Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of chef in disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste? Well, really anyone who has ever had the great joy of playing with breads – risen loaves that look like little animals, croissants achieving their destined golden hue, french baguettes with their long parallel slices jutting across the surface. All bread is beautiful. But I’ll admit, this bread is a thing unto itself, layers separated by different colored fillings, twisted into patterns and spirals.
Truffles, Not Trifles – Valentine’s Day Gifts From the Heart February 14, 2014
Oh my goodness it’s Valentines Day. Now, I’ve been single for most of the valentine’s day’s in my life, and I know from the bottom of my heart that it is a commercialist holiday hyped to sell sugar and sappy cards. That being said, I still buy into it every year (don’t believe me? Check out what I made my coworkers last year. ). And this year, I have someone who I really wanted to give something special to which made it all the more fun. My only real problem: he doesn’t really eat sweets.
These truffles are based off a drink that Dan really likes called a Kamikaze. The basic ingredients for the drink are lime juice, vodka, and triple sec. Which are a lot of ingredients that don’t necessarily reduce well, and which don’t necessarily combine with chocolate very well. But I was determined to make these ingredients into a dessert, which I managed (see below), but which definitely needs to be refined – don’t worry, there’ll be an update at some point with another variation that I hope will be closer to the actual drink.
Spanakopita – The Only Excuse For Spinach February 13, 2014
It’s no secret to those who know me, I hate spinach. I’m actually not fond of many veggies, but I really don’t see the point of spinach. However, there is one use for it outside of Popeye cartoons – spanakopita. If you’re like my friends and have been unfortunate enough to never hear of this dish, it’s an amazing concoction of spinach, cheese and phyllo dough that you should either go buy ingredients for now or find your nearest greek restaurant and order some. NOW.
Layer by Layer….by Layer by Layer by Layer February 10, 2014
I’ll admit it freely, I’m not getting any better at posting anything on time here. Sorry about that. Last month’s baking challenge for The Daring Baker’s was actually a recipe that I have heard referenced in Japanese culture, but which originally stems from Germany or near there: baumkuchen. This beautiful little cake is made in painstakingly thin layers, one layer at a time until there are dozens of them, one on top of the other. Each layer is baked individually, so it browns on top and when you cut into the cake you can see each layer, tan against the lighter yellow of the cake, and since it is normally baked on a spit (which makes the resulting cake round), it got the name “tree cake”.