Daring Bakers for June 2011

June 27th, 2011

Blog-checking lines: Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Go to http://www.thedaringkitchen.com to check out the recipe & everyone’s creations!

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THE DARING BAKERS’ JUNE, 2011 CHALLENGE: FROM PHYLLO TO BAKLAVA!!

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Mandatory Items: This month you must make your own phyllo dough & turn it into a Baklava.

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I love Baklava & I have always wanted to try making phyllo, so I was quite excited when this challenge came out. I have now learned after making the phyllo as well as the laminated dough & other doughs that are rolled paper-thin, that I don’t add enough liquid. My dough dried out way to much & I couldn’t get it as thin as I would have otherwise. I guess I shouldn’t be afraid to add a bit more liquid. It’s not the prettiest baklava, but it still tasted great! I can’t wait to try making it again. Now, if I could just figure out how to make it come out this good without all the fat! I also chose to halve the recipe as my sweet tooth is a little depleted after doing recipe testing for a cupcake cookbook the last couple of weeks.

Daring Bakers for May 2011

May 27th, 2011

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow & Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

THE DARING BAKERS’ MAY, 2011 CHALLENGE: MARQUISE ON MERINGUE

All vegan recipes were created by Ashlae of Ladycakes.

Mandatory Items: The marquise & the meringue are mandatory items. All other components are optional, but really do make this a complete (& outrageously decadent) dessert.

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Vegan Recipe Variations:

Our vegan recipes come from Ashlae (http://ladycakesbakes.blogspot.com/), who we’re going to call our little vegan miracle-worker. Ashlae took a look at all of our recipes and went to work adapting and testing – & finally came up with some amazing substitutions that neither Emma nor I would have been capable of doing. She’s offered 3 recipes below, a chocolate pudding that can be frozen, a meringue that torches beautifully, & a caramel sauce for drizzling.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

(http://ladycakesbakes.blogspot.com/)

1 package Mori- Nu soft silken tofu (approximately 12.3 oz.)

1 cup vegan chocolate chips (approximately 6 oz.)

1 Tablespoon vegan butter (approximately ½ oz.)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a food processor, blend the tofu until it is creamy & lump-free; keep in food processor and set aside.

2. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the butter into the chocolate chips until smooth. Once melted, remove from heat & cool for 10 minutes.

3. Pour chocolate mixture & vanilla extract into food processor; blend with tofu until combined.

4. Pour into molds & freeze for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

  1. Continue with step 9 of the Chocolate Marquise recipe, substituting the appropriate recipe for your meringue & caramel sauce.

  2. When you’re ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving.

  3. While it’s still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling on the parchment ‘handles’ or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment.

  4. Cut it into cubes & roll the cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don’t do this step until all of your other plating components (meringue, caramel, spiced nuts, cocoa nibs) are ready. The cubes need to sit in the fridge to slowly thaw so plating components can be done during that time. They don’t need to be ready before the cubes are rolled in the cocoa powder.

  5. Plate with the torched meringue & drizzled caramel sauce, & toss spiced almonds and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly & are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they’ve softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert so unusual and when combined with the other elements, you’ll get creamy & crunchy textures with cool, spicy, salty, bitter, & sweet sensations on your palate.

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I used a snowflake shaped silicone muffin pan for the Marquise.

Notes: Make sure you do not use water-packed tofu, it will not work with this recipe Mori-Nu is available at Whole Foods & on Amazon. If you like an intense chocolate flavor, try using 1 ½ cup chocolate chips (or 9 oz.) instead of 1 cup. Also, make sure you do not instantly pour the hot chocolate into the tofu – it will make it curdle.

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Vegan Meringue

1 cup water, cold

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoon EnerG egg replacer

1 teaspoon agar-agar powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

 

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine ¾ cup water and the egg replacer; beat on highest speed for 6-8 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

2. While the base is mixing, combine the remaining ¼ cup water and agar-agar powder in a saucepan over medium heat; stir constantly, just until the mixture starts to thicken (this should only take1-2 minutes).

3. Once the base mixture forms stiff peaks, pour in agar-agar mixture, vanilla extract and lemon juice; mix until combined.

4. Turn off mixer & sift in powdered sugar. Resume mixing on high speed until the stiff peaks return.

  1. Transfer to piping bag & use immediately.

  2. When you’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) & use a blowtorch to broil.

This made way more meringue then I needed, so I used the rest to make meringue kisses for munching later. I also don’t have a torch at all, so I had to use a lighter to torch the meringues a bit, it worked, somewhat :)

For the Vegan Caramel Drizzle, I made a vanilla caramel.

Spiced Almonds

Servings: Makes about 1 cup of spiced almonds

1/2 cup (4 oz.) sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ½ tsp egg replacer whisked together with 2 TBSP water

1 cup (145 grams/ 5 oz.) blanched whole almonds

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, & salt. Add the spice mix to the egg replacer mixture & whisk to combine completely. Toss in the nuts with a spoon. Spoon the coated nuts onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until they turn light brown. Allow the nuts to cool completely and they will get very crunchy. Set aside until ready to serve.

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April 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge

April 27th, 2011

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

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Our April Challenge: Maple Mousse in Edible Containers

With this challenge, they tried to reach people who have a sweet and salty tooth by combining bacon and maple syrup. They also realized that not everyone wants to use bacon, they also gave us the option of nut cups or tuile cups. We could also incorporate a meringue topping if we chose. Since we did meringue last month, I chose to leave it off. Obviously I chose the nut cup with their vegan mousse option. This was my first time using agar agar and found it really easy!

Recipe Source:

Nut Crust were taught to me by a friend, no source, but posted at Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Vegan maple mousse was inspired by this recipe at Suite 101

We had to do one of the maple mousse recipes given and make an edible container.

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Nut Bowls:

1 1/2 cups crushed nuts of your choice such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts

1 egg, beaten, at room temperature

2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces

1. Use a food processor or a zip-lock back with a rolling pin to crush your nuts if whole, use about 1 cup of whole nuts to get 3/4 cups crushed. You want it somewhat coarse. (I used my spice grinder)

2. In a bowl mix the nuts with the beaten egg and the sugar.

3. Take 6 small ½ cup capacity Pyrex cups or a similar container and line the inside with aluminum foil. Spread ¼ cup of the mixture in the bowl, all the way up to the sides making sure you have a thin and even clean layer all around. (I used a muffin pan and parchment paper)

4. Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. until the nuts are golden and fragrant (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely before unmoulding.

5. Melt chocolate (either in the microwave or over a double boiler). Dip the rims of the cooled nut bowls in the chocolate. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened and is set.

*I used 1 ½ tsp egg replacer mixed with 2 TBSP water for the egg, coconut sugar for the sugar and walnuts for the nuts.*

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Vegan Maple Mousse: I made as written

1 package (12 oz.) soft silken tofu

¾ cup (14 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup

2 teaspoon agar-agar

1. Let tofu come to room temperature. Using a food processor, blender, or hand mixer, blend tofu until just smooth.

2. Sprinkle agar-agar on the maple syrup and let it rest for 10 minutes. Heat maple syrup on the stove to a boil and then let it simmer 5 minutes until the agar-agar has dissolved.

3. In a food processor, blender, or a large bowl, blend the tofu with the maple syrup until creamy.

4. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge and divide among your edible containers.

Earth Day

April 22nd, 2011

Happy Earth Day everyone! Let’s tread lightly & do something for not only the earth, but those who live here as well.

Daring Bakers - March 2011

March 27th, 2011

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

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When I decided to get back into the Daring Bakers, I was really excited! I couldn’t wait until the challenge came out, I stalked the forum until…it finally was there… yes, wait, meringue! What?! Meringue, without eggs…hmmm…well, I did make that Lemon Meringue Pie. Okay, back to Yeah, can’t wait to make this!

I chose to halve the recipe since I don’t need to eat 2 coffee cakes by myself :) I can never seem to get my hubby to take anything to work (he hates having to carry containers & remember to bring them back home), so, with just the two of us eating it, I made just one.

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Here is the recipe I used:

The Mandatory Items: Sweet Yeast Dough for the Coffee Cake and the meringue

Variations allowed: The filling.

FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE

Makes 1 round coffee cake, approximately 10” in diameter

For the yeast coffee cake dough:

2 cups flour

1/8 cup date sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 1/8 tsp active dried yeast

¼ +1/8 cup whole milk

2 TBSP water (doesn’t matter what temperature)

¼ cup Earth Balance margarine at room temperature

1 ½ tsp Ener-G egg replacer

2 TBSP warm water

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For the meringue:

2 ½ TBSP of soy protein isolate

1 tsp baking powder

¼ + 1/8 cup almond milk

¼ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp vanilla

¼ cup powdered agave (inulin)

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For the filling:

½ cup chopped pecans

1 TBSP cinnamon granulated sugar

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

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Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine ¾ cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the egg replacer and ½ cup flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the ¾ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use. Prepare your filling. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. Sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately when you assemble.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue: In a clean mixing bowl – whip together all of the ingredients for 10 minutes.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20 x 10” rectangle. Spread the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about ½” from the edges. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the meringue (ex: the cinnamon-sugar followed by the chopped nuts and the chocolate chips).

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to the lined cookie sheet, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal. Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1” intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring. Cover the coffee cake with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheet onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cake from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cake off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the top of the coffee cake with confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

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How was it? YUM! I would probably up the chocolate chips to ¾ cup, but that’s only because I’m a chocoholic :) Everyone loved it as is. I did eat about half of it myself, good thing I only made one. I could have made the cuts a little bit deeper, but they made a good reference for serving size.

Cookbook Giveaway

March 26th, 2011

Some of you know that I have been doing recipe testing for an awesome lady - Carla Kelly. Well, her cookbook - Vegan Bake Sale - is finally out and she is doing a giveaway! Check out her site & leave her a comment, see if you win :)  I can tell you that the recipes are amazing! Easy to make and absolutely delicious.

For Love of Japan

March 18th, 2011

Time Flys

February 11th, 2011

Wow, I can’t believe its been almost a year since my last post. Things have been going forward this past year, a move to Phoenix, job changes, looking for a new place, etc. It’s been busy, but a good year. I hope all of you have been enjoying 2011 so far.

Get Healthy! Stay Healthy!

April 28th, 2010

IT’S TIME AGAIN TO SIGN UP FOR A NEW SEMESTER AT YAVAPAI COLLEGE!

THE CRN#S FOR SUMMER ARE:

CRN#20296 - PHE-130J WEIGHT LOSS NUTRITION & HEALTH (LIVE)

                TU & TH 5:30PM - 7:30PM FROM 6/7 - 7/20 ON THE PRESCOTT CAMPUS.

                 INCLUDES THREE DELICIOUS BUFFETS!

CRN#20114 & 20295 - (ONLINE) SAME CLASS, JUST TWO SECTIONS. IF YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN THE  

                            ONLINE VERSION YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT! 25 VIDEOS AND A DISCUSSION

                            BOARD THAT WILL PROVIDE ALL THE SUPPORT & INSPIRATION YOU WILL 

                            EVER NEED! DO YOU KNOW ANYONE OUT OF TOWN THAT COULD BENEFIT?

These classes are great! My husband & I have been reaping the benefits of these classes for 3 years now & still feel great. If you are in poor health or just want to kick your health up a notch, take one of Cathy’s classes, you’ll learn so much!

February 2010 Daring Bakers - Tiramisu

February 27th, 2010

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The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

For the recipe & to see others results go to The Daring Kitchen!

This one is going to be short & sweet, maybe a little disjointed, sorry.  Our challenge was Tiramisu!  YUM!

We had to make our own ladyfingers & marscapone.  I was really excited to make this one, but then ended up not having the time I wanted, so I had to make it all in one day.  For my ladyfingers, I used egg replacer for the eggs and added vanilla extract.  They were good, but made 1/4 of what I needed, so I made individual tiramisu’s in ramekins instead of the 8×8 pan called for.  I made Brianna’s marscapone recipe with almond butter instead of the cashew butter she used.  I left out the pastry cream, used soyatoo whipped topping from the box & whipped in some almond extract, made the zabaglione with tofu, sugar, the marsala wine, vanilla extract & lemon zest.  I dipped the ladyfingers in double chocolate coffee mixed with rum extract & sugar, topped it with cocoa.  I would like to try this again when I have a little more time & can play with the ladyfinger recipe again.  The zabaglione came out great.

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The flavor is good, a little too coffee flavor for me, but I don’t like coffee.  I would prefer soaking mine in either green tea or earl grey.

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I also should’ve soaked the ladyfingers one more second, they were still a little chewy, or let the cake rest a few more hours for the zabaglione to soak in more.

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Overall, it is very good & will enjoy every bite.  I will be  making this one again.