Category Archives: Daring Bakers

The Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding

frangipane

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.

Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.

Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

The version we’re daring you to make is a combination of the two: a sweet almond-flavored shortcrust pastry, frangipane and jam.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

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Daring Bakers: Spinach Lasagne

Below are a few pictures and the recipe from this month’s challenge which was to make everything-from-scratch lasagne, including the spinach noodles.  The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

spinach-pasta

Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna (Lasagne Verdi al Forno)
(Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 to 8 as a main dish)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes to assemble and 40 minutes cooking time

10 quarts (9 litres) salted water
1 recipe Spinach Pasta cut for lasagna (recipe follows)#1
1 recipe Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)#2
1 recipe Country Style Ragu (recipe follows)#3
1 cup (4 ounces/125g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
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Daring Bakers December – French Yule Log

img_0202This 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.  Above is a picture of a yule log I made last year, when I had more time.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to make the version of the recipe below, but I wanted to share it, along with some beautiful pictures of it with you!  Happy Baking!

The complete recipe (it’s a long one) is after the jump…

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Daring Bakers: Homemade Pizza Dough

This month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge was to make homemade pizza dough using the tossing method.  And until you try it, no knocking it or the shape of my pizza!

The flavor from the dough, which you let ferment and rest overnight in the fridge is delicious and when cooked on the sizzling hot pizza stone, the crust is really incredible!  My husband and I are firm lovers of the balls of pizza dough in the refrigerator section at Trader Joe’s, but after trying this, I’ve got to say, we might never buy dough again!  Sure, it takes a little planning to get it into the fridge at least one day before you want to eat it, but it’s definitely worth it.  And as for the tossing method, it’s tricky, but fun!  The consistency and moisture content of the dough is critical here.  Both times I made the dough this month, I found it to be a little wet and sticky, which made tossing difficult, but I didn’t mind how it looked, because the flavor was so good.  So give it a try!

~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

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My First Daring Bakers Challenge: Chocolate Eclairs

I’ve gone and done it – I’ve joined the Daring Bakers! Here’s the recap from my first challenge!

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with waxed or parchment paper.

2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers. Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff. The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking time should be approximately 20 minutes.

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