January Daring Bakers’ Challenge

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

A joconde imprime is the outside cake wrapper of the Entremets dessert. (See photo below – the striped cake at the bottom of this dessert is the Joconde imprime)

Joconde imprime /entremets. A joconde imprime (French Baking term) is a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to desserts/torts/entremets/ formed in ring molds. A joconde batter is used because it bakes into a moist, flexible cake. The cake batter may be tinted or marbleized for a further decorative effect.

This Joconde/spongecake requires attentive baking so that it remains flexible to easily conform to the molds. If under baked it will stick to the baking mat. It over baked it will dry out and crack. Once cooled, the sponge may be cut into strips to line any shape ring mold.

Entremets (French baking term)- an ornate dessert with many different layers of cake and pastry creams in a mold, usually served cold. Think Trifle in a mold vs. a glass bowl.

The above-mentioned information and photo came from The Daring Kitchen website.

I colored my cake a dark purple, which only got darker, almost black, when baked. I recommend using a light/bright color. Or the chocolate version would be cool. I filled my cake with two mousses, one dark chocolate, and one white chocolate. I got the recipes for the mousses from the cookbook Baking, by James Peterson.


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November Daring Bakers’ Challenge

Yes, I am posting this late, but I did not have time nor internet connection to post this on Saturday. Since there’s only, on average, five people that read this blog, I am not worried that this lateness will matter much. I would also like to take this time to apologize for my lack of baking/posting as I would love to be doing more of both. I look forward to December to be full of happy baking and therefore happy blogging.

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I made my crostata with blood orange marmalade. It was really easy to make the dough, especially in the food processor. It is a sticky dough to roll out, but I am assuming it would have been easier to handle if I let it chill longer. The overall tart was very tasty.

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Time To Make The Doughnuts!

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

The yeast doughnut is from Alton Brown:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/yeast-doughnuts-recipe/in…

The cake doughnut is a Nancy Silverton recipe:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/06/cook-the-book-oldfashioned-bu…

The raspberry jam bomboloni recipe is a Kate Neumann recipe:
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/raspberry-jam-bomboloni

The pumpkin doughnuts are from Bon Appétit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Doughnuts-with-Powd…

I made the Yeast Doughnuts from Alton Brown since I have made cake doughnuts before and I also did not want to make the jam filled or the pumpkin flavored. The recipe is quite simple, and the mixing method is like any other yeast dough recipe.

I think the most challenging part of this recipe is the frying of the doughnuts. I have a candy thermometer, so it is easy for me to read the temperature of the oil. This is important because if the temperature is too cold, they will be oily. If it is too hot they will just burn on the outside and be raw in the middle. The recipe I followed said around 363ºF is ideal. I have a gas range and it is hard to keep a consistent temperature. Also, the temperature drops after each batch, so you need to watch it carefully.

I kept it simple and covered the doughnuts in cinnamon-sugar. Some people might want to make a glaze, while others might like powdered sugar. What ever you desire, I hope you have plenty of friends and family to share these doughnuts with!

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What September Means To Me…

…was the theme of this month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge.

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Since sugar cookies should not really be a challenge for anyone to make, the challenger set it up so that we had to bake/decorate the cookies with the theme of what September means to us.

The Jewish High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, and Yom Kippor, the day of atonement) both fall in September, so I made shofar, torah, and Jewish star (star of David) shaped cookies. I made them with just white royal icing because:

1) I did not have time to go out and buy food coloring

2) It was Yom Kippor when I made them, so I thought that white was appropriate, since it is the color that you wear to show your respect for the day of reflection…or something like that.

Anyway, I brought the cookies to the Break-the-fast dinner I went to and they seemed to be well-received since they were gone by the end of the night. (Not sure if they were all eaten that night, or someone took them home.)

Although they were simple, and easy to make, I enjoyed this challenge. It was a nice way to celebrate the holidays. Continue reading

August Daring Baker’s Challenge

I think the most challenging thing for me this month was finding time to complete it! Otherwise, the pound cake and  ice cream were pretty simple. It is just a basic recipe for each. The only different (challenging) parts were browning the butter (since I’ve only done it a few times), and freezing the ice cream, since I do not have an ice cream machine (yet!).

Since I made the ice cream (custard) and just let it freeze over night (no stirring involved) and I took it out the next morning and paddled it on the electric mixer for a few minutes to aerate it and help to somewhat melt out the ice crystals that formed. This help make it look more like vanilla ice cream. Before it “churned” it was just yellow and the vanilla bean had all sunk to the bottom of the container. Literally, just frozen custard. After, it was white and the little “dots” of vanilla were disbursed throughout. It was more creamy, and less icy, but still not perfect. I think the smooth, non-icy texture can only be achieved with a real way of churning it while it freezes. Not bad though, for homemade ice cream without any sort of ice cream machine.

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”.

I made the petit fours (but did not make/use the chocolate glaze). I think they’re good just as they are!

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