Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Daring Cooks Challenge

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

I have made souffles once before and loved the result! I just love the texture of a souffle, so light and airy and full of flavor. I made chocolate souffles the last time and one thing was I did not get very satisfactory rises out of the souffles. This time, I decided to try my hand at a passionfruit souffle as passionfruits were in season and I have never actually worked with fresh passionfruit before.

The process was quite straight forward and it was time for finger crossing when I put them in the oven. Lo and behold!

I was ecstatic when I saw that I had achieved a decent rise out of my souffles!

One thing I did notice was that they started slowly sinking once I took them out of the oven, so it was quite a rush trying to present them on a plate before they sank too much!

I must say that the product was absolutely delicious, given the tang of the passionfruit and the light airiness of the souffle! Definitely one of my favourites!

Passionfruit Souffle

Makes 12

375ml passionfruit puree, deseeded
100ml dessert wine
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
3 passionfruit, extra
6 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar, extra
Icing sugar, to serve
Cream, to serve

Warm puree and wine. Slightly cream yolks and sugar. Add flour, stir until smooth, and mix in the warm puree. Whisk/stir over double boiler until very thick. Cool. Add pulp and seeds from extra passionfruit. Whisk whites until stiff and beat in extra sugar. Fold whites into custard gradually. Pour into well-buttered and sugared moulds. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden on top.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream.

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Daring Baker's Challenge

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

First off, I must say I absolutely LOVE doughnuts! Eating doughnuts always brings me back to my childhood where I loved the plain sugared doughnuts from the neighbourhood bakery. I have always wanted to try my hand at making doughnuts and this challenge was the perfect oppurtunity! The recipe was pretty straightforward, although the dough turned out quite sticky and hard to handle so I had to work a little bit more flour while kneading it. I was glad to see that they rose like little beauties while resting!

It was quite easy frying them in my trusty wok and they fried up pretty quickly!

The final product! I went with my childhood memories and chose to just dust the doughnuts with sugar and a bit of cinnamon!

They were so soft and fluffy and tasty with a hint of nutmeg, and I absolutely love the little airholes from the yeast!

I brought the doughnuts to a gathering of friends and they were wolfed down in seconds! This is definitely something I will make again!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October Daring Cook's Challenge

Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

It's good to be back after a brief hiatus! Been so busy with uni lately but am happy that there is only four and a half weeks to go before I am finished with uni!

I will start off by saying that I adore Greek food! Absolutely love dolmades! It wasn't hard to find the ingredients here in Adelaide as there is quite a big Greek community around. I thought they would be quite fiddly to roll but it was actually quite simple!

The rolled up product. It was quite a challenge to make them look uniform because of the different size and shapes of the vine leaves.

Close up of the uncooked vine leaves.

The cooked product!

The interior of the roll.

I am glad to say that the final product was very tasty! It was very juicy and absorbed the flavours of the lemon and tamarind in the cooking liquid with hints of the spices in the meat. Will definitely make more in the future and experiment with different fillings!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July Daring Baker's Challenge

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.-

What a challenge! I think the most challenging aspect of this challenge was making space in my freezer to make this ice cream cake! I've never made swiss rolls or ice cream before so this was a pretty interesting challenge.

I am quite happy with how the swiss rolls turned out! It was a bit daunting at first thinking about rolling the roll but it was actually quite okay and I'm gald it turned out with a pretty decent swirl. Also, the vanilla cream was delicious!

The vanilla and chocolate ice creams were quite straightforward to make and most of the time was spent waiting for them to set in the freezer. I did have some problems with the chocolate ice cream, it took quite long to set, unlike the vanilla ice cream.

Assembling the final bombe was quite fun and I must admit I was a little impatient in assembling each layer of the ice cream and fudge sauce as I was making it for dessert for a dinner party that very night.

I was pretty excited when it came out of the bowl quite easily with the swirl of the swiss rolls preserved nicely!

The chocolate layer of the bombe took quite long to set in the freezer, it was still quite soft after spending about 7 hours in the freezer and we ended up having dessert at midnight!

The layers of the cake turned out pretty well except that the chocolate ice cream later started melting very quickly when I sliced the cake, However the cake was delicious and I am sure my friends felt that it was well worth the wait!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Daring Cook's Challenge

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.

It's going to be a short entry this month! I absolutely love nuts! Especially just roasted with some salt! This is my first time making nut butters and I will definitely try some other nuts in the future. I chose to make chicken and pecan cream this time as I have a weakness towards pecans. Absolutely love them. I have never used nuts like that before in a cream for pasta and the product was delectable. I must say the smell wafting from my food processor while processing the roasted pecans was absolutely heavenly!

I am definitely going to make this again and also try out other nut butters in other dishes including desserts. As a side note, here is what I made for dessert, one of my absolute favs after visiting France.

Crème brûlée! Yum.
Until next month!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 2010 Daring Baker's Challenge

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

This is not my first time making a meringue but it was my first time making a Pavlova and boy was it challenging! I decided to try making a big pavlova like what they have here in Australia instead of small portions.

It turned out quite well after I took it out of the oven but the challenge was removing it from the baking paper without the crust cracking and breaking! It also started sinking when I piped the mascarpone mousse on the top so I decided dress it after slicing it into individual slices.

I was quite happy with the taste and it was also well received by my friends but I shall definitely look into how I can make a sturdier pavlova!

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 2010 Daring Cook's Challenge

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

What an exciting challenging this month! I have made bread before but this is my first time making french baguettes! It was quite time consuming but I must say the end product is pretty worth it!

I was quite happy with the result, the crust was very crunchy and the bread pretty tasty!

Traditional style french baguette

Epi style baguette which is made to look like a stalk of wheat and comes apart quite easily into smaller buns!

This is also my first time attempting a pate and I decided to try the trout and shrimp pate, a departure from the traditional liver pate. It was quite a joy cooking the pate and I must say this was my first time using the technique of flambeing and I have to admit I almost burnt my hair off! But all is well and the result was delicious!

Nice succulent prawns with a hint of orange from the Grand Marnier.

Cutting into the pate.

Absolutely delicious!