Archive for the ‘Daring Kitchen’ 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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Almond Soba Noodles

July 14, 2010


The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

It was a great challenge indeed, my instinctual leanings were towards sweet things, but then they always are. And, whilst that was an optional extra for the challenge I wanted to stretch myself. And, then my first thought was of course satay, but that doesn’t stretch me, I’ve done that before plenty of times. It’s a favourite dish for the Husband (especially in the form of a satay chicken pie…go figure). I liked some of the recipes on offer, especially the Chicken with Pecan Cream & Mushrooms but having provided a plethora of pasta dishes to the Husband of late I thought I’d go more noodley!

Having a huge stash of Almonds in my house ready for Cantuccio baking at all times I went there! I did an almond butter with soba noodle dish, I need to work on my photography and naming skills! Taste though? I think I got that!

Almond Butter

1 cup whole natural almonds, roasted
1/8 tsp. salt

In food processor with metal blade in place, grind almonds and salt until paste begins to form, I added about 1T of vegetable oil to mine as well.

Almond Soba Noodles

½ cup almond butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 tablespoons hot water
Dried soba noodles
150g good quality steak – diced
Baby Carrots
Onion
Green capsicum
Chilli Flakes
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce

Mix Almond Butter with lemon juice and water, until quite fluid.
Cook the soba in rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain.
Caramelise the onions, remove from pan. Pan fry the steak quickly then add in the capsicum, carrots and oyster sauce and chilli flakes.
In a large bowl combine the noodles with the almond mixture. Toss briefly before adding the meat mixture, tossing to fully combine. Serve.

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June Challenge

June 18, 2010

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

I was initially daunted, I’m not a pate person. I don’t like it, never had which is a shame because I do see the people enjoying it but then I was inspired by the 4 different pate recipes. It sent me on a search and I came up with a layered cheese pate which I loved!!

For the bread I went with a French Bread recipe from Crust and Crumb a bread that takes me 3 days to make!!! and I love it – despite my need to avoid yeast, this bread always destroys that I eat! and I enjoy! and its worth the pain!

The recipes I used follow, and I have no picture as of yet….its on the Husband’s camera, unprocessed and raw….I’ll add it as soon as I can! This was the 3rd time I’d made this dough, and the time that it was most successful. I must admit that I halved the recipe (the book comes with handy percentages so you can easily do this) but have provided it in it’s full form.

French Bread II (with Pate Fermentee)

Recipe By : Peter Reinhart, Crust and Crumb
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
454 gm Unbleached All-purpose Flour
454 gm Unbleached Bread Flour
1 tsp Malt powder
1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
610 gm cool water(65-70F)
454 gm pre-fermented dough
2 1/2 tsp salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flours, malt, yeast and water. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for 4 minutes, or until a course dough has formed. Rest the dough for 20 minutes. (the autolyse)****

Cut the pate fermentee into small pieces. Add the salt, ascorbic acid and the pate fermente one piece at a time, with the mixer running on low speed. Mix for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not stick. Mix in extra flour or water(a few drops at a time) if necessary to achieve this consistency. The dough is ready when it passes the window pane test and is between 25 and 26C(neutral to the touch). If your machine is not big enough to handle a dough this large, complete the kneading by hand.
Place the dough in a bowl large enough to allow it to double in size. Mist the dough lightly with a cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes. It should just begin to swell.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds.
Cut off 454gm of the dough for a future pate fermentee, if you desire. Put it in a bowl with a plastic wrap or in a plastic bag and refrigerate or freeze it.
Shape the remaining dough into a ball and put back in the bowl. Mist the dough lightly with the cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled.
Scale, bench and shape the dough into loaves or rolls as desired. Place them on sheet pans or in baskets. If using pans, line them with parchment paper and dust with cornmeal or semolina for texture; if using
baskets, mist them with cooking spray and dust them with rice flour or
bread flour to prevent sticking. Lightly mist the top of the shaped dough with cooking spray to prevent
sticking and enclose the pans or baskets inside a large plastic bag. Let the dough rise for 15 minutes and then retard overnight in the refrigerator.
Prepare the oven for hearth baking, making sure to place the empty steam pan on a lower rack. Preheat the oven to 250C. Make sure your water sprayer is filled.
Remove the pan of dough from the plastic 15 minutes before baking, to allow the surface of the dough to dry slightly. Just before baking, lightly score the bread( as desired) about half an inch deep at a
45degree angle(Before scoring, you may brush the bread with water with a touch of salt added, or with egg white mixed with water and a touch of salt). Fill a measuring cup with 1 cup of very hot tap water. Put the
loaves or rolls in the oven, either on sheet pans or by peel directly on the stone. Then pour the hot water into the empty steam pan(EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION). Quickly spritz the oven walls and bread, and close
the door.
After 2 minutes, quickly spray the oven walls and the bread again. Repeat in 1 minute. Then lower the oven temperature to 230C. Wait 10 minutes and check the bread(check rolls after 5 minutes). Rotate the bread, front to back, if it seems to be baking unevenly. When the bread has developed a rich, golden brown color, about 25 minutes, for loaves, 15 minutes for rolls, turn off the oven (or lower it to 175C if you plan to bake again). Leave the bread in the oven an additional 5-10 minutes, until it seems on the verge of over browning.
Remove the bread to a cooling rack and allow it to cool thoroughly before eating: 60-90 minutes for loaves, 20 minutes for rolls. The bread will taste best if eaten within 2 hours of cooling

****Using a 20 minute rest period when mixing dough with a machine minimizes mixing time, thus decreasing oxidation. Oxidation, caused by beating air into the dough, bleaches the flour, nullifying the positive flavour and aroma of the beta-carotene in the unbleached flour. This rest period is called the autolyse. While the dough rests, the protein fragments, glutenin and gliadin, continue to bond into gluten molecules, giving the dough its necessary structure.
The salt is added after the autolyse to allow the dough to hydrate more quickly(salt slows down hydration as well as fermentation). the pre-fermented dough is also added after the autolyse because it is already mixed and developed. You want it to have only enough additional mixing to incorporate it fully into the final dough.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Serving Ideas : Add pate fermentee(old dough pre-ferment)
NOTES : Using pre-fermented dough allows you to achieve a great loaf without retarding. There is also the advantage of having a finished loaf on the same day. However, the long, slow rise of overnight
retarding produces a a more spectacular loaf, richer in color, with a dramatic blistered crust.
By cutting off one pound of the finished dough, you can still make four 14 oz baguettes, leaving the pre-ferment for the next batch.

Layered Cheese Pate

Ingredients
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 package Stilton
How to make Layered Cheese Pate
Combine cream cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper in a mixing bowl, beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth.
Line 2 lightly oiled 3 x 2 inch loaf pans with plastic wrap, leaving a 1-inch overhang on each side.
Carefully spread about one-third of cream cheese mixture in loaf pan, smoothing to corners of pan.
Next, layer Gruyere cheese and chopped pecans, top with half of remaining cream cheese mixture.
Then layer 1/2 cup parsley and Stilton cheese, top with remaining cream cheese mixture, pressing mixture firmly.
Cover with overhanging plastic wrap, and allow cheese loaf to chill at least 8 hours.
To unmold, lift cheese loaf out of pan using the plastic wrap.
Remove plastic wrap, and I rolled it one in parsley and one in some chilli, then stacked them on top of each other.
Let cheese loaf come to room temperature before serving.

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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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Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada

May 14, 2010

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on http://www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.

I must admit I was both excited and saddened by this challenge. I love Mexican food, though my love affair with Italian cuisine is well documented, so the thought of giving this a go was exciting. I have a burrito mix that we use fairly regularly and is enjoyed by the Husband immensely so was certainly excited to give this a go. But, then, we face the reality that is my inability to locate some of the ingredients! Locating tomatillos would just be a joke! I could manage a bunch of the other ingredients but those would prove my downfall. Of course we were adviced of some variations thanks to Audax – and I could get my hands on some green gooseberries!

I loved roasting the green Chiles, the flavour of them really pops after you do. I didn’t make my own tortilla I must admit. Went with a store purchased variety, but, all in all I think that it worked out really well. The Husband loved it, only thing is I wished it was a bit of a deeper shade of green! I have seen some variations since creating mine, with people going an all vege option which I think would be great, or using pork which I think the Husband would love. But, I did stick to the original – chicken!

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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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Mezze

February 14, 2010


The 2010 February Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.


AND it was one of the most delicious things I’ve had in a long time! it was enjoyed by my whole family. It was perfect! my pita didn’t turn out the best not as fluffy as I would have liked, but taste wise it was brilliant! Even the gluten free pita I adapted for my Grandma worked out quite well.

I had a lot of fun making this, it was a lot of fun to have the different options to go with it. I was able to cater for the different tastes of the people I had. It was really great, my mum had flown over from the other side of the country to celebrate the Husband finishing university. My grandparents had come up because of this as well, but also to house sit for my impending European Holiday. So, I had to cater to the tastes of 5 people. We do have some similar tastes but not always with everything. So this was perfect! we all loved it!

Oh, and we are missing the tabouleh in this picture (made with couscous for the GF Gma). But, my mezze was a giant bowl of hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, 3 types of sliced meat, sweet corn, sun-dried tomato, olives, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion and 3 dolmades for my Grandma.

This will be my last Daring Kitchen for awhile now….I return to my home on the 5th April so will pick it up again then!