wellownedbkup: (Default)
so while i won't divulge too many details, since it is a Daring Bakers' Challenge... i will just say this:

my kitchen sucks. for a place that i thought was pretty handy on the tool front, we are seriously lacking. our food processor is for shit. won't grind a darn thing. won't mix dough. we have like... zero space and even less available to do things (dehydrating stuff, poaching... etc).

i guess my main problem is i haven't been taught any kind of techniques except a little bit of cake baking. since that's the case, i really have no reason to wonder why i keep FAILING IN THE KITCHEN.

wellownedbkup: (Default)
The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England. We were challenged with a recipe drawing from such cooks as Allan Davidson, Tamasin Day Lewis, Anton Edelmann, Jane Grigson, Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver.

Like many regional dishes, there's a whole ton of history that you may want to know, but don't have to read )

The challenge basically wanted us to at least hand make both the shortcrust pastry and the frangipane. While I don’t particularly care for pie crust, I could do that. As for the frangipane, though… we’re allergic to nuts in my house. So no frangipane (which is made with almonds). Thankfully, they did allow us to make a Victoria Sponge Cake as the frangipane replacement, so I had that as a fall back. They also left it up to us to make our own jam. I had the fruit and the time, so why not? DONE. My parents had made jam before, but I didn’t remember anything about it but picking the fruit, and then seeing a pot on the stove with a burbling goo of what used to be mulberries. So, there was a link to Jasmine’s Blackberry Pan Jam (http://cardamomaddict.blogspot.com/2009/04/blackberry-pan-jam.html) that I just… went to town with.

recipes )

the good, bad and ugly )

In Conclusion:

Not bad. Since I made it twice, I know how easy it really is and will probably make it many many times in the future. And my poor ex-pat English father who likes Bakewell Tarts liked my efforts, so I consider that a double win. He’s not an easy sell on my sweets. Next time, for myself, I’ll make more jam and not try putting cream cheese with tropical fruits. Maybe with some mixed berry, if I wanted to do that.

pictures )

They seem to enjoy it!

wellownedbkup: (what low carb?)
The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Preparation time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes

15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

my helper
Why hello, helper! We're gonna make foods!!

Recipes )

So, the Good, Bad and Ugly. )

In conclusion, it's not that I don't like the strudel (because I do), nor is it about what I could've done better (which is a lot). I don't like the amount of work I had to put into this to get a result. I mean, I made the strudel on an off day from work, and it took forever. As it happens, the savoury was split between me and my grandmother for dinner that day, and it barely was enough. Too much work, too little result. Would not repeat, despite the good results.

Pictures )
wellownedbkup: (what low carb?)
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

The Recipe: )

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: )

Next Time: )

Last but not least: )
wellownedbkup: (what low carb?)
The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

Recipes below for Chocolate Valentino, Hazelnut Whipped Cream and Quick Caramel Topping )

The original recipe calls for the cake to be served with whipping cream. BUT the Daring Baker mods decided to make this more of a challenge and ask that we hand make Ice Cream. My house being the way it is meant that, while I own a pretty awesome automatic ice cream maker, I had nowhere to store the bowl (which needs to be frozen, used, then refrozen) in our freezers. Nowhere. :( Instead, I made a whipped cream with a little sugar and some hazelnut syrup, knowing the flavor goes well with chocolate and because I couldn't find any Bailey's Irish Cream (I'd been to a restaurant that did that and served it with their Guinness Chocolate Cake. Oh God. To die for). To add some more flavor levels, I also made a quick and dirty caramel sauce.

The cake tastes like the chocolate used in the recipe. In my house, everyone loves milk chocolate, though Cadbury UK spoiled me and made me hate American milk chocolate. So, in compromise, I used about 10 oz of milk chocolate and 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate. This made the cake extremely sweet, as far as I'm concerned, and should I make it again, I'll probably cut back to half and half or balance more in favor of dark. The caramel and the whipped cream were sweetened as well, so it was a shock to this little diabetic's senses.

Because I don't celebrate holidays, it wasn't that big of a deal to ignore that a real Valentino is cut into a heart shape. But it bakes well in a 6x8 or a 7x7 pan, or a springform pan. I decided to go for cupcakes, and ended up putting the rest into a 6" round--no springform pans in my house as yet, but it's in the works. When it comes out ofthe oven, it may sink, but will look like a brownie on top and wet-fudgy in the middle.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly )

Pictures! One day, I'll learn to take better pics )

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