Daring Bakers – October 2016 Challenge

A few years ago, I was part of an awesome group called the Daring Kitchen. As life got busier, I moved, got a new job, etc. Long story short, I stopped baking. Now that I’m settled in I decided to start baking again. For my first step back into the Daring Kitchen, our challenge was a Decorated Swiss Roll. hosted by Korena from Korena in the Kitchen. Thank you Korena for the challenge! Check out her blog for her beautiful creations.

I was super excited to jump back in, I read through the recipe a couple of times, figured out what flavors I wanted to use, and decided on my pattern. I took a Saturday to focus just on this challenge. It started great, I lined up all of my ingredients and got started. Halfway through, I added an egg at the wrong time, I set that aside and started that section over, no problem. I put the decoration into the oven for the 90 seconds, set the timer, and started on the next section. Partway through mixing the meringue, I realized the timer hadn’t gone off yet. I checked the timer and realized that I set it for 90 minutes, not seconds. I pulled it out and it was fine, a bit dry, but not burnt.

I would like to say it was smooth sailing from there, but alas, not so much. My filling went well and baking the cake went fine. When it cooled, I pulled the parchment paper back, but part of the decoration stuck. When I flipped it over, the bottom hadn’t quite baked all the way through. It broke a little as I spread the filling, but not too bad. I was still hopeful when I went to roll it, which started out good, until it cracked right down the middle. I was able to “squish” it together a bit, and while it’s not the prettiest Swiss Roll, it was tasty.

20161015_154433Check out the Daring Kitchen for the recipe. Here are my variations and flavor choices:

Our mandatory items: Make a decorated Swiss Roll with decoration baked on the outside.

Variations:

  • Any kind of pattern or decoration
  • Flavor the cake or color with food coloring
  • Any type of filling you wish

There were 5 parts to this recipe, the Egg Yolk Mixture, Pattern Mixture, Meringue, Simple Syrup, and Filling.

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Part A: Egg Yolk Mixture

Instead of buying cake flour, I made my own. After getting everything mixed together, I realized that I read the ratio wrong and had a little too much flour to it, so it was a little thick.

Part B: Pattern Mixture

The first batch, I added the egg white at the beginning, forgetting that it was to be whipped on its own. So, I made a second batch which went smoother.  I added some beet juice and carob powder for color and a little flavor.

Part C: Meringue

Added matcha for a little color and flavor. I tried some Chinese matcha which isn’t near as green and the flavor is a little different as well. Personally, I think I like Japanese matcha better.

Part D: Simple Syrup

I added Amaretto for a little kick and flavor.

Part E: Filling

I made some cashew cream in place of the heavy cream. I added pureed apricots to the cream.

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Assembly:

I tried not to fill it too full as I didn’t want it to crack as I rolled it. I guess I didn’t need to worry about that as it cracked anyway. It may not be the most beautiful, but it was quite tasty.

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So, my first foray back into baking was not stellar, but I am excited to try making this again. The more you practice, the better you get, right? All in all, this was a great challenge and I can’t wait to see what next month’s challenge will be.

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Deepest Darkest Crepe Cake!

Deepest Darkest Crepe Cake!

This was a Daring Bakers challenge I completed back in April of 2007. It was a fun challenge and I just wanted bump this post up incase you missed it.

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I was actually really excited when I saw this challenge, especially after reading all of the comments everyone had. It seems that they all had some trouble with the crepe recipe. Luckily, being vegan, I get to try it with a different recipe since I don’t eat milk or eggs. As long as you expect the first couple of crepes to be trial runs that are fit for snacking but not the actual cake, you should be fine.

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Dagoba Chocolate

I was making some matcha tea bread with a chocolate filling, so I needed to get some chocolate. I thought I would get a chocolate bar instead of chips to put in the recipe and found myself standing in front of the chocolate section trying to narrow down my choices (not an easy task for a chocoholic). I found a brand that was on sale, so that helped to narrow my choices a little. I new I wanted a dark chocolate, narrowing my choices still further. I ended up looking at Dagoba Chocolates, they have quite a few dark chocolates, so I looked at the percentage of cocoa in the bars and settled on two choices: the Eclipse bar with 87% and the Xocolati with 74%. I figured I would use the Eclipse bar in the recipe, but since I was buying chocolate, I might as well have one to nibble on during the week too. I tasted a little of each kind just to be sure and here is what I think of them.

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Tea

Tea.  My favorite drink next to water.  I like it warm or cold, with a meal or just on its own.  I like green, black, white, red (rooibos), herbal, oolong, they are all good.  Personally, I don’t care for tea bags, I prefer loose tea, and I found a great place to get my tea and an easy (and quicker) way to brew my tea.  I was researching loose teas a couple of years ago and came across Adagio Teas (Adagio Teas – Best Tea Online) and fell in love with their products.  They have high quality, yet affordable teas.  My first purchase was their Tea Starter:
Tea Starter Set

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