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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Almond Brown Sugar Cookies

I already made these brown sugar cookies for the Hanukkah party (Dec. 2009), but I decided to make them again for two reasons:
1) I wanted something simple, and I had all of the ingredients already
2) I had almonds leftover that I wanted to use up.
These are the two main reasons I find myself in the kitchen. The only other time I am baking something, it is for a special occasion, and now, since January, the Daring Bakers’ Challenge every month.
Anyway, if you want to know more about the cookies, you can check out the original post. If you want to check out the recipe, click here. Sorry for the short and lazy post. I promise the next one will be better. I am going to be making Hamentashen, which are cookies usually served for Purim, but I am a week late. But better late than never, right? :)

DB Challenge: Tiramisu

I liked this challenge for many reasons. I haven’t made tiramisu all from scratch before (as far as I know, most of the other Daring Bakers liked this challenge for the same reason.) It was quite a challenge, especially with all of the components.

I have made lady fingers and pastry cream before, but I haven’t made them since school, so that was a good way to practice. Also, I have never made cheese before, so that was a fun experience to see the whipped cream thicken up to a smooth marscopne cheese in only 24 hours. I was worried (like the challenger) that I had not cooked the cream enough, but sure enough, once cooled, you could definitely tell it was going to be okay.

Overall, I think this challenge was easy because all of the ingredients were easily accessed and the components necessary were easy to make, but to make a plan and know what components have to be made in advance was a challenge that I never really thought that way while making a dessert before.

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.

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January: the month of newbies…Daring Bakers Challenge #1

So, I wanted to join this group for a while after reading about their challenges on other food blogs. So I thought, what better time to start something new than in the new year. So here goes:

“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 www.nanaimo.ca.”

I have worked with gluten-free flours before, and with all of the rain, I just didn’t feel like trekking all the way down to the Mission to get what I needed, so I used wheat flour. It was a simple change to the challenge recipe, just replace the gluten-free flours with wheat flour.

The graham cracker dough was sticky, and I ended up adding a little extra flour while I kneaded and rolled it out. Since I don’t really like plain graham crackers (or s’mores) and I knew I would have extras, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the shapes of the crackers themselves, and just baked them for the crumbs. Oh, of course I tried one or three before smashing them to bits, and they are good on their own. But I will surely make a tart or pie crust of some sort with the leftover crumbs.

The Nanaimo Bars were pretty easy to make, and all of the layers make a tasty treat. I only have half of them left and I only made them on Monday.

I do have a lot of leftover ingredients that will have to be used some how, so look for recipes featuring these ingredients again (such as the graham cracker crumbs).

I hope this post gets the Daring Baker’s stamp of approval. Take the jump for the recipes.

they’re not the prettiest that I’ve seen, but they were tasty.

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