Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Opera Comes to Town

This month's challenge may have looked hard. But compared to the cake that i would consider my speciality, this was a piece of cake! lol.

This months recipe was an Opera Cake. I have not heard of one before this challenge but reading the recipe and looking at the online pictures, i was pretty excited.

I started this cake on sunday at noon by making all the pieces that went into the cake first.
The syrup was 1st and while that cooled i made the buttercream. As my light flavouring i used a raspberry puree that i make each summer and freeze. Made the cake have a lovely flavour and gave it a pretty pink colour.
Now i must say i have not been fond of the buttercream recipes that i have been making so far but this recipe was the best buttercream i have ever tasted in my life. I could have just eaten it by the spoonful. Forget the cake! lol.

I also flavoured the mousse with the raspberry puree and it works so well with the white chocolate.

The cake was the difficult part of the recipe. I ended up overbaking it and burning one of the cakes. I was waiting for a light brown color and completely missed that the bottom was dark brown. lol

For assembly i used my new mousse ring. I have been dying to try it ever since i bought it and just needed a reason.
I started with a cake layer, then buttercream, cake, mousse, cake, buttercream, mousse and then the white chocolate glaze. I did put the syrup on all cake layers.

The cake wasnt cold enough for the glaze to work perfectly, so i ended up with a top layer that was a little tilted and a glaze that was not perfectly smooth. I know, picky picky.

My guests were very happy to taste test the results and were pleased. They did not sing but then they are not the singing type. lol

I will be keeping this recipe in my notes for future use.
I did not leave myself enough time to pipe anything pretty on top of the glaze. Maybe next time.

Thank you

Monday, April 21, 2008

March Madness

I did do the challenge for march. I just havent had alot of time to post about it.
What has taken up so much of my spare time you ask?

Well, I have been spending alot of time making friends with my toilet. The rest of the time i have been sleeping. It is a quiet life. I havent even had time to look at this months challenge. (usually i am waiting on pins and needles for the 1st to roll around so i can log in and find out what the fun will be.)

Why am i spending so much time with the toilet you ask... well on easter sunday we found out we are pregnant! Woohooo. Now if only i could stop throwing up! lol

I did like the challenge and i enjoyed making the cake. I used whipping cream instead of the buttercream. I loved the delicate flavour of the cake.. but we found it too dry. Needed a scoop of ice cream on the side.

I will definately be trying this again though.

Friday, February 29, 2008

My french connection

Hello fellow DB's

This month's challenge was french bread.
I am a bread novice. I only figured out how to make bread and not hockey pucks about a year ago. Since then every time i crack open the yeast i get nervous.

This month's recipe made me doubly afraid. It was 10 pages long.. in small print.

So i started by staring at the recipe for a few days in horror.. and eventually took the time to read it. I read all 10 pages. Then i stared at the pages in horror again for a few more days.

I finally got up the courage one Saturday and started my bread. I had read an other's blog about finishing at 10 at night and i decided that i would take 2 days to build the loafs.

I started at noon on Saturday blooming my yeast. I mixed up all the ingredients and started to knead the bread. It went pretty good and my hands were sore by the time i was done.

After the first rise i kneaded again to get the air out. It was about 5pm when i set the bread to rise again.

This is after the second rising. This was in the morning after i had left it for the evening.

I kneaded again and started forming my pain De menage.
I have formed my loaves and they were having issues rising so i turned up the heat and locked them in the bathroom till they behaved.

I tried to do the steam oven and had a hot cookie sheet in the bottom of the oven and just kept tossing ice on it. My husband thought i was having a few issues.

The bread baked up nice and although it didn't rise in the upward direction (It expanded out the bottom) They looked almost perfect on the outside.
Now we ate one loaf ourselves and thought that the texture was amazing.
It was still slightly warm when we ate it and it was just the right amount of chewy. All of my family is more of sourdough fans so the flavour was lacking a little bit.
The second loaf i gave to a co-worker for her birthday. She said that it was wonderful and her whole family really enjoyed it with their chili.

I don't think this will be something i do again for a long time. I didn't think that the effort was worth the results. It was a great experience though.
Thank you DBers
I am looking forward to march!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lemon Meringue Madness!

Good morning fellow bakers.

This challenge was awesome. I loved it. (My husband really really loved it.)

I did change the pie crust to the one i always make. I feel like i cheated but at the same time, if it is not broke... dont fix it.

I did this challenge early in the month just like i said i would and then i made another mistake. I didnt take the time to blog about it till the last day so now i am relying on the pictures to make sure i remember what i did and what i didnt like about the recipe/challenge.

I would like to start off by saying that making the pie from scratch went better than out of a box. I can never seem to get the sherrif pie filling to set up and this one did so beautifully.

I made the pie crust and baked it with my beads on top. (First time i have gotten to use them since i bought them.) And the crust shrank really badly. So while it looks perfect when i first made it.. by the time it came out of the oven it was not so pretty anymore.

The pie filling was easy for me to make. The first three ingrediants cooked up just like my husband's favortie pie (angel food pie) and then i added the hot to the yolk and then everything back into the pot. Once it started boiling i added the rest of the lemon and other ingrediants. It smelled heavenly and i couldnt get the fingers out of the pudding. Both the husband and the daughter had spoons on the ready for when my back was turned.

The meriangue went like a dream and for once i didnt burn it.

(With my gas broiler the first lemon meriangue pie i made in it.. i managed to burn the meriangue off of it 3 times before i got it only slightly singed! lol)

The part i didnt like about the pie was that after i cut into it the lemon started to seperate out of the pie and by the next morning there was a lake in the bottom of the pie plate. I found the recipe too tart but both husband, daughter and friends all said that if i changed it i would not live very long. It has been added to my collection and i will definately make this over and over again.

Thank you


Friday, December 21, 2007

My first challenge.

Well, when i received the challenge i have to admit i was a little disappointed. I was hoping that it would be a fruit cake. Something that i wanted to try but cant seem to find the time to make my own. I have never seen a yule log as it is not a tradition that has ever been mentioned in our family. But i was up for the challenge.

I built my mushrooms first and then i procrastinated for the cake itself so my mushrooms sat out on the counter for a week while i baked cookies and squares around them. My husband has been more interested in baking this christmas than i have an i cant seem to keep him away from my kitchen-aid long enough to use it myself.

I have been putting it off so long that i planned to do it today, friday the 21st. So i got up this morning at 5:45 so i could hit wal-mart, finish the christmas shopping and get the last few supplies for the cake. As i hit the last stair going out of my house, i stepped on something the dog dragged up and fell, spraining my ankle. Serves me right for procratinating on the whole thing. So i dragged my butt back into the house and after a couple hours and a threat that he would phone my mother.. i went to the doctor for x-rays. Everything was fine and i was prescribed ice and advil. So i came home and rested.

Every time i thought about starting my cake my husband, again, had the kitchen-aid busy doing something, or he was doing dishes. When he went outside i jumped at the chance and started the cake.

It went really smoothly. I didn't think that i would be good at doing it. I did overbake my cake and it cracked in rolling. I didn't have parchment paper so i baked it right on the pan and it stuck a bit when i took it off. I used a technique i learned in home ed about the rolling and just used a clean, dry dish towel and it turned out lovely.

I had refrigerated the leftover buttercream and so it was difficult to spread. I am use to making the cake decorating buttercream so it was a bit of a challenge to work with something that you are not use to doing. But that is what the challenges are for.

I am looking forward to the next challenge. This time i promise not to wait till the day before posting to do it.

Sandra K.

(rookie daring baker)