Monday, February 9, 2009

Daring Bakers challenge....

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Better late than never I say. For my Tuille cookies (the challenge for January) I tried to make little cups. They worked part of the time. The trick really is getting it thin enough so that you can bend it to the shape you want.

I decided to do tiny lemon meringue tarts. Mostly because I adore lemon curd, and secondly I got a new fun torch and wanted to toast the meringue!!

Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Recipe:Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)

Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)

60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)

2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)

65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour

1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice

Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F.

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

French Yule log to come...

For the Daring Bakers challenge this month it is a very daring French Yule log, also refered to as an entremet. I haven't completed this task yet. I'm in the middle and will be posting my results as I finish. I just didn't have time with the holidays to get started until now.
Here is some info:
This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand
THE CHALLENGE RULE is that you MUST MAKE ALL 6 of these elements for the log:1) Dacquoise Biscuit2) Mousse3) Ganache Insert4) Praline (Crisp) Insert5) Creme Brulee Insert6) IcingThe assembly will essentially be a Dacquoise Biscuit at the bottom, and the inserts inter-layered with mousse, with an icing finish. That’s about it for rules. Oh yeah, please have fun!

My results are coming. In the meantime... here are some pretty pictures of other daring bakers results:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Treats are coming...

Starting this weeking the Christmas treats are going to flow out of my kitchen to the warm homes of my friends and family. I've decide to make little boxes of treats for presents. I'm also doing a cookie swap so will be distributing all those cookies as well....what else would I do with 8 dozen cookies??

Here is my list right now:

  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Caramels
  • Chocolate covered Marshmallows
  • Truffles

I don't want to do too much cause I also wanted to make some pies and quick breads! Here is some of my inspiration:

Monday, December 1, 2008


So the Daring Bakers Challenge for November was a Caramel Cake with Caramel icing and an optional project of making chewy caramels. Caramel is sometimes my Nemesis and sometimes my friend, so I went into this challenge looking to conquer sugar! Here is the recipe provided:

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon (, as published on Bay Area Bites (
Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, Artisan Press, Copyright 2007, ISBN: 978-1579652111
Since the caramel syrup was needed for the cake and icing I set off to make this one first.

Once the sugar gets going its just a waiting game until it reaches the right temperature and color. The main problem I had was that my three thermometers all read different temperature and eventually broke. Which makes working with sugar almost impossible.

But here is a sample of my caramel syrup...

Then I set off to make the cake...which I decided to make cupcakes instead so I could take them to work and give away easier. The cake was relatively simple and I didn't have problems with it.

I had to try one before I got the icing ready.

While the caramel syrup was cooling I made the chewy caramels. Which given my thermometer state was a little tricky. Right before starting them I tried to calibrate all my thermometers to no in turn my caramels turned out a little harder than I would have liked. They are delicious though!!

Here is my finished cupcake after icing:

A fun and yummy challenge....hopefully I will get a new thermometer for Christmas so I can make more candies!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lavash and Salsa....1st Daring Bakers Challenge...

Greetings....what follows is my first Daring Bakers Challenge Post. We were instructed to make Lavash crackers and a Vegan Dip to accompany the crackers. That was just a little stressful for my because I know so little about Vegan food. I know they don't eat meat or dairy, but I was pretty sure there were more restrictions.
So I googled my way over to wikipedia and looked up some info on the subject. The definition per wiki is:
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.
Easy enough, or so it seems. Sentences like that have so many layers to them. I had to read to fully understand a Vegan. Like why would someone choose this type of lifestyle...I'm not judging. I understand Vegetarians a little better. They don't want to slaughter animals for food and/or don't want the bad effects of meat to poison their body. But a Vegan says animals have no other purpose but to exist.
OK, thats fine too, to each their own....I just happen to love meat and cheese. There are ups and downs to every diet that is not balanced with the food pyramid. But at least now....I know what I'm dealing with.
I made my crackers this morning and had a little trouble getting them as thin as I wanted so it turns out they are a little thick and now remind me a little bit like communion on Sunday....yikes.Rolled out in the sheet pan; not as thin as I would like...
Cut and sprinkled with topping before baking. I used an everything mix I use for bagels on half and kosher salt and sesame seed on the other half....although probably should have done it a bit heavier or used egg white instead of water because it all fall off.

Baked Lavash Crackers!! YAY!
Salsa in the making....

I hope you enjoyed reading about this was difficult but I have succeeded!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

1st challenge...+

Yay! I have recieved my first challenge from Daring Bakers.....its a secret so I can't reveal it, but I will be posting my results here so be on the look out.

I have also been racking my brain for an awesome Halloween cake to do (not the pumpkin). We will see what I can come up with.

Also begain knitting my first sweater....gulp! Right now it is looking too big....but that I can fix....thats the way I see it anyway.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lazy Days....Yay its fall...

So its now officially my favorite season all year. Not only does it include my favorite holiday (Halloween) it also has my favorite desserts....pumpkin pie, spice cake and and anything along those lines.

I plan on making a pumpkin cake similar to the ones that follow using two bundt cakes. Not exactly sure of the flavor combos, but I enjoy pumpkin so I know that will be on of the cakes. But my will be fabulous!

I have a Halloween party coming up for my Grandmothers 75th birthday (WOW!) I"m not sure if I'll be making the cake, but I hope so, it'll be good experience and a portfolio booster! Plus I get to dress up as its a costume mandatory party.