Archive for the ‘Daring Baker’ Category

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July Daring Baker Challenge

July 31, 2010

I’m running a bit late, though I did take complete the challenge in time!

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.


It was a lot of fun to make, and each component had its own little challenge. We regularly make icecream in our house hold (KitchenAid goodness), the Husband lives on the stuff but because of that consumption really started to occur before properly set. What can you do though?

Attached is the original recipe!

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

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Croquembouche goodness

May 27, 2010


The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

The recipes I am using for this month’s challenge come from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and were originally created by famed pastry chef, Nick Malgieri. Please note you must make your own pate a choux (puff pastry) and crème patissiere. And your piece montée needs to be a mounted structure with some height to it.

This was an amazingly exciting challenge, this was something that the Husband had wanted to make ever since an episode of Masterchef where they did it. So it was a challenge that he was going to get involved with. And, he did – big time! ended up with caramel burn for it and all. He was far to excited about dipping and building he rushed and burn resulted.

It however didn’t dampen his enjoyment, and so that was great! It wasn’t as difficult as I had always thought it would be so it was a lot of fun. And, we will defiantly be building it again! We went the traditional route of Vanilla Crème Patissiere with caramel glaze but next time we’re thinking of Coffee Pastry Cream with chocolate glaze!

Great Challenge!

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Tiramisu

February 27, 2010

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession

It was a bit of a rush job I must admit, I had to get it in and get it done before I went overseas (I type this entry covertly at 12:30am the 18th Feb….to self publish on reveal day) and so essentially started when it was revealed. There were 2 mandatory items for this challenge we had to make our own savoiardi / ladyfinger biscuits and mascarpone cheese with the given recipes. And, we had to make the zabaglione and pastry cream using the given recipes.

It was a lot of fun, I had never made mascarpone before so that was interesting. I toned down the coffee flavour a bit because I was serving it to my family and they aren’t big coffee drinkers but appreciate subtle undertones. It was a hit really and I will be doing it again just stronger flavours next time!

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Nanaimo Bars

January 27, 2010


The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and http://www.nanaimo.ca.

Daring Kitchen instalment!

I have been wanting to make these since I originally heard of them, but knowing that they sounded exactly like something I would have very limited will power or control over whether or not I ate them, had given me pause. For a number of months actually, however when I saw this challenge I knew it was time!

On a little side note, it amused me that the reveal date for something that is “quintessentially” Canadian was the day after we Australian’s celebrate being Australian. Australia Day! Where I might add, I spent the day in the company of 11 South Africans, and the closest thing to “aussie” food I had was some beetroot (which yes I was looked at oddly when I added this too my salad – the only thing that would’ve made it better was if it was in a burger!)

Anyway, after that little side note – I made these in batches. I started with the Graham Cookies, which were interesting to make to say the least. The dough was incredibly sticky and like some others have said, I used two layers of floured parchment paper to roll them out. I however could not get them too slice into appropriate square/rectangular shapes (or perhaps I just did not persevere enough) and ended up popping them in my Avanti Cookie Press and making delightful round crackers. I could not have been happier with the taste! I was nibbling away happily on them once baked, and I immediately bagged some up to take to work for my GF colleague, provided her with the recipe, whilst emailing on the recipe to my grandmother and a dear friend who are also GF. I then quickly ground up the amount I needed for the bars and sealed away the rest of them before I could eat anymore!

I then started the rest of the process a few days later, I was looking for a cooler day. Alas, Brisbane was not forthcoming in this and I had to rely on a few hours of chilling between each step as well as air-conditioning at full blast (ok…24 degrees, but that’s full!) I was taking this with me to the aforementioned Australia Day gathering of the Clan. In light of this I could not use coconut in the base (though for me this would’ve just made the bar that little bit more divine) as coconut and my SIL do not mix and whilst I was making another dessert to take as well, I wanted the option to eat this to be there for her. So, like a few others I used Rice Bubbles as a substitute – having read some other entries, I think my SIL would’ve been in eating heaven if I’d made the middle layer PB! Though I did happily have some Birds Custard on hand which I used instead and since this is her favourite (and I think actually the only custard she’ll eat) I still did ok I think. Also, because I had gone all out with the base and middle catering to my SIL, I figured I had to go the whole hog, and the chocolate that I used was Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, it actually is one of my favourite chocolates to melts so that worked out well.

I had some leftovers that I shared with some friends, who enjoyed it and the Clan were quite receptive (starting out with just one little piece before having just another little piece) so all in all I think it was a great challenge. It did melt rather quickly when left out to its own devices but I think that just encouraged us all to get into it that bit quicker! I think next time I would make it all a bit thicker though, so smaller size, fatter bar perhaps? And I also need to thank the Husband who was my avid photographer for the day (excuse the cling wrap) my knee was pushed to its limits doing this and I had to sit down and rest after!

Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
Ingredients
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract
Directions:
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.
Nanaimo Bars
Ingredients:
For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar
For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter
Directions:
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

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Gingerbread house

December 24, 2009


The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Due to the fact that I believed (pre-injury) that this month was going to be a crazy one full of baking different things, and well because I’d always wanted to make a gingerbread house I jumped on this challenge immediately. I was in the kitchen almost as soon as I read what the challenge was.

We had two choices for the dough and I followed the Great Scandinavian Baking Book’s recipe just because the ingredients required were those I had on hand (seriously, I jumped on the challenge as soon as I read it, going to the shop was not an option) I also made the simply syrup and royal icing for my decoration.
Now, I should quickly add that icing is a bit of a problem for me. I can make it fine, it tastes great, but the actual art of decorating?

Well……I’m abysmal (ergo recent purchase of: Essential Cake Decorating Cookbook) which fits in nicely with my Flavour of the Month Essential Christmas Cookbook ok side track done.

I had a lot of fun with this all the same, even if when I look at everyone else’s wonderful decorating I feel inferior! I did get my house to stand though so I feel that was an accomplishment for me and oh my word did it taste good! Oh it was so good, I was so glad of the left over dough because I just kept nibbling and nibbling as I was going. If I could pick at it some more (and you always can) it could have probably done with being rolled out a little thinner, but having said that I do prefer my gingerbread men fat, so it was just a default thing for me I think. And I made plenty little ginger bread men to give away as well, so many people benefited from this challenge.

Thank you very much! And I will start working on those decorating skills for next year!

Daring Kitchen

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Cannoli

November 27, 2009


I feel like I have had some success this time! It is exciting!

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.

Success had! I was a bit apprehensive about this to begin with; I’ve always looked at them but never made them because I am always apprehensive of things that are fried. I did see the option of baking them, which I may try next time. This time though I thought I would go the traditional route, I didn’t have the tubes to begin with so I went and bought some. I understand that we did not have to buy anything to complete these challenges, but I didn’t have a broom handle, and I’d actually wanted to make these for some time now, so I used it as a bit of an excuse.

I only got 1 size, not a good idea because I was a little disappointed with the size. Would’ve liked a smaller cannoli actually but the taste was good all the same. And, it looked good which is great for me after the past failures. The cannoli was nice and bubbly just like it was meant to be, I was so pleased with myself.

The dough was a bit stiff like others have commented on but I used my pasta roller to roll it out which I think helped. I only made two types both custard, one chocolate custard. I dipped them with walnuts after because I had some left over from a salad I’d been making for dinner that night. I seem to cater to the taste loves of the Husband a lot when given the opportunity. He’s not a fan of ricotta nor is he a lover of mascarpone so not quite traditional but it was delicious all the same.

It was a great challenge, I loved it, and I liked the challenge a lot. I plan to give a savoury a go sometime very soon. These are not a normal thing to be able to find here in Australia, at least not anywhere in my local area. I am aware that there is some places in the inner city area that sell them but you really don’t see them very often. So it was a lovely special treat.

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Epic Failure

October 27, 2009


The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

My second Daring Kitchen world, but my first ever Daring Bakers, and for me it was an epic Failure…..

My KitchenAid did all the hard work, making perfect stiff peaks, it all look great. I followed the directions step by step I read up on all the suggestions, I tried my best. I was so super excited; I thought maybe this one time I’d get it! But, no….failure! And, as with my Daring Cooks Challenge I left it all too late to try again.

Did I over-fold? I don’t know! But I failed! No feet! No form! Epic failure!

Taste wise? Excellent! Delicious! Gosh I nearly ate them all in one foul swoop off of the baking tray once they were completely cooled. But, they didn’t hold their form, they didn’t form the feet! Maybe next time?