Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Challenging myself

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.

I had very mixed feelings about this challenge.
I was curious to see what the fuss was all about with macarons, I wanted to see if they were really so hard to make and so delicious to taste.
But I couldn't fight reality, which is that my interest was all rational and I'm not quite attracted to these kind of sweets, so I ended up baking just the last day of the challenge month.

I'm so unfamiliar with them that I don't even know how close to the real deal mine turned out.

Given all this, of course I kept to the basics.
I went with 2/5 of the given recipe and made pinkies with white and dark chocolate ganache.

Next time I have the occasion to taste a professional one I will make sure to do that, to have an idea.

In the meantime, check for some more enthusiastic Daring Bakers in the DK Blogroll

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Black Tart

It's been a while since my last post.

Maybe for the revamped relationship with my treadmill, that gives me less motivation to bake, maybe for the limping relationship with my new oven. Don't get me wrong, it is a perfectly fine oven, but once you get used with the timing of an inefficient gas oven, baking with a new convection one often leaves you with overcooked and mgnah stuff. We're getting there.

Anyway. I've been wanting to try a couple of things for quite a while, one being a chocolate tart dough, the other a banana jam.

The chocolate dough recipe came from the baking lessons I took last spring:

- 2 cups flour (250gr)
- 3/4 cup sugar (150gr)
- 1 stick + 6 tbsp butter (200gr)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (50gr)
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg

Process in a mixer all the dry ingredients and butter, then add the egg. Form a ball and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before rolling it out.

As for the banana jam I had made kind of an approach mixing it with raspberries, but as much as you could taste it in there, it was not *only banana* jam.

So I followed this recipe, from a booklet found on the remainders' shelf at the supermarket, mixing and cooking

- 6 medium size bananas
- 1/2 rennet apple
- 1 cup sugar
- juice from 2 lemons

Only recently I was aware of the notion that not everyone madly loves bananas.
The concept can't quite sink in my head, really.
How can you not love bananas?

And, as for everything I love, it just gets better if paired with chocolate.
It's to be tasted in moderation: both the dough and the jam are a concentrate of their respective tastes, one small piece and your tastebuds have quite a party!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Great Expectations

These Dark Chocolate Muffins were the opening of my new oven (electric, with fan).
Or should I say ovenwarming, as in housewarming?
Anyway, it was about time, hope this is the begininning of a productive collaboration!