We met Katya in her capacity as leader of a Ghost Tour. If you're ever in New York (or even if you live there already), I recommend taking a tour from Katya--ghost or otherwise. She knows a ton of New York lore, is both funny and erudite, and will give you one of the best tours you've ever had. We definitely fell down on our picture-taking responsibilities.
We fell down even more as picture takers when we met Rose and Elliott. Jim forgot to take pictures of them, and forgot to take pictures of the food at chef Suvir Savran's amazing Indian restaurant, Devi, until the dessert course, when Elliott said, "Jim, why aren't you taking pictures?" Our only excuse is that we were enjoying the food (and the company, of course) so much that we completely failed in our recording duties. We do at least have pictures of the delicious desserts that we shared:
|BLACK FOREST CAKE WITH CARAMEL ICE CREAM|
And now, on to the Bostini!
I think this was one of the most uniformly successful undertakings for the HCBs. Not only did it turn out well for everyone, but everyone liked it. Even Raymond, whose dislike of cupcakes is well known, said, "I could have eaten all 12 of these little beauties. They were so good I couldn’t get over it." (Although to be fair to Raymond's sense of consistency, I should point out that he said he'd make them next time as a whole cake).
To me, the most fun of reading all the posts was seeing how creatively the Bakers plated (or should I say "glassed"?) this dessert.
Lola used a pretty green Mexican Margarita glass.
Lois got a few extra because she chose smallish Ikea juice glasses.
Kristina's sundae glasses also gave her a few extra Bostinis, which she said were way better than Tim Horton's Boston Cream pie.
Katya said the Bostinis were also superior to Dunkin' Doughnuts' Boston Cream Pie doughnuts, and also more elegant. Her version, in heavy-stemmed clear glass, definitely looked more elegant than a doughnut.
Joan's version, in her cappuccino cups, also looked elegant and overflowing with chocolate. (Joan had made hers in May, and she was one of the early reporters of the Bostinis' deliciousness).
Nancy used both 6-ounce white wine glasses and custard cups, and thought the wine glasses worked perfectly but the custard cups, filled to overflowing, were difficult to manage.
Both Monica and Jenn managed to track down the same glasses used in the photo in Rose's Heavenly Cakes--good choice. You might also want to make your way over to Monica's blog because she's got a nice giveaway to celebrate her blog's first-year anniversary.
Sarah also used wine glasses, and, for some reason, although her Bostinis looked great, I'm especially fond of her picture of the empty glass, scraped clean of nearly all traces of this dessert.
Maria bucked the trend of using tall, skinny glasses and presented hers in a short, wide glass that looked like a miniature fruit compote bowl.
Julie used 8-ounce glass cups, and she used up most of her pastry cream just filling the cups. They look sumptuous.
Jennifer had an eclectic group of glasses, including one with an embossed honeybee on it and a couple of jam jars.
Mendy said he'd managed to go through life without ever hearing of Boston Cream pies, so he didn't even realize he was making a deconstructed one; you apparently don't have to have this knowledge to turn out a good-looking Bostini, however. Like Jennifer, Mendy had a kitchen-sink approach to the cups--whatever you have on hand works.
For pure cuteness, Faithy's Coca-Cola glasses and bubble tea straws probably take the cake and chocolate sauce, especially against the pink polka-dotted background.
This was another week that I had great difficulty in choosing a FEATURED BAKER. So much imagination! So many beautiful presentations! In the end, I picked Lynnette because her first photo just said PARTY! Since she used a short, wide dish, you could really see the cupcake, which wasn't hidden by the pastry cream or under the chocolate. And her chocolate glaze drizzled down over the cupcake instead of over the glass, so every component was clearly visible. Finally, her festive sprinkles on top of the dessert added a touch of exuberance that I loved. And not only did the cake look great, but her family loved it too: "it was gone as soon as the photo shoot was done!"
Next up: the Swedish Pear and Almond Cake (p. 58). For a sneak preview, take a look at Joan's blog. What you'll need: almond paste, a Bartlett pear, sour cream, and the regular suspects of eggs, flour, sugar, and butter. Any kind of 10-cup fluted metal pan (or Bundt pan). Be ready to serve this cake "shortly after cooling, when the crust is still crunchy and the crumb is at its softest." But save some for yourself, for "it is still delicious for at least two days after baking."
Following that: another Free Choice week. Time to catch up!