Aug 27, 2010

The Daring Baker's Challenge: Petits Fours

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petits Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

This time we were challenged to make Ice Cream Petits Fours. As usually when it comes to the Daring Kitchen, it's something I've never made before. I was quite surprised how fast it had been except for the chocolate glaze. Because I have a very tiny freezer I couldn't make an ice cream so I filled them with fruity ricotta cream. It was divine! I loved this challenge :)

Jun 28, 2010

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Chocolate Pavlova with White Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Mousse and Mascarpone Cream

Chocolate Pavlova with White Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Mousse and Mascarpone Cream

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

Another month, another challenge. I was very pleased with this one. We were challenged to make chocolate pavlovas! It was my premiere. I've never made pavlovas before. Everything was quite o.k. except the pavlova "meringue". I followed the recipe step by step, but it kept falling - it wasn't fluffy at all. So I tried another batch with less cocoa powder. The meringue was "tougher", but still quite runny. I didn't have the strength to make yet another batch, because I was afraid of it would not be o.k. again. Plus what would I do with so huge lot of meringue?
So I tried to shape the second batch into hearts. Eventually it wasn't that bad, but they were pretty flat. But nevermind, I'd say mine were much more real meringues than pavlovas, because they were nothing but crunchy.
I made the Creme Anglaise the same day as pavlovas. I liked it pretty much, so I had tough times with making myself not eat it all. Fortunately I had overeaten sooner that day, otherwise there wouldn't be any creme anglaise left :)
Then I continued with the mascarpone cream. At first I wanted it to be strawberry flavoured, but I didn't want to "destroy" its creamy flavour so I let it be.
My mascarpone white chocolate mousse was supposed to be pink in color. To make it happen I used pureed strawberries instead of Grand Marnier. Well, it didn't affected the color at all. Now I'm a little sad I didn't add more of them, but still I'm afraid the mousse would be runny with more strawberries. However, when it's decorated with strawberries all these minus points are lost, because of the freshness and sweetness of them :)

Jun 27, 2010

Blackberry Pig Candy Muffins

Hi everyone :) Today I have a very special recipe for you. Muffins with pig candy! And with the addition of blackberries it's simply hilarious! Once again I had a huge lot of frozen blackberries in my freezer. I always try to use all these fruit leftovers :D But I really had plenty of them! However, I was very interested in this recipe. I've never ever combined sweet stuff with candied bacon (aka pig candy), so I was really impressed.

The recipe is slightly adapted from

May 29, 2010

The Daring Bakers' Challenge: Piece Montée (Croquembouche)

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.

The Original Recipe Source: The recipes I am using for this month’s challenge come from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and were originally created by famed pastry chef, Nick Malgieri.The recipe for caramel cream filling is adapted from Martha Stewart.

And here it comes - my second challenge in The Daring Bakers group! I liked this one much more than the previous, because I liked the food much more and also the preparation, itself, seemed to me to be more "colourful". However, this French "cake" which name means something like "crunch in the mouth" truly is delightful. I decided to make a caramel cream filling, coffee pastry cream and chocolate pastry cream.

May 25, 2010

Strawberry Whisky Ice Cream

Here's a very easy summer refreshing recipe or when you want something cold. I had made this ice cream, because my she-friend arrived to visit me. I needed something fast but tasty, too. The ice cream is light and extremely tasty. A perfect sweet night treat!