DB Challenge: Orange Tian

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

I have never even heard of a tian before this challenge, and I was excited to try to make one. I was also excited about this challenge because it made me practice my knife skills, with the orange segments. This would be a good addition to any menu, but especially for this time of year when citrus is in season. This can easily be switched to any other citrus, or any combination of citrus fruit. It had also been a long time since I used pectin (I made/canned jelly in high school once.) and so that was a great way to bring it back to my cooking skills. As always, I had fun with this challenge.

I made mine in a deep Pyrex bowl, and waited until it defrosted a bit to be able to remove the inverted bowl from the plate, and it would definitely be easier to un-mold from a springform pan or from the rings as described in the recipe. I also added an extra layer of orange segments and folded all of the marmalade into the whipped cream, rather than making that a separate layer.

I had extra dough, so I folded in some chocolate chips and scooped it for some cookies, which were delicious.

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Gluten-free cookies

I’ve only baked with gluten-free flour a couple of other times, and the products tasted good; you wouldn’t even know they were gluten-free if I didn’t tell you. Well, this time, I used a pre-mixed all-purpose flour that contains tapioca flour, two different types of bean flour, and potato flour. This is similar to the flour blend recommended in the Gluten-Free Baking book (from the CIA) which contains potato starch, and white rice four. Now, the bag that I bought said to use xanthum gum with the flour, which I did not do. I am no expert, so I am not sure how much of a difference it would make, but I am willing to try adding some next, since these cookies turned out a bit flat. These are supposed to be chocolate crinkle cookies. You know, the cookies that are balled up and rolled in powdered sugar before baking? Well, they looked okay before going into the oven, even like regular cookies, but after baking for 10 minutes, they looked quite different from ordinary cookies. I have yet to try them, as I am bringing them with me to Passover (which is why I went to gluten-free baking in the first place) so, upon return, I will update with the taste factor. In the meantime, if you wish to try the cookies with the original (recommended) flour blend, follow the jump for the recipe.

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it’s the end of the month, & it’s Passover

These articles have as much to do with food as they do Passover, and/or kosher for passover food. I am celebrating in CT/NY with my family. This means that there will be no more posts (after tomorrow’s about this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge) until I get back to SF.

Play with toppings, make matzo brittle your own I was always a big fan of the chocolate covered matzah, but this brings it to a new level.

A Passover Seder with spring I like Passover Seder because of the homemade matzo ball soup. What’s you’re favorite part of the meal?

Beer for dessert: beer cake, beer candy, even beer ice cream It seems like savory and sweet are combining for better or for worse.

Passover classics get a makeover What makes this seder different from all other seders?

Did you remember to spring forward?

I always have trouble remembering when daylight saving time actually is. Luckily, most things that tell me the time (my computer, phone) automatically set themselves forward (or back, in the fall) and I just look at it in awe, like oh, I slept until 8 o’clock and not till 7 and I figure it out. Anyway, here are the articles that I read this past week:

I was not impressed by Tim Burton’s latest movie, Alice in Wonderland, but this chef was at least inspired to create: Drink Me potions and edible playing cards

I am going to be making marmalade for the first time in the next few days so I really liked this article: Pectin-rich ingredients show fat replacing potential

I’ve only baked with olive oil once, but apparently, it is a good thing for cake: Baking with olive oil makes a delicate, sun-kissed cake

Should there just be an Easy Bake Oven for adults? (RIP Easy Bake Oven creator, Ronald Howes) Kitchen Gadgets Take the Fast-Food Mentality Into the Home

I don’t think I could stomach this kind of food:  Live octopus? Goat kidneys? It’s what’s for dinner

Holla! I made Challah!

I wanted to make bread because I haven’t in a long while, and what better bread to start with than Challah?

I thought it would be appropriate to make it on Friday, since it is traditionally eaten on Shabbat. But I think the best is making Challah-French toast, with cinnamon sugar on top. Some people make Challah with poppy seeds on top, but with the inspiration from the blog I got the recipe from, Baking and Books, I put some sugar on top of mine. This recipe is shaped in a springform pan, in little balls of dough, to be broken apart and eaten, rather than the traditional braided style. Here is the original recipe, more of a traditional Challah. I put the two recipes together, and made a braided Challah with sugar on top. Continue reading

week 2 of March

How is your March going so far? How’s the weather in your area? Spring-like? or still more Winter-like? Here, in San Francisco, it has been some rainy days, and some sunny days. But I think that is normal for this time of year.

Here are the articles I’ve been reading this past week:

Saucepan Brownies

I think these are my new favorite brownies to make. They’re easy, with minimal tools and ingredients required. In fact, I first found this recipe because I only had two eggs and baker’s chocolate squares and I wanted to make brownies. Trust me, it is not easy finding a brownie recipe that only has two eggs AND does not use cocoa powder. But, nonetheless, I did, and these are delicious.  No pictures, because I am lazy, and because I am sure that you know what brownies look like by now. :) Continue reading