Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers - Macarons

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Neither of these pictures are the macarons I made for the challenge, actually. The first one is a picture I took of a sculpture that reminded me of a macaron, and the second is a pretty macaron I made a while ago.

I did do the challenge though! It's just been so long since I've done a challenge and posted about it that I actually just forgot to take pictures before they were all devoured, which was quite quickly. They didn't even get the chance to rest in the fridge for as long as they should before being eaten.

I made them for my boyfriend's parents, whom I was meeting for the first time this past weekend. I was told that his Dad likes German Chocolate Cake, so I made chocolate macarons with chocolate ganache and coconut pecan frosting filling. They were perfect, and even without having the most time to rest, they were nice and soft on the inside.

My boyfriend declared that they were the best things I've made that he's tasted, and the next day he bought a huge bag of Halloween candy because he was craving the macarons but couldn't have them. Haha, so I guess I'll be making a lot more.

The only thing I had a problem with in making these was grinding the almonds fine enough. My food processor just doesn't do it. It grinds maybe 20 % of the almonds I put in it fine enough, and the rest just stay gritty and mealy. so I always end up putting in way more than I need, and then sifting out the fine enough stuff, and throwing out the rest. I need to find a better way to do it... Maybe I'll try buying almond flour next time.

My New Kitchen...

I finally have my own kitchen!!!!!!!!!!

also, plans have changed - I enrolled in a culinary school at the beginning of this month, in a Baking & Pastry program. so, pretty soon the internet will no longer be my only source of baking knowledge. =)

The best thing is that both of these things are quite conducive to me posting on this blog more. Haha.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pear Upside Down Spice Cake

Mmmmmm pears and spice.... and honey... and lemon... and caramel.

When I was in Japan, I shared a room with an incredible girl whose obsession with food impressed even me.

She is one of the most entertaining people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and the whole time we lived together I really wanted to bake something for her, but couldn't because we basically lived in a hotel room and I had no oven!

so, a year later, on her birthday, I finally made her cake!  and she absolutely loved it.  =)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Daring Bakers - Strudel!

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.

It's summer now and I finally have time again to bake allll the time!  Yaaaay!
So I'm late with this challenge... but I made it today and it was delicious!  

I'm so awesome that I used a big t-shirt to spread my dough on.  It was the perfect size and it worked like a charm.  =)

Besides this being a delicious and fun challenge, I am especially elated because I was able to make it without a trip to the store.  I wanted to use pears and blueberries and cream cheese and I already had everything I needed. 

My filling is made up of pears, blueberries, cream cheese, grand marnier, honey, and cinnamon.  mmmmmm.

Thanks for another great challenge, Daring Bakers!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Staying in with Blueberry Muffins

My keybo_rd won't work, but yummy pretty muffin time!!  =)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daring Bakers - Chocolate Valentino Cake with Rosemary Ice Cream

Look, look, I'm still here!  Barely so, and late with my post, but still here.  =)

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.  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.  

At this point, I don't even know what to say about where I've been... this semester has been insane.  It's my last semester, so I'm taking more classes than I have time for, and I'm an editor on a film that just finished shooting last night.  And in film school, editors have to be on set.  So for the past month or so I have had no weekends (on set) and have spent most of my "free time" during the week in the editing lab.  I've actually been squeezing in a lot of baking, because I've  made it a point (to keep up both my own sanity and the morale on set) to bring baked goods to set every day.  But then once I'm there, they get eaten so quickly and I'm so busy that no pictures get taken, soooo.... I've made a bunch of cupcakes that you will never see.  Sorry...  Some of them were really awesome, so maybe I'll do a pictureless post sometime soon with recipes and descriptions.  =)

In any case, shooting is over, I have weekends again, and I did complete February's challenge!  yaaaaay!  It was awesome and easy, too.  I think the hardest part of this challenge was finding time to make it and people to eat it.  I couldn't bake it for set, because it's more of a plated, temperature sensitive dessert than it is a "lay out for the crew to ravage" dessert.  So instead, I persuaded my producer, editing partner, and the sound mixer to get together at 10 PM when we had finished shooting on Saturday, and they made sushi (yum) while I made the cake.  

Sounds simple... but this happened at the producer's apartment, so I had to re-locate my things to a new kitchen.  Then there was some business with improvising mixing bowls, realizing that I had brought the beaters from my electric mixer and not the mixer itself, then realizing that I had left my keys at my apartment with my mixer and so not only would there be no cake, there would be no sleeping in my bed that night.  

But it was ok, because eventually I was able to wake up one of my roommates and re-acquire my keys and mixer.  So I made the cake.  It just happened to be 2 AM when it finally came out of the oven.  And the people I had rounded up to eat it that night?  Filled with sushi and alcohol, and half asleep all over the living room, too lazy to even get up for cake.  I did manage to get a slice eaten, along with a good amount of my delicious rosemary ice cream (weee), and it was well-appreciated in a zombie-like manner.  As it should be.  

I'm glad I was able to do this challenge, because had I not done it, I don't think I ever would have attempted to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.  I've been spoiled by ice cream makers, but I don't have one currently, so its nice to know that I can still make lovely ice cream without them.  Thanks, Daring Bakers!