Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring to tackle the Swiss Alps of baking

My first Daring Bakers Challenge and the challenge laid at my feet is to scale the seemingly steep climbs of an ice-cream bombe. I would not only have to make two icecreams when I have never attempted ice-cream before it would also require a swiss roll - again something I've not tried to do before and construct it all together... anyway... it seemed daunting but once I started bit by bit I got there and it tasted yummy and I think it would make it a good celebration cake for certain occasions so its good to have it in my repertoire of skills now. 

I tackeld the unknown frontier of ice-cream first with a salted butter caramel from the following site (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/04/salted_butter_c.html) and then filled with confidence after this success I adlibbed a pear ice-cream flavour. I softly caramelised the pears and mashed them up a little but not too finely so that it retained a nice chunky texture before blending in my custard and extra milk to make my icecream gelato creation. The pear is absolutely yummy and my favourite of the two.
Saturday was hectic, I tried to make the swiss rolls and put it all together ready for evening serving, My chocolate swiss rolls were filled with a condensed milk and moscavado sugar based chocolate mousse which helped to carry across the light caramel theme throughout the bombe. When I rolled the final roll I thought it would never set in time but I whacked it in the freezer and it helped make it much easier to slice into neat rolls to line my mould. The rolls were a lot easier than I predicted and I had no issues with cracking which was good.
My fudgy caramel bits kind of ran everywhere else spilling out of the sides and centre once cut but it tasted good and my fiancee preferred to dig into this over the box of zumbo cakes purchased that day also (please don't ask why he thought it was a good idea to line up on the first weekend after a masterchef appearance by the pasty maestro particularly considering I had made a whole ice-cream cake to serve for tour de france watching time but I don't pretend to entirely understand the male psyche)
Finally I would like to give thanks to my Japser Conran Waterford Crystal Bowl for bravely making the dangerous journey into the freezer to make my bombe the arcing conical pyramid it is. Thankfully you survived the ordeal and are safely back in your box with leftovers relegated to assorted tupperware containers

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Queens Birthday Weekend - Hunter Valley Sketches

Whilst I've logged in to update everyone on whats happening in the kitchen I should also take a moment to mention the Queens Birthday long weekend which we spent in the Hunter Valley at a very relaxing pace, we only visited a couple of wineries over the weekend and spent most of the time just sitting and eating at times or sitting and sketching. 

So to share two sketches with you,

The first is sketched whilst enjoying a wine and cheese matching taste session at Robyn Drayton Wines.

The second is a panorama of the view from out table whilst enjoying a long lunch at Amandas on the Edge 

Daring to tackle a new challenge – Daring Cooks July

Well I've decided to tackle a new challenge and join the group over at the daring kitchen, there are two challenges a month, a cooking one and a baking one and I've signed up for both. 

My first challenge was a nut butter which had me raising an eyebrow at first considering I am severly allergic to brazil nuts and mildly allergic to walnuts and pecans and generally suspicious of some other nuts out there. 

I do however love pine nuts so I got blending and they made a lovely rich dense creamy sauce. 

Of the recommended recipes I adapted the one of chicken and mushrooms with fettucine for some beautiful autumn mixed mushrooms and soba noodles.

"The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online."