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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 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 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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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!