Thursday, 26 August 2010

Daring Bakers does Ice Cream Petit Fours

Well, not so Petit as it turns out...

First time i've made a brown butter anything and i have to say i really liked the cake, nutty, sweet and generally lovely. Vanilla ice cream is an old favourite so that bit was pretty straightforward, but the whole cake freezing business was a nightmare with our tiny freezer! 3 old bags of peas in the bin later, all was well and the delicious chocolate sauce went on the next day.

All in all i think the main thing i did wrong was cut them too large. The picture below shows 4 on a saucer with some strawberries and leftover glazing, but the saicer is really pretty large and the petit fours rather dwarf it! Oh well, something to learn for next time.

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Daring Bakers do piece montée

Well, the choux pastry went fairly well, and it has to be said this tasted fantastic, but sadly there is no way our efforts could be described as a "tower" "pyramid" or anything else with any structural integrity! If everybody else's are pyrimids, i suppose you could describe it as a caern (small, celtic pile of stone burial mounds), and that's being a bit kind.

That said, i know what went wrong. Between making the choux buns, and filling them and stacking them, I had to go do other things, and in my eagerness packed them in a plastic box whilst still warm. The results? Soggy, soggy choux pastry. That said, I was very pleased with how the buns came out, being only the second time in my life i've ever made choux pastry (the first being when i was a teenager) and will definitely try this again sometime soon and post hopefully more towering results!

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.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Daring Bakers do Suet Puddings

Being British, this was probably the easiest challenge for us we've done so far! We’ve made steamed summer puddings and traditional steak and kidney so far, with more to come I suspect....

As it’s not really “summer” here however you look at it, I made the mini puddings with frozen berries, and a vegetable suet. I added plenty of sugared water and jam to the berries as these can come out weirdly dry very easily.

The steak and kidney one is a proper, giant thing that’ll feed 5 comfortably, made in a large pudding basin with 2 pounds of steak and 2 lambs kidneys it takes 2 hours to steam through, but well worth waiting for!

I'll add some photos to this when i have more computer time!

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Daring Bakers Tiramisu

Uh-oh. One of the very few desserts Sam won't eat, making something you don't like (just can't stand coffee!) is always more challenging than making something you do...

That said, this went together suprisingly easy - the ladyfinger biscuits were good fun to make and came out suprisingly well. Am not sure what i expected them to taste like (never having eaten them), perhaps like the French lange du chat or something, but mine tasted like nothing so much as Sponge Fingers, the classic (if not classy) British biscuit for use in trifles!

One slight disaster however - mascapone cheese seperated and massively failed with no more days to make more, so i must confess some shop bought supplemented what of ours could be salvaged!

Despite not liking the coffee elements of a tiramisu, the zabaglione/pastry cream/mascapone/whipped cream mix was utterly divine. I could have happily eaten it by itself - so rich and sweet, and yet so light and lemony!- so will definitely attempt to find another "sort" of tiramisu I do like just for an excuse to make it again.

Only one piccie (and not the best) this month due to camera fail, but hopefully you can see the idea.

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.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Daring Bakers January Challenge

Nanaimo Bars!

This was our first try at anything of this sort, so very much enjoyed ourselves. The Crackers (made before hand) did not come out entirely as expected if i'm honest, so i must confess we bought some old fashioned gluten-containing digestive biscuits (British equivalent of Graham Crackers, I'm assured) just to do a test batch with them and see how it came out! Having done this, we were actually reassured we were on the right track in the first place (they are supposed to be cheesecake-base like and crumbly, right?) and set about constructing bars.

Assembly went together very well indeed - the chocolate top layer was perhaps a bit stickier and not as shiny as we would have liked when it went on (left it to cool for too long i think), but other than that, very do-able!

And the verdict? Well, they all got eaten so must have been fine! If we did a similar thing again we wonder if we'd reduce the sugar slightly (ours came out perhaps slightly too sweet) and we have a request to make a non-coconut version by a family member who loathes the stuff, but that is surely possible and definitely something to try!

The base in progress

Vanilla Custard layer coming together

Finished article for chilling - chocolate possibly a tad over-cooled

And then done!

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

Monday, 4 January 2010

Daring Bakers Beginning

Just got the registration sorted for the Daring Bakers - very exciting. ALso, a gluten-free challenge which is interesting as it's something neither of us have done much of before, but have quite a few coeliacs/gluten intolerant people amoungst our family and friends so very prepared to give it a go!

I might over the next day or so decorate this with a few photos of our previous cooking or crafted bits and pieces, so people can see what we've done in the past/