Sunday, April 26, 2009

Catching Up

Before I created my own blog, my Daring Baker Challenges were posted on the Daring Baker site. These are the first several challenges I completed.

French Yule Log, above, was several days worth of effort, since each section required layering or freezing or whatever. Some parts of it were challenging and I certainly learned a lot from creating this dessert. However, it was very rich and I probably won't do it again.

In January, we were to make tuiles, a very thin, fragile cookie which is normally molded into cornets or cigar-shapes - or whatever else your imagination can come up with. While most people made dessert tuiles, I chose to do the savory option. This is what I came up with.

The cookies were very fragile and it took several efforts to find a method of molding them into this shape. I think of all the cookies I baked, only these two were presentable. I filled them with red and green apples sauteed in butter and a little Calvados and topped with sour cream and a blueberry. I thought they were really good and now that I know how to do the tuiles, I could see myself doing this again (on a day when I had lots of patience).

In February, we made a flourless chocolate cake, topped with homemade ice cream. The cake was definitely not sweet - I used bittersweet chocolate, a little Grand Marnier and there was no added sugar! However, that was remedied with the ice cream we made - a vanilla custard ice cream with lots of vanilla bean flavor, topped with satsuma wedges poached in butter, caramel and Grand Marnier.

The March challenge was something different - not dessert. We were to make lasagne based on a Splendid Table recipe. Homemade pasta, homemade ragu and bechamel - no gloppy ricotta or mozzarella or tons of veggies. I made a butternut squash pasta, which was a lovely golden color. The ragu was a combination of pork and beef and cooked for hours. It tasted fine, but I think I should have added some red pepper flakes for a somewhat zestier flavor. The bechamel was a standard bechamel. The lasagne was good and I shared with my mother, who enjoyed it and was probably glad it wasn't spicy hot.

This month's (April) challenge will be posted tomorrow.

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