncover dough, redefine diamond pattern by cutting in an up and down motion through to the bottom of pan with sharp knife. Brush top with melted butter, bake 15 minutes, rebrush with butter and sprinkle with topping (I used a different one than the one on the bag). I sprinkled parmesean cheese, dried basil and dried parsley. Bake for another 15 minutes. YUMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYY!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Scones & the never ending pit that is my stomach

I really don't know if it is just that I am a glutton, or that I work out, or that is just a girl thing that I am constantly hungry. I think I am just a glutton. lol. It does get quite annoying though, constantly eating, especially after dinner. I can not eat a thing till noon or 1pm (which I try not to do) but once 4pm hits my mouth is a machine and my stomach is a never ending pit. Really though, I am interested. Is it just me or are people out there as strange as I am?

This morning I left the house at 10am, after the news had lifted the tornado warning. I needed to go downtown to Pensacola to fill out paper work for employment at a bakery. I was 20 minutes into the drive and 20 more minutes till my destination when the radio annouced another tornado landing downtown pensacola. Then the rain poured, the thunder and lightening hit. I couldn't see a thing, my heart felt like it was on drugs and I was driving SOOOOOOOOOO slow. I was scared to death and had to keep driving over the bridge till I reached the first exit. I turned around and a 20 minute drive back home took around 40 minutes. It was crazy! I am hoping that the bakery is ok, because I really need that job and I had told him I was going in today for the paperwork. I called several times but I just got the machine and I know the tornado hit that area, so I just hope he understands that I couldn't make it.

I got home and had to do something with my nerves, so I baked. I made some healthy yogurt scones. Brandon HATES scones because they are so dry to him. So I figured it would be softer if I used yogurt and applesauce.

Pre-bakage: I made his with chocolate chips, and topped it with cinnamon-sugar. WHOOOOOHHHHH.
Pre-bakage: For me, I'm a cranberry nut and a poppyseed nut, so I combined them. It was the only logical thing to do.
20 minutes later VIOLA! Golden and ready to go into my stomach!!!
Brandon must have liked it cause he ate 3! (I ate 3 too, but spread it out through the day - me so bad!)

yogurt cranberry poppy seed scones

1 3/4 C flour

2/3 C whole wheat flour

1/2 C sugar

2 ts baking powder

1/2 ts baking soda

1/4 ts salt

2/3 C plain non-fat yogurt

3 tbs apple sauce

1/4 C eggbeaters

1 ts vanilla extract

1/3 C cranberries (dried)

1 T poppyseeds

Combine all the dry ingredients except cranberries and poppyseeds.

combine all wet ingredients and whisk to combine.

Add wet to dry ingredients, stir a little.

Transfer to floured surface and knead in cranberries & poppyseeds.

Pat into a circle, place on greased baking sheet. Cut into 8 wedges.

Bake 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

For Chocolate chips variation: knead in chocolate chips instead of cranberries and poppyseeds. Before baking, spray with olive oil spray over top of scones and then sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


And corned we literally were. School today consisted of a midterm which I did not do as well on as the first one, and then making LOADS of cornbread. Man...

This is a pancetta and cheddar cheese cornbread. Didn't try it because I don't eat meat, and well butter just ain't for me.
This is a bacon, cheddar and scallion cornbread, but I'd like to know where the scallions disappeared to.

This is a new one for me - a wet cornbread. The cornmeal is cooked first with some creamed & sweet corn. Interesting. I bet it was good. I hear it's a bread pudding texture.
I tried this little gem "mexican cornbread." It was good, though the cumin was really strong but the cheddar cheese and canned green chilles made it taste really good.
Now, here's my favorite and the one we made (not my favorite because we made it) but because this is the typical cornbread you'll find in the west coast that I am so used to - sweet cornbread. I know it sounds gross to southerners but it is OH SO GOOD!

This cornbread had goat cheese added to it.The we threw in some uncornbread baked goods too like this sour cream muffin, which didn't look too appetizing. Most of the muffins fell apart when you touched it.

Here's a cranberry sour cream scone. The boys took a "dusting" of salt to mean "a handful", so it was more of a pretzel cranberry sour cream scone. yeahhhhh...
And lastely, a double chocolate chip scone. Honestly, seems like we always get double chocolate everything. I mean, I LOVE chocolate - I am female but I don't know...something more interesting maybe?

80's & the shrimp

This weekend, we headed to Gulf shores (as if I'm not there enough for school) for their annual SHRIMP FEST!! I think it's like their hottest thing there, so I indeed had to go check it out, and the fact that I love shrimp simply had nothing to do with it. ;-) Knowing that in Alabama, anything fried goes. I knew I had a limited food selection but I did find a stall that grilled their shrimp. I guess I was too hungry to notice until after the fact that it wasn't all that great even though it had a banner saying "Best at the shrimp fest 2005 & 2006." Emm...clearly peoples tastebuds were fried by the time they reached that stall.

here's a picture of the arts and crafts part of the festival. It's actually really big. They occupied rows and rows of the closed of beach. Some really talented artists there, and many more not so talented - but then again, who am I to judge? There was a lady that made the most magnificent handmade handbags but I didn't want to blow $42 + on a purse. I know, I'm cheap.
People gathering by the west stage to listen to music.We all rocked out to some 80's hits played by guys dressed in poofy fake hair, black tights, pink tops. are the songs I grew up listening to. It was SO much fun. We almost missed one of the last shuttles outta that place - and a 10 mile walk did not sound fun in flip flops and at 10pm. So we busted some moves to get to the shuttle.
We ate on the beach, I wasn't sure which picture looks cooler. I like this one because you can see the and but also the one below because it's dark.
The view of a part of the length of the festival from the beach.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Whale of a time

It definitely has been long enough since I did a post. So sorry! Last week at school we made both a chocolate chip pie and a peanut butter pie - both of which I thought were horrible recipes, and taste wise horrible too. So I didn't bother to even post it. Was not impressed at all.

This week I learned something new. I never knew muffins were considered "quickbreads" for some reason or another, I had always associated quickbreads with loaf recipes (pumpkin loaf etc). So I felt rather dumb, but hey now I know right? We made a huge variety of muffins this week at school:

sour cream topping chocolate chocolate-chip muffin
(the group that made this decided to fill it with raspberry jam - I thought that was too busy because the recipe itself is loaded with so many ingredients)

Next was a plain coffee cake, I wasn't too impressed with the look of the final product, not sure if the recipe just wasn't good or if they didn't make it correctly.

These came out pretty good and everyone seemed to like it alot - chocolate chocolate chip muffins
Another group made an oil based plain blueberry muffin with turbinado sugar on the top.
This was the only one I tried since it was the only one made with oil and not butter. It lacked any flavor at all. I couldn't even taste the orange flavoring added into it and there was definitely no hint of blueberry flavor at all. It was rather disappointing.
My group made these sour cream blueberry muffins and not to toot my own horn but I think ours came out the best. I love a crunch top on a muffin, this was from the streusal we put on the top, and I love a big muffin top and we definitely got that because we filled out muffins to the top! Everyone loved it too.

Last weekend we headed down to Orlando for a trip to Seaworld. It was a long 6 hour drive but we made it safely. Here are some dolphins people were feeding. They are so cute and clever enough that they know who has food and who doesn't. They would splash you if they let your pet them and then you gave them nothing.
Here's another one playing around after they got fed.
Here I am after the horrific 1st ride on floridas fastest and longest rollercoaster. Boy was I freaked out. I HATE rollercoasters - aih the things you do for the man.
This is not a good picture of me, but the seal definitely makes up for it. ;-)
SHAMU!!! SHAMU!!!!! So so cute! I wish I could have touched Shamu.

The killer whale show. They splased us so much!! The whole entire 5 rows in the front were soaked. Thankfully we missed it by 1 row!
Here is Brandon and I at Timpanos restaurant. If you ever get to Orlando, this is the place to have amazing italian food. They make their pastas from scratch and you get extra refills on pasta for free!!! Another fantastic restaurant just down the road is Seasons 52, everything on their menu is 475 calories or less.