Saturday, June 27, 2009

June Daring Bakers - Bakewell Tart - er- Pudding

June 27th is here and it is time to post another challenge!

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.

Considering how much I read British writers, you would think I'd have heard of it. Alas, no such luck. But it looked good! I chose to use Strawberry Jam and I ground my own almond flour. The recipe calls for icing sugar, and I almost goofed and put in regular sugar before I realized it was confectioner's sugar that was being called for.

I used comments from other people to make some changes. I blindbaked the crust, and instead of bringing it to room tempature, I used the heat of the crust to warm the jam, making it easier to spread. Looking at other pictures, I slightly increased the amount of jam called for, as I really like the jam layer. I was concerned that I would not get the lift I was looking for as the frangipane layer started to melt in the heat before I put it in the over, but that was not the case.

I loved the frangipane layer and the strawberry layer, but the cookie crust was a little tough. I don't know whether I did not measure the flour correctly or if the blind baking made it tougher. Overall this is a keeper and looks really impressive!

Monday, June 15, 2009

June Daring Cooks - POTSTICKERS!

The second Daring Cooks' challenge is hosted by Jen of and it is Chinese dumplings which can be steamed, boiled or fried (called potstickers). Jen, thank you so, so much for the delightful challenge!!

She had posted a pork filling that I used. I made the full version, cooked up some and froze the rest. The filling was amazing! It is full of cabbage, mushrooms, ginger, pork, soy sauce, and bean sprouts.

I had trouble making the wontons, as I could not figure out how much dough I needed to start. The dough itself is great to work with, but my first wontons were very small and only a little bit of filling was in each one. It was a struggle between not wanting too much dougn, because I didn't want them to be doughy, and too little, because I wanted to be able to actually taste the filling.

When I fried them, I think I added too much water to the steaming step of making potstickers, and where I had too much dough, they came out chewy. There were definitely moments of divineness though, and I would love to try these again.

See you all next month!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Daring Bakers - Strudel!

Sorry for the late posting!

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caf├ęs of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

I really enjoyed this challenge, but I found the final product a little flat. I think the reason was that I used unsalted butter. I think that if I had used salted butter, the additional salt would have enhanced the dough.

The dough was a dream to work with, I didn't find it to be sticky at all. I only made a half batch as I was the one to eat it all! I used apples and cinnamon as the filling.

The bread crumbs I found I had too many of, so I only used about 1/2 that I was supposed to.

Here is what it looked like going into the oven. Looks authentic! I will make this recipe again, and I was definitely inspired as what other Daring Bakers used this recipe to make.