Category Archives: Challenges

Are you up for a little nutitional challenge?

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.

Continue reading Deepest Darkest Crepe Cake!

Daring Bakers for May 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

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.

Daring Bakers – March 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.

February 2010 Daring Bakers – Tiramisu

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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.

January 2010 Daring Bakers


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The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers & Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks & www.nanaimo.ca.

I’m finally back doing the Daring Bakers Challenges after a couple of months off. I am very glad to be back. Our challenge this month was Gluten-Free Wafers & Nanaimo Bars, a Canadian Bar Dessert.

Lauren tells us that “Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Colombia. In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Nah-nye-Moh. These bars have 3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut & nuts, a middle custard layer, & a topping of chocolate.”

Recipe Source: Graham Wafers — 101 Cookbooks (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000126.html) I adapted it to be gluten-free. The adapted recipe can be found at www.thedaringkitchen.com Nanaimo Bars — City of Nanaimo (http://www.nanaimo.ca/EN/main/visitors/NanaimoBars.html)

Here are my adaptations & whoops.

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
1 cup Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons Earth Balance (Cut into 1” cubes & frozen)
1/3 cup Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons Soy Milk
2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, & salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter & pulse on & off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk & vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft & sticky. Okay, this is where my whoops came in. For some reason I had 1cup stuck in my head, so I added 1 cup of soy milk, well, it was only supposed to be 5 tablespoons (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon). Soooo…. I had to add more rice, tapioca & sorghum flour & a little more brown sugar. It was still a little soft, but was workable.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour & pat the dough into a rectangle about 1“ thick. Wrap in plastic & chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half & return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface & roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8“ thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4“ squares. Gather the scraps together & set aside. Place wafers on 1 or 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper & lower positions & preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, & reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour & roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in 2 or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned & slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, & the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled, place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out & smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Nanaimo Bars

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds whipped with ¼ cup water
1 1/4 cups Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup Almond flour
1 cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
12 oz silken tofu, firm
2 tablespoons Vanilla Pudding Mix (mori nu)

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Earth Balance


1. For bottom Layer: Melt butter, sugar & cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg & stir to cook & thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts & coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8“ pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream tofu & pudding mix until smooth. Refrigerate until firm. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate & butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer & chill.


Additional Information: These bars freeze very well, so don’t be afraid to pop some into the freezer.

The graham wafers may be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

These were really good!  I should’ve used extra-firm tofu for the pudding ‘cuz it was a bit squishy, but sooo good.  I am so making these again.

Daring Cooks


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Hiya! This is Debyi from http://www.healthyvegankitchen.com I am so excited to be your host for the September 2009 Daring Cooks challenge. It took almost a month to decide which recipe that I wanted to do. I wanted to choose something that could be easily adapted for our GF’ers and other Alternative Cooks, as well as still being tasty for everyone else. So, I finally decided on Indian Dosas from the refresh cookbook by Ruth Tal. I had a lot of fun with this challenge, it brought back some great memories, I hope you enjoy it. 

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My hubby and I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting one of the Fresh Restaurants (www.freshrestaurants.ca) in Toronto, Canada during a business trip. We ate 3 out of our 5 meals there, it was that good. If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it, they have 3 locations in Toronto. If not, their cookbooks are amazing, everything we have tried has been great.

Requirements: Must be free of animal products, this will be a challenge for you “regular” cooks out there, but its worth it. So that means, no cows milk, butter, meat, poultry, fish, chicken/beef broth, etc. This dish is also 99% oil free, using only what you need to keep the dosas from sticking (I used a quick spritz of cooking spray on the first dosa only), which isn’t too bad with a nonstick pan. You can use a different filling/sauce if you like, but it must be free of animal products. I was just looking at the new Fresh newsletter, and one of the new menu items is Avocado Dosas with a filling of avocados, grape tomatoes, cilantro & hemp seeds with a mango tamarind or cilantro coconut chutney. Might be an interesting way to go too.

Here is my adaptation of their recipe:

Indian Dosas

This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting (I forgot & didn’t start making the rice until everything was ready, oops).

Serves 4

Equipment needed:

large bowl

whisk

griddle or skillet

ladle (or large spoon)

spatula

vegetable peeler &/or knife

large saucepan

food processor or bean masher

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Dosa Pancakes

1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)

½ tsp (2½ gm) salt

½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder

½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder

½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)

¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water

cooking spray, if needed

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Dosa Filling

1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

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Dosa Toppings

1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated

¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut

¼ cucumber, sliced

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Dosa Pancakes

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.

  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.

  3. Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

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Curried Garbanzo Filling

This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don’t be afraid to make a full batch.

5 cloves garlic

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)

2 medium hot banana chilies, minced

2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground

1 TBSP (8gm) oregano

1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)

1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric

4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)

½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.

  2. Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

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Coconut Curry Sauce

This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though.

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground

¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)

3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder

3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)

3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth

2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk

3 large tomatoes, diced

  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.

  2. Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.

  3. Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Let it simmer for half an hour.

Happy eating!

I served this with a side of coconut tempeh from refresh as well.  Very yummy!

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Recipes To Rival


Recipes To Rival – August 2009 Challenge

I am so excited to hosting the August 2009 challenge. I had a hard time deciding which recipe to choose. I finally decided on:

Asparagus & Lemongrass Risotto

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero from Veganomicon

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Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish. It is also one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Its origins are in North Italy where rice paddies are abundant. While this is not a traditionally prepared risotto, it is pretty close. You really want to use Arborio rice, but you can substitute any short grain rice and get a similar dish.

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I did make some very selfish restrictions this month – there were no animal products allowed & everyone had to make their own broth. Why? Well, for one, it doesn’t need it. I was watching an episode of No Reservations & he had some risotto that consisted of broth and rice, period. I did indicate the optional ingredients that could be added or left out, or substituted, their choice. I also included a side dish, but they could make whatever they wanted to go with it. I wanted to do a challenge that everyone would be able to eat. All of the soy in the recipe is easily omitted for those who are allergic.

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Asparagus and Lemongrass Risotto

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes Serves 4-6

This one does have peanuts in it, so if you are allergic, just leave them out. Personally, I liked pine nuts in it best. Fresh lemongrass is available in most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, you can use dried. If using dried, you will want to use a cheese cloth or tea strainer. Place the dried lemongrass, ginger and garlic. Don’t worry about the heat of the serrano pepper, it only adds a nice hint of flavor.

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Lemongrass Broth:

3 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled

1” piece fresh ginger, sliced into ¼” slices

1 small stalk lemongrass, or 1 TBSP dried, chopped lemongrass

3 cups vegetable broth

3 cups water

3 TBSP tamari (or soy sauce)

Risotto:

½ cup cooking sherry or white wine (D’Aquino Pinot Grigio is a good choice)

1 lb asparagus

2 TBSP vegetable broth

1 cup basil leaves (Thai, if you can find it), sliced into thin strips

2 TBSP chopped fresh mint

6 large shallots, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 serrano red chile, sliced very thinly (or ½ – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

1 tsp sugar (optional)

2 TBSP lime juice

Chopped roasted peanuts and lime wedges, for garnish (you can use pine nuts or sliced almonds instead of the peanuts)

  1. If using fresh lemongrass, peel away and discard any brown stems from the stalk. Slice the stalk in half lengthwise and cut into 3” to 4” lengths, then julienne.

  2. Give the garlic and the ginger a could whack with the side of your knife, keeping them whole. Prepare your herb pouch, if using.

  3. Place all of the broth ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables and herbs. Pour the broth back into the pot, cover and simmer over as low a heat as possible to keep warm.

  4. Slice the asparagus into ½” pieces, removing any tough parts from the bottom of the stem. Separate the tips from the stems and place each in separate bowls.

  5. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot, saute the asparagus in 1 TBSP vegetable broth over medium heat until bright and crisp tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the basil and mint, saute for 30 seconds, remove from heat and set aside.

  6. Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable broth to the pan. Saute the shallots and garlic, stirring occasionally, until shallots are very soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the serrano and rice, saute for about 8 minutes, until the rice smells slightly toasted. Add the cooking sherry (or white wine) and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed.

  7. Now, time for relaxation and stirring. Get a glass of your favorite beverage, turn on some soothing music, or a good movie. Ladle about ½ cup of the broth at a time into the rice, stirring constantly until each addition is absorbed. Stir and cook until the rice is creamy but still somewhat firm in the center.

  8. When the broth is almost gone, stir the sugar and lime juice into the remaining broth before adding it to the risotto. You may add more water or vegetable broth in ¼ cup increments if needed. This will take about 35 minutes.

  9. Stir the asparagus stems into the risotto and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the asparagus has reached desired tenderness.

  10. Garnish each serving with the asparagus tips, chopped roasted peanuts, and lime wedges.

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Tangerine Baked Tofu

Time: 1 hour Serves 4

You can sub orange juice, oranges, tangelos, or clementines for the tangerines.

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1 lb extra-firm tofu, sliced width-wise into eighths.

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Marinade:

1 tsp tangerine zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (2-3 tangerines)

3 TBSP lime juice

2 TBSP tamari (or soy sauce)

1 TBSP agave nectar or pure maple syrup

¼ tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground allspice

Freshly ground pepper

2 TBSP dark rum (or 1 tsp rum extract)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. In a shallow 11” X 7” glass baking dish, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Place the sliced tofu in the marinade. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the cutlets, flip them over, and do the same on the other side.

  3. Bake the tofu for 30 minutes, flipping several times, about every 15 minutes or so. The tofu is ready when the marinade is reduced. Spoon any remaining marinade over the tofu before serving.

I cooked mine for 45 minutes & my marinade was all gone. The tofu tasted great, even without the extra marinade.

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A very yummy plating disaster with the Daring Bakers


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August’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge has been chosen by Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella & me, Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar. We have chosen the famous Dobos Torta, a Hungarian speciality.

The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful 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.

A Dobos Torta is a 5-layer sponge cake that is filled with chocolate buttercream & topped with caramel wedges. There can be up to 24 layers in a Dobos Torta, just in case you were wondering. The Dobos Torta was invented in 1885 by Jozsef C. Dobos who was a Hungarian baker. Check out the full recipe & everyone else wonderful creations at http://www.thedaringkitchen.com.

I halved the recipe to make 2 small round Torta’s.

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Dobos Torta

For the sponge cake layers, I made Hannah Kaminsky’s recipe in My Sweet Vegan.

For the chocolate buttercream

6 oz coconut yogurt, chocolate flavored

¾ cup sugar

4 oz dark chocolate

1 stick Earth Balance

2 TBSP silken, firm tofu

I whipped them together in my kitchen aid until combined.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ¾ cup water

  • 2 TBSP lemon juice

Finishing touches

  • 6 whole macadamia nuts

(from our hosts) Directions for the caramel topping:

1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper & butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife & an offset metal spatula.
2.Stir the sugar, water & lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high & boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally & washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn’t just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time & the cake layer was cold & the toffee set very, very quickly—too quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less & you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut & separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back & forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Angela’s note: I recommend cutting, rather than scoring, the cake layer into wedges before covering in caramel (reform them into a round). If you have an 8” silicon round form, then I highly recommend placing the wedges in that for easy removal later & it also ensures that the caramel stays on the cake layer. Once set, use a very sharp knife to separate the wedges.

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Assembling the Dobos

1.Divide the buttercream into 6 equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 ½” cardboard round & top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.
3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
4.Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.

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All frosted, doesn’t look too good though.   Okay, now it really looks funny.  Is it supposed to fall over???

We were able to vary the shape, buttercream flavor, & nuts that we used for this recipe. I stayed with all the flavors they gave us except for the nuts. I have discovered that I just don’t like hazelnuts, not sure why. I keep trying to like them, but… I had some macadamia nuts on hand, so I used those.

img_3506.jpg  After being picked up & set back upright.

Verdict: Great flavor, but I totally tanked on the plating, it completely fell over. I did miss how to do the caramel. We were supposed to cover the top layer of cake, which I did, then cut those into 12 triangles to use on top as decoration. Well, I just covered the top layer & placed it on top of the cake, not as pretty, but since it fell over anyway…um…, I guess it didn’t matter?

I do recommend this Torta, very yummy & really not that hard to make. Thank you so much for such a wonderful challenge.

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