Monday, 31 August 2009
of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos
Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite
Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
This month, we Daring Bakers were set to make a cake I have never heard of - a Hungarian classic called the Dobos Torta. Layers and layers of thin sponge, sandwiched together and iced all over.
You can get the recipe here. Normally, as a new-ish DB, I tend to stick quite closely to the recipe, but this month I decided to make a few variations of my own, and presented a lovely rectangular eight layer dark-chocolate-orange-and-almond cake.
To do this, I doubled the cake mix recipe, and made 5 11-inch squares, which I later trimmed and cut in half. My filling is alternating layers of home-made orange curd (Delia's recipe), and dark chocolate ganache. The flavours go beautifully together.
In all, I am pleasantly surprised. This was a LOT of work - it took me much longer than the estimated times we were given, but I guess that's always the way with new recipes - but the finished product was very classy. A great 'posh' cake, and it definitely tastes Central European - lovely with coffee.
Not sure I would make it again, unless it was for a very special occasion (and I'd certainly drop the caramel-covered cake wedges, which were overly-hard-work and not very tasty), but it was a great challenge - I really feel like I've stretched myself on this one.
Posted by Lola at 18:52
Sunday, 28 June 2009
I LOVE almonds and I ADORE Bakewell Tart, so I was delighted that this is what we were to make for the Daring Bakers this month.
Despite the confusion, I'm pretty sure this is a Bakewell Tart, as opposed to a Bakewell Pudding - sweet shortcrust pastry, a think layer of jam, and lovely soft frangipane. Mmmmmmmmm.
You can see the recipe we worked to here. I used a 'posh' cherry conserve that I bought (no time to make jam this month!). I just used enough to smear over the base, which worked well - I don't think Bakewells should have too much jam if possible.
I followed it very closely, and it worked out very well indeed. The pastry was flaky and cooked through, and the almond mix was just delicious. The people I fed it to at my drama group were very pleased, and commented on how moist it was. I will definitely be making it again - it's a great 'keeper' for picnics, teas, parties etc.
I did make a couple of changes to the recipe / method:
* used one third more frangipane as I had a slightly larger tin - seemed to cook in the same time though, giver or take 5 minutes.
* blind-baked the case for 15 minutes, at 180 celsius, lined with parchment and filled with beans - I then egg-washed it and popped it back in for 2-3 minutes - this definitely stopped the pastry going soggy.
* put the butter, bowl and flour in the freezer for ten minutes before making the patry - this got me a better pastry than I have managed before.
All in all - another tasty Daring Bakers success! Yum.
Saturday, 2 May 2009
Posted by Lola at 11:27
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Posted by Lola at 14:34
Saturday, 28 February 2009
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
This is my second Daring Bakers’ challenge, and an exciting one for someone with a sweet tooth (though also, unfortunately, one requiring major self-control, due to the ongoing diet!!).
I made a rich, dark chocolate and mint valentine, and paired it with a low-fat chocolate and mint ‘ice-cream’ made from evaporated milk – tasty, and also simple (also meant I could actually eat it, which was a bonus!).
It was delicious. I decided that, given the simple pared-down ingredients, I should buy ‘the best’, and so combined some beautiful organic eggs (with fabulously intensely yellow yolks) with some great quality chocolate. I used about 2/3rds dark mint chocolate, and 1/3rd milk chocolate. The resulting flavour was dark and minty, and just sweet enough for grown-ups (I would definitely use a higher proportion of milk chocolate if I was making it for kids).
I cut most of it into little squares and took them to work – all 30-odd of them had gone in half an hour!
In all, I found this recipe very simple to follow – by turning the oven down slightly shy of the temperature, and keeping a close eye on it, I managed to avoid any texture problems.
I will, most definitely, be making it again.
Beautiful organic eggs from posh hens.
Lovely, rich melted chocolate and butter.
Cooked in its tin - didn't seem to sink!
Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
454 grams of chocolate, roughly chopped
145 grams of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated
1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling, butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
So, this month, along with many of my Daring Bakers sisters and brothers, I have been making Tuiles. Light, crisp biscuits that can be shaped into (more-or-less) anything to decorate a pud or a snack.
I should admit, on first seeing this month’s challenge, I was a little disappointed. I’d seen the glamorous and complex cakes they had made in the past, and I wanted to have a go at that – the recipe for tuiles seemed a bit simple.
But goodness me was I wrong! The recipe itself was quite easy to put together – my eggs split the mix a little bit, but it came back together as soon as I added the flour.
I also had to acquire some stencils to spread the mix into.... It being January, I was skint so decided to make some out of a thin, flexible card I had left from Christmas. The stencils themselves were fine, but obviously the card absorbs moisture, so they became a bit soggy after stencilling just one or two biscuits. Washing them was also not an option.
Tip one – next time I’d buy stencils, or make them out of acetate!
The second ‘issue’ I faced was spreading the batter. How thick? After trying again and again (I had to make two batches), I worked out that the key is to have a cold batter, a cold tray and to spread THINLY! When I had made them thicker they came out too cake-y, and wouldn’t really hold their shape.
The only problem I faced here was again a matter of equipment – my cookie sheet is seriously old, and a bit knobbly, so getting the tuiles off was hard to do when they were spread as thinly as they needed to be.Tip two – cold batter, cold tray, nice smooth cookie sheet!
Cooking the tuiles was quite easy. My oven’s a bit ropey, so I turned it down a couple of notches and just checked the biscuits very regularly. By the time I made my last tuile, I seemed to have the nack of spreading them thinly and evenly enough that when they were cooked I didn’t have too much brown-ness round the edges.
Finally – shaping!! The more thinly the batter had been spread, the easier they were to shape. They seemed so soft and malleable on the tray, that it was surprising just how quickly they firmed up. Like lots of people, I found popping the tray half-in, half-out of the oven to keep them soft, and doing the shaping by the oven door was an effective way of doing it. Not sure this would have worked if I had been making more than three or four on a tray though!
Our challenge was not just to make the tuiles – we also had to shape them, and combine them with something light... So, my tuiles became kannoli! I LOVE kannoli, and you can’t really get them in the UK, so if we want them we are forced to make them. My Grandma has tried with softened brandy snaps before, and somewhere in a cupboard I have a set of the metal tubes, but I’ve never felt like getting to grips with the deep-frying. So tuiles seemed like an opportunity to make a crisp tube shell without all the faff and grease of deep-frying, and without the strong flavour of the brandy-snaps.
And it worked! I beat some ricotta with a little bit of sieved icing sugar and piped it in (I don’t like it too sweet or chocolatey – it should taste of cheese!). I served it with a really simple raspberry coulis to cut through the rich filling. And the verdict? YUM! I will definitely be doing this again.
Following is a recipe taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.
Yield: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example).
Preparation time: batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes.
Baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch.
65 grams softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams sieved icing sugar
7 grams caster sugar
Dash of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams sieved plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C (I put mine at 160C)
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.
If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….