Posted by: laurisof | May 27, 2010

Croquembouche

It was so good and easy!

I made the vanilla, chocolate and coffee pastry creams.

I will post more soon.

Croquembouche!

You can find the recipe at the Daring Kitchen recipe archive.

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

Posted by: laurisof | April 27, 2010

Pudding (A Very Chocolate one)

My intention was to make the traditional christmas pudding with suet and all. I couldn’t find the suet and I finally ended running out of time, so I made the, now famous, Very Chocolate Pudding.

I actually had no idea you could make something with the texture of baked cake by steaming it. I was very happy with the result because it was so moist. It crumbled a bit when I unmolded it but the rest was perfect. I served it with some custard for that extra sweetness.

You can find the recipe for the Very Chocolate Pudding here.

Very Chocolatey

Single Servings

Can you smell the chocolate?

You can find the challenge original recipes at the Daring Kitchen Recipe Archive

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet

Posted by: laurisof | April 15, 2010

Incredible Brunswick stew!

Where I live I had never heard about chicken stew. It actually sounded really weird to me. That’s why when I tasted the stew I was so impressed. It was full of flavor and the textures were amazing, and it was so easy too. I definitely think I’ll be doing this one again.

The spoon did stand up in the stew, but I didn’t take a good photo of it. You must take my word for it then :-)

To accompany it I made a very easy cherry tomato focaccia. You can find the recipe here.

Brunswick Stew

Focaccia

The recipe for the Brunswick Stew is in the Daring Kitchen recipe archive. I made version 1 of the challenge.

The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

Posted by: laurisof | March 28, 2010

Orange tian

I had no idea how this dessert was supposed to be as I hadn’t had it before. The result was surprising!

I loved every part of it:

  • the deliciously familiar taste of the pate sable
  • the sweet orange marmalade
  • the sour caramel
  • and the perfect whipped cream.

The combination of them was perfect, sweet and sour, so fresh. It’s definitely something I’ll do again.

Orange Tian

You can find the recipe at the daring cooks recipe archive.

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.

Posted by: laurisof | March 1, 2010

Tiramisu, it’ll make you faint!

This is the first part of my post for the Daring Baker’s February challenge. I still haven’t tasted my assembled tiramisu, but I did taste each and every one of the parts it’s made of.

The mascarpone was a huge success. I wasn’t really sure about it because I didn’t use a stainless steel bowl, I didn’t manage to get any small bubbles, it was really runny when I put it in the fridge and it didn’t drain at all. Even so, it turned out to be a very creamy mascarpone.

The pastry cream was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I’m used to making pastry cream using cornstarch, but this way it was easier, lumpless and tasted sooooo much better (not so floury).

The savoiardi biscuits were a great hit. I made them in just under half an hour and they came out perfect, so much better than the store bought ones.

I made three individual tiramisu’s by halving the recipe, but could only manage to do two layers with the cream mixture I obtained. They’re still in the fridge, waiting to be eaten soon enough. I’ll be posting a photo of the unmolded tiramisu shortly. Meanwhile…

Tiramisu essentials (clockwise from right: mascarpone, pastry cream, zabaglione, whipped cream)

Assembled tiramisu

The final product

mmmmmm!

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.

You can find the recipe at the Daring Kitchen recipe archive.

Posted by: laurisof | February 15, 2010

Pita, Hummus, ‘Falafel’

This month’s daring cooks challenge wasn’t completely new for me. I had made hummus in the past and loved it. The challenge recipe was even better than the one I used before! The pita bread was actually very good. Mine aren’t as perfect looking because I really didn’t bother making them into a round shape. I guess they look more home-made that way.

The falafels were my great failure. I’ve never tasted falafel before, so I have nothing to compare them to, but I’m sure they’re not meant to turn out the way mine did. They were like bread biscuits with a spicy flavor, you could barely eat one on it’s own. They looked as they should be opened up and spread with butter. I really don’t know where I went wrong either so I think I won’t be making those again.

Pita bread, strange falafels and hummus (clockwise from bottom)

My own mezze (olives, tomato, hummus, falafels, pita)

You can find the recipe at the daring kitchen recipe archive.

The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Micheleof Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

Posted by: laurisof | January 27, 2010

Sweet Canada

This challenge was sinful. It’s too good to be left home, it’s something to share. That’s why I gave most of it to a friend. If not I would have eaten it all (which is not very convenient)! The graham crackers were very easy to make and sooooooo good.

Nanaimo Bar

The recipe is at the daring kitchen recipe archive.

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

Posted by: laurisof | January 14, 2010

Sataaay

This challenge was great for a quick meal. It was flavorful, exotic and normal enough for my dad to like it! At first I was unsure whether  I would like the sauces, especially the peanut one, or not. I was surprised to find that peanut and coconut go well with spicy chicken. And the tamarind and pepper sauces were a great alternative for those not fond of peanut butter.

So colorful, chicken satay

The chicken turned out a bit dry, especially the smaller pieces. I think this might’ve been the result of my no-control-of-temperature oven. To achieve the charred effect I had to keep the chicken in the oven for about 30 minutes. I’m sure the result would be perfect if it had been done on a grill/barbecue. The sauces turned out to be essential instead of an extra.

Surprisingly good peanut sauce

The peanut sauce was really good and it combined perfectly with the chicken and on top of the basmati rice I made to go along with it.

The sauces (clockwise from top: peanut sauce, tamarind sauce, pepper sauce)

You can find the recipe at the daring kitchen recipe archive.

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppyliciousand she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

Posted by: laurisof | December 14, 2009

En croute…

This month’s Daring Cooks Challenge was one of my favorites. I learned a new way to prepare salmon and a new technique (the shortcrust pastry). Next time I’ll make sure I roll my dough thinner and I think I’ll think of another way to wrap the salmon so I don’t get layer upon layer of undercooked dough. Another mistake I made is my cuts in the dough were too long and deep, making the package to open up and the vegetable mixture to get dry.

salmon en croute

leaf detail

Leaving aside some of the problems I encountered the result was very good. The vegetable/cheese mixture was really good and…

watercress, rocket, spinach and mascarpone mixture

… the salmon was perfectly cooked.

perfectly cooked salmon

I would recommend to season your salmon and vegetable mixture well since it wasn’t stated in the recipe and I had to add salt while eating the salmon. Don’t be afraid since it is a thick piece of salmon you’re dealing with.

I had some shotcrust pastry left over so I made some apple galettes. Soooo gooood. Will be posted up soon!

Here is the recipe in pdf format: salmon en croute pdf

The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online.

Posted by: laurisof | November 14, 2009

SUSHI!

This month’s daring cooks challenge has been very exciting for me. Since the first time I tried sushi I knew it had become one of my favorite foods. Even so, I had never made sushi before. I thought it was going to be tedious and very very time consuming. I was wrong. If you plan ahead of time exactly which ingredients you’re going to use and organize yourself well, it doesn’t take more than two hours to have perfect homemade sushi. The most important thing I’ve learned with this challenge is that my knives aren’t really good, you really do need a very sharp knife to get good sushi. The recipe for the sushi rice was perfect. I had problems because I took word by word the instruction of turning the heat down to the lowest setting (that was not enough to cook the rice so after the steaming the result was undercooked rice). Overall I am very happy with the results. I still can’t believe I’ve actually made sushi!

Sushi

  • Dragon Roll: prawns, avocado, fish roe.

Dragon roll

Dragon roll head

  • Spiral Roll: avocado, smoked salmon, cream cheese, parboiled carrots.

Spiral roll

  • Nigiri: marinated cod fish, cooked prawns, fresh tuna.

Nigiri

The recipe for the rice is here.

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose ofThe Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

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