Thursday, January 29, 2009

January Daring Bakers - Amaryllis Petal Tuiles

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 Angelique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

My self-rating on this challenge was middling. I came up with a great inspiration for the form -- a beautiful amaryllis blooming in my front room but my presentation of the project was somewhat less spectacular. I sacrificed one of the petals of my flower to use as a shape for the cookies, and everything went smoothly through baking and shaping. My downfall was the final presentation. I decided to dip the tuiles tips in white chocolate but hurried it without following the proper crystallization process. The result was a mess. I hurried along this path by taking some red raspberries (frozen but picked by me last summer) and dipping them in the same white chocolate. That didn't work very well so I nuked the white chocolate a little more and attempted to drizzle it over my creation. Not a pretty sight as you can see! However, red raspberries, white chocolate and tuiles taste terrific. Need to work on the presentation!!

Cheers to all the Daring Bakers and wishing winter would end quickly. We are blanketed with about 4 feet of snow in New England and Northeastern New York.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TWD - Chocolate Gingerbread!

Gingerbread is not one of my favorite sweets -- but chocolate is! The result is that this week's TWD recipe is one that I would make again. The exact recipe can be found at Sherry Triffle, the blog of Heather who selected the challenge.

I changed the recipe slightly by baking it in smaller pans. I baked it in two 3 inch springform pans and 12 normal sized cupcakes. Following Dorie's note, I filled the pans about 2/3 full which worked out really well. Also, I cut the baking time to about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TWD – Berry Surprise Cake

Struck out with this one! From the photo evidence, I made the genoise cake. When I pulled it out of the oven, it collapsed in the middle. I did a little research about why it collapsed and discovered that opening the oven can cause it to take a dip. Well, I probably opened the oven 3-4 times during baking. I was preparing to start over and decided to taste the sponge. I didn’t like it – not the texture or the taste -- so I abandoned the project.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ooh-lah-lah French Pear Tart - TWD

Dorie's recipe note that this is such an easy recipe is totally on the mark. I had some sweet tart crusts frozen and pulled them out and used canned pears. I made them in small 6 inch tart pans and it took about a half or more pears per tart. The recipe was so easy to make. I'm constantly impressed by Dorie's pastries -- that they may sound complicated but are easy to make and produce tasty pastries. Thanks Dorie - I'll make this again!