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Who can only eat one?  Not I.  These tasty little cookies (almost a crisp sponge cake), are so very chewy and moist and just plain divine in your mouth.  I found this recipe supper easy to recreate, however I did follow some great tips provided here on Tartelette‘s blog.

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I did let my egg whites sit in the fridge for 5 days, which required plenty of planing ahead.  I did not bake my macaroons at 2 different temperatures.  I live in the South and it is still in the 90’s here at least twice a week, and having my oven on that long and that high is just not an option.  So I used Tartlette’s baking instructions, with Claudia Fleming’s ingrediant list.  I added some color, but not enough to make them actually orange like pumpkins which is what my daughter and I were going for, instead they look like a Georgia peach!   We then filled half with some whipped ganache and the other half with fresh whipped cream and vanilla.

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These macaroons were amazing and I will be visiting this page on Tartelette‘s blog to try some other variations for the holidays.  Thanks Daring Bakers, for another marvellous challenge!

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The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

 

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The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

Fun Facts:

Dobos torte (/’doboʃ/, Hungarian: dobostorta, Slovak: doboška) is a famous Hungarian cake.  The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel. (You may come across recipes which have anywhere between six and 12 layers of cake; there are numerous family variations!) It was invented in 1885 by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker, and it rapidly became famous throughout Europe for both its extraordinary taste and its keeping properties.  Dobos’s aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out.  The recipe was a secret until Dobos retired in 1906 and gave the recipe to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.

After taking a long summer hiatus, spent with my 2 amazing children, I am back.  Very back and very ready to BAKE!

When I read this challenge I was so very excited.   My daughter has a sweet little friend from school named Lili, and over the past year we have become quiet good friend with her whole family.  Her parents are both Hungarian, living and working right here in Georgia.   They love the kitchen as much as we do.  In fact we eat dinner together quiet often and try out new recipes.  Last month we made sushi rolls and even made fresh tuna sashimi.  Upon reading the recipe I immediately called them to see if they could give me any hints or advice on making this cake as accurate as possible.  They had eaten the dessert many times, just never made it.   Needles to say, we decided to eat the finished product together.

The fist batch of batter I made was just too thin and fine, it never rose and cracked where ever the parchment wrinkled from the moisture.  However I do not believe in waste, so we ate them for breakfast the next morning with giant Georgia peaches and homemade whipped cream.  It was like a cross between a pancake and a crape!  Delicious!

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For my second go around I decided to make 1 1/2 times the recipe hoping to use 1 rounded cup of batter per layer.  I also decided against the parchment paper, as I was not happy with the “wrinkling” on the first batch.  I used a silpat instead.  I drew my circle pattern right on my pan with permanent marker (which will wash off of the pan), then placed my silpat on top and could see the line perfectly.  This plan worked marvelously and my layers were nice and even.  I did not trim the edges either.

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The buttercream recipe was WAY TOO RUNNY for me.  It would not set up at all.  There was no way I could use it pipe, I was so disappointed.  Next time I will stick with my own tried and true Mocha Buttercream recipe found here at Zoe Bakes.  The Hungarians agreed that the overall cake was too sloppy and the traditional cake was much firmer and would generally have more layers.

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The Carmel, hum, what to say about the Carmel.  The lemon was not needed.  Even if it was added, 1 teaspoon would have been enough to add a hint of flavor, 8 teaspoons just overpowered the whole thing.

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Overall I had a fun time recreating this famous dessert,  can’t wait to try it again with a few tweaks.  Stay tuned to see what else I made with this “cake” recipe!

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The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

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We love cheesecake, the hubby and I.  This challenge was definitely for us, but not a challenge in the least.  I have over the past few years perfected my cheesecake baking process to a T, so that is now the easy part.  That leaves me plenty of time to do what I love, alter the recipe.  Thankfully this month we could do just that, Jenny even encouraged us to “alter” the recipe and make it our own.  I am calling this one American Cheesecake.  It takes diversity to make it work, and oh how it works!

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Kaighty was my assistant daring baker for this challenge, as she was on spring break.  We first crushed 20 Oreo cookies in a bag (counting to 20 is my 5 year olds speciality).  Added the butter, spread the mixture in the pan and baked our crust for about 10 minutes.  Now to mix the base recipe.  I used Abby’s recipe but added a few extras such as flour and one more block of cream cheese, as well as omitted the lemon juice.  Once we had our base mixed up, I poured 2/3rds of it into our cooled spring-form pan and crust.  The we doctored up the last third with some instant espresso and a smidge of cocoa powder.

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To ensure and even layer, I pipped on the espresso layer.  Into the oven it went, for about an hour and half.  I do open the oven door long enough to test the cheese cake, then close it back up and turn it off.  I leave it in the oven until the cake is at room temperature, this will prevent a crack in the top.  I realize I am about to top mine, so a crack could be covered.  At this point I carefully remove the cake from the pan, then put it right back in the pan.  pour the prepared ganache over it and place it in the fridge overnight.

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Overnight is the key to a good cheesecake.  For some reason it continues to meld together and comes to it’s creamiest point at about 36 hours out of the oven.  Don’t skip this step, as it is crucial for optimum taste!

The following evening, we cut and served it.  My girls ate the ganache off the top, and that was it.  The hubby and me, oh, we ate the whole thing, it was divine.  Like fresh cold watermelon in the summer, just amazing on your tongue!  Thank you Jenny, it was a wonderful challenge and a wonderful April in our house!

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This challenge was a challenge, as I have been with out a working oven for almost 3 weeks now!  I had made my ice cream base last week and was wondering if I would ever get to process it.  Luckily my angle (the carpenter), came and installed my new oven this past Monday.  It was an ordeal to say the least, cut our old oven and base unit, move a cabinet, rewire the wall, remove and cut down counter top, reinstall and slide in new oven.  But alas it is done and I am BAKING again!  We love cake and ice cream in our house.  So much, if our Netfix arrives and we no ice cream, someone has to run out for some Ben and Jerry’s or Breyers.  I make a lot of home made ice cream now that I have the kitchen-aid ice cream attachment.  This is by far the best batch of fruit ice cream I have ever made.  Recipe to follow.  This all being said, I settled on a Zuccotto: is an Italian dessert with origins in Florence, a semi-frozen, chilled dessert made with brandy, cake and ice cream. I did however omit the brandy and replaced it with Ganache, my third favorite thing.  I made the cakes in 6″ rounds, this recipe made enough batter for two 6″ cakes.  The cake was so incredible easy to make.  Who would not love a 3 ingredient recipe?  The cake came out of the oven, and I had to shave some off just for a taste.  Ah, what bliss, like velvet chocolate on your tongue.  Marvelous.  I processed my raspberry ice cream and then pressed it into 1/2 round 6″ moulds and froze them overnight.  Lastly I made the ganache, assembled my layers and poured the cooled ganache over the cake.  I then popped it back in the “blast chiller” for a final 30 minutes before cutting.  Served with fresh raspberries, this desert was divine and will be made in my home again, very soon!  We give this 4 hearts, our highest rated Darring Bakers challenge.  Thank you to our hosts.

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.

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My girls were present during my photo shot, and wanted to taste so badly.  If you can imagine me saying over and over “please stay back for just 1 more minute, this is mommies important project”, until they could stand it no more…….

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Vote: A formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue. The right to participate as a voter; suffrage.

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This quilt was handmade by Elizabeth of “oh fransson” and can be found here.  Vote, it is what started history last year!

America, Red, White, and Blue is my theme for this challenge!

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This month America changed.  In honor of our 44th President, and all of Americans, who made History happen on January 20th 2009, I made flags, American Flags.  My 4 old voted during this past year’s election at school.  Weekly readers are used in class to teach the children about current events, science, art and history.  On November 4th it highlighted both nominees and allowed the children to vote.  Obama won the election in her class at 2:15pm with a 13 to 7 vote.  The class got to watch his Inauguration and were sent home with another weekly reader highlighting Obama’s family and his new job.  She was so pumped up about the whole thing, as were we.  We decided to have a celebration after dinner that night.  I made American Flag Tuiles and served them with some mocha buttercream, and whipped cream with sugar crystals.  They were fantastic.  We loved the way they tasted, almost like a sugar cookie mixed with a fresh waffle cone, but better!

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Traditionally, tuiles are thin, crisp almond cookies that are gently molded over a rolling pin or arched form while they are still warm. Once set, their shape resembles the curved French roofing tiles for which they’re named. The Dutch angle: traditionally this batter was used to bake flat round cookies on 31st December, representing the year unfolding. On New Year’s Day however, the same batter was used.  But this day they were presented to well-wishers shaped as cigars and filled with whipped cream, symbolizing the New Year that’s about to roll on. And of course the batter is sometimes called tulip-paste….

This month’s challenge is brought to us by Karen of Baking Soda 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.  Thank you for allowing us the freedom to make almost anything amazing.  I had so much fun with this challenge!  I have also made these lovely hearts  topped with Mocha Buttercream roses, served on a bed of sugar crystals.  I learned a few tricks from a fellow DB’er here and here, on making Tuiles.  Thank you Zoe of  Zoe Bakes.

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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 which will be a definite challenge.

I was very pleased with this challenge, especially considering I have only made one of the six components prior to this project.  This is why I am a member of this group, to be challenged to bake outside of my comfort zone.  This task  however, did seem to be quiet large. So I enlisted my husband’s help in the process.  Unfortunately,  he ended up with the largest part of the challenge: the DISHES!  This was a 6-step process that needed to be mapped out in advance.  I did not fully read the entire instructions and planned a few things in reverse order.  One would think I should have learned my lesson by now.  However I am just a skimmer, plain and simple. I can’t read and absorb the entire thing until I am doing it step by step.

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A few tips I will always use when making this yule log again.

Make these first in this order:

1. Creme Brulee (freeze then cut)

I had a very difficult time with this portion of the log and will omit it completely next time.  First, the parchment paper rose up into the Creme Brulee.  Second,  it took almost 3 hours to cook.  I have a VERY UNRELIABLE oven.   Even with a thermometer, it is impossible to keep it at a low temperature.  Thirdly, once cooked and removed from the paper that had settled in the center of my Brulee, it was very gummy and eggy.   Not only that, but all of the vanilla bean seeds sunk to the bottom of the Brulee.  Possibly my fault, the taste was not desirable.  Lastly, it became icy in the freezer and never really thawed enough to be soft and smooth like the mousse.

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Step #3 for the Creme Brulee: Beat the eggs whites, gradually adding the granulated sugar until stiff….. if you do this with such a small amount in a large mixer like mine, this is what you get, spun sugar.

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2. Mousse (refrigerate at least 1 hour)

My chocolate for the mousse seized 3 times before I said to hell with it and used it anyway.  Oddly enough, once added to the gelatin, it came right back to the perfect smooth-shiny consistency it should have been all along.  The mousse was divine.  It melted in your mouth and was so velvety it quickly became my second favorite component in the dish.

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3. Praline insert (freeze then cut)

Very tasty with rice crispy treats.  However, next time I will smash them before mixing  and omit the praline all together; you can’t taste it.  The layer was too hard to cut through and hurt your teeth to bite it  even 30 minutes out of the freezer.  A thinner piece may help with this in the future.

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Then assemble these 3 items and freeze for 2-3 hours until set.

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Now make these:

1. Dacquoise Biscuit (allow to cool and cut)

Was amazing;  In fact my favorite part of the whole log.  I had no problem with the recipe as it was.  I ground my own almond meal due to the fact that I could find none locally.

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2. Ganache Insert (pipe on previous frozen Yule log)

Again, a divine part of the log.  You can really taste the caramel in this and it is both smooth as well as rich and creamy in the mouth.  I made a second batch of this and rolled them into truffles and  latter dipped into the leftover almond meal.

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Finish assembly and FREEZE UNTIL NEXT DAY.

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Lastly make Icing, remove log from mold and coat.

I used the white icing as a way to tone down all of the rich chocolate elements.  This was my least favorite thing and came out feeling like jello.  It did not melt in your mouth; you had to chew it.   Not to mention that  it was not spreadable once it hit the frozen log.  I raced to make a dark chocolate version and topped my log with it.  Smooth and shinny and delicious.

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We were, overall, very happy with the final product.  My husband and I ate the whole thing with-in a week.  We will be making this again!  Thank you to our hosts and writer of this fine recipe!

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Click on “Continue Reading” for the Recipes…..

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This challenge was one I really looked forward to.  I love caramel!  My first order for BC was a Caramel Cake.  So, it is definitely near my heart.  This was however, a “challenge” for me.  My first round of caramels came out as toffee.  I also burned the caramel syrup the first time.  I found the icing was a smige too sweet, but any icing made with powdered and not white sugar would be more sweet. However, the browned butter gave it a flavor like no other, one I love.   The cake was very dense and not as flavorful as I had imagined.  The caramels, with the subtraction of the ground vanilla bean, were divine!  So all in all, the icing with a spice cake and caramel syrup would be a hit in my house!

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Thanks for the great recipes:

Our leading lady this month is Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater (http://eggbeater.typepad.com/) and her signature caramel cake.  Helping me (http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/) host this month are Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo: http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/), Jenny of Foray into Food (http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/). And since none of us know jack about alternative baking, we’ve once again turned to Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go (http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/) to assist us.  Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon (http://eggbeater.typepad.com/), as published on Bay Area Bites (http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/).  Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, Artisan Press, Copyright 2007, ISBN: 978-1579652111

Click on “Continue Reading” for the Recipes…..

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The Daring Baker’s October 08′ Challenge, Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Dough

Ok, I skipped September’s challenge because I have not been in the mood to bake extra things lately.  My business is really taking off, and I am always in the kitchen making cakes or cake like items.  With the Holidays here I have been extra busy baking for parties and school events.  I am also teaching two nights a week and things are just getting too busy!  HOWEVER, I am in love with what is happening.  I am a BAKER!  I can’t say it enough, I love it!  When this months challenge was posted, I just had to make it.  We love pizza (my husband and I), especially when it is fresh.  Tossing it was a little harder than I thought, and I did get lazy and use caned sauce on one pizza.  The other pizza was topped with my all time favorite homemade white sauce, fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil from my garden and leftover bacon.  The dough was great and we will be making this again!  Thanks, Rosa’s Yummy Yums

Click on “Continue Reading” for the Recipes…..

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My first ever.  First DB Challenge.  First Pâte à Choux.  First Pastry Cream.  I was so excited!  I took my eldest to school, went shopping for all my ingredients (I heard fresh is best for Choux dough), and put the toddler down for her afternoon nap— 3 whole hours to myself and my Eclairs.  Heaven!

Making the Choux dough was much easier than I thought it would be.  I think I was a little short on flour because I sifted first.  I have since learned it is best for this dough to sift after measuring.

The dough itself resembles goopy hair gel from the 90’s when dropped from your wooden spoon.  Loading it into the pastry bag and piping it onto the cookie sheet was also very easy.  HINT:  Do not copy my step of piping onto the cookie sheet directly, use parchment or a silpat.  I watched 2 You-Tubers do this and it worked fine for them.  Nonetheless, mine stuck to the pan.  When you remove them from the oven to poke a hole in them, it is critical that you get them right back in the oven. If they stick to the pan, like mine, they will fall before you get them back in.

I was very happy with the way my dough puffed up.  About 80% of my Eclairs were hollow in the middle and took the cream filling very well.  I will cook them an additional 3 minutes next time to ensure the exterior of the “bun” stays crisp.  The recipe for the Choux dough did not yield enough for me to make large Eclairs like I had hoped, in fact it only made enough for 18.  When finished, two Eclairs side by side were no bigger than a business card.  I love to share what I bake with family and friends. This was hardly enough to go around.  For all the effort and dishes, I will double it next time.

I decided to alter the filling.  We were allowed to alter either the filling or the glaze in this challenge.  Even though I changed the cream, I followed the amounts and instructions exactly.  The only substitute I used was white for dark chocolate and once my cream was cool, I added 1 tablespoon of Hazelnut Liquor.  I found that once I filled my Eclairs, I was only left with about 1/2 cup of cream.  That being said, I believe the recipe for the Choux and the cream are spot on.  However, I was left with more than 1/2 of the chocolate glaze.  Therefore, I will need to scale that down before my next attempt.

I sliced my Eclairs lengthwise, per the directions, and used a star tip to pipe the cream into the open Eclairs.  The cream was not quiet stiff enough to hold its shape once the top was put on.   I dipped the tops in the chocolate glaze instead of spooning it on.  This gave my Eclairs a much more finished look.

They tasted wonderful!  We ate them all in less than 24 hours and I am salivating right now wishing I had just one more to eat!   I think Pierre was right on with this recipe, and I personally can’t wait to make them again.

In conclusion, the Daring Bakers are a wonderful network of knowledgeable, sportive people who make this experience wonderful.  I am proud to now be one!  Thanks Daring Bakers for the beginning of a journey I can’t wait to travel!

Follow the MORE TAG for Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs Recipe.

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Bonobo Cakes is now a member of The Daring Bakers!  Watch for the post of my first challenge on August 31st.  It is top secret, so please no inquires.  Some of you may be fortunate enough to taste some prior to the post, as for the rest of you …… don’t forget to check back!

Hello reader, this Blog is a real time biography for Bonobo Cakes. BC will become an official bakery sooner than later. For now however, we are closed. With the addition of a 3rd child, life is to important to stop and spend 24 hours strait on a cake. Although we love cake, it will be a while before we get back into baking on a large scale. Enjoy the stories and photos, but please ask prior to using any of our original information on another site. Thank you and Enjoy the blog as it was!