Nov 4, 2010

Last Cake, Next Cake

Before getting into the various Bostinis, let me talk just a little about my trip to New York. It was great fun all around, but the very best parts were my meetings with two Heavenly Bakers: Katya and Rose herself, the original Heavenly Baker.
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.
In this picture, Katya is assuming a suitable pose for a ghost-tour leader. I'll tell you that it's not a particularly flattering picture, but she manages to look cute even when she's narrowing her eyes and trying to appear forbidding.
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:




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!


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Wow, those desserts are amazing! So glad you had a good time in NY.


Katya said...

Now everyone will just have to come by NYC to see me in non-squinting mode. As all of Jim's other pictures are always impeccable, I'll have to assume a ghostly presence got in the way. It was wonderful meeting the two of you, and thank you for the sweet shout-out. Bostini forever!

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

we had the BEST time with marie and jim. future plan is never again to go out on halloween (our car was missing for 3 days afterwards--turned out it was towed out of the way of the ghosts and goblins by the special force police) but if the wolfs come again on halloween i'll not stick to this resolve but leave the car at home!
i wish we could have gone on the ghost tour and sorry not to get to meet katya.
i am now longing for a bostini! and putting in a request to the universe to make marie my neighbor but not sure in which town!

Katya said...

Rose, consider yourself invited any time you'd like to spook it up anywhere in town. That goes for all of you, of course (she rashly offers!).

evil cake lady said...

congrats lynnette!

marie, it sounds like you had a great trip! it must have been fun to meet katya and to see rose and elliott again. dessert looks like it was amazing!

oh, and i made the swedish pear etc cake already and it was divine! just a word to the wise i accidentally bought marzipan instead of almond paste, but used it anyway--i just omitted the sugar when making the filling and it came out wonderfully!

Jenn said...

Welcome back Marie. I have to say that I've missed your "last cake, next cake."

Thanks for sharing of your New York adventure. It looks like you guys had a lot of fun!

I also often forget to take pictures when I'm having too much fun. At least you did take pictures of those AMAZING dessert.

And congrats to Lynnette. Your bostini is very festive indeed.

Mendy said...


Oh man, totally did not realize you were in New York. Next time you come we would love to meet you and take you out!

Katya, you can come over for a Shabbat meal anytime. (he offers rashly!)

Congrats Lynnette! Well done. Party! :)

faithy said...

Congrats Lynnette!

so much fun..i want to be on a ghost tour too! next time if i visit NY, i'll be checking that out and look for Katya! But that would be after i visit Florida's Disneyland..which is a must for my!

Lynnette said...

Thank you for honoring me with the "featured baker" title. It was such a fun project and soooo very delicious.
The Chocolate Show is in NY this week! If only I had planned ahead to meet up with some of the wonderful Heavenly Bakers at the show. Aw, maybe next year?

Vicki said...

Congratulations Lynette! That was the cutest Bostini picture.

What a fabulous New York trip and ghost tour. And that mango cheesecake is killing me.

I'm still a walking Typhoid Mary and one would think garner me some sort of sympathy but NOoooo, all I hear is, "When are you going to make those Bostinies?"

Hanaâ said...

Congratulations Lynette! I liked your sprinkles on top.

Welcome back, Marie. Looks like you had a great time. I'm with Vicki. That mango cheesecake looks awesome!!! Rose, any chance you can talk Suvir into sharing the recipe with you for your new book?

Marie said...

I'm still waiting for my ship to come in. If it ever does, I'm going to get a little pied a terre in NYC.

Thanks for the warning about the marzipan/almond paste. I have an unmarked tube of what I assumed was almond paste in my freezer--now I just hope it's not actually marzipan.

I really wanted to try to get in touch with you, but we just ran out of time. It's funny--people asked me if we had friends in NY. I said yes, but I've never met most of them.

New York is more fun than Disney World in my opinion, but you probably couldn't convince your son of that.

So sorry you're still feeling sick. But when ARE you going to make those Bostinis?

Suvir will be coming out with another cookbook himself soon--maybe he'll have the recipe in his own cookbook. It should be available somehow, though--it was one of the best. A combo of Rose's cheesecake expertise and Suvir's exotic flavors would be just about unbeatable.

Monica said...

Talk about coming late into the party!

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to the feature baker... I too love the touch of color that Bostini was sending out... like Mendy said total PART-Y!

Marie.. it looks like you had such great time in NY... I have great friends there and travel all the time... I now need to remember to call out so I can meet anyone in the vicinity.


And so you all can be a bit jealous, I'm writing this post and eating the last bostini.. yes a WEEK later and it's just as heavenly as when we first tasted it last week.

And the pear cake... is in the oven right now and making my house smell ohhh sooooo goood and wow, did the pears disappear down the cake! Amazing!