!Bombe Alaska!

August 27, 2010

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

I made the david levobits vanilla icecream to recipe, and just half the burnt butter cake (sounded extra rich and didn’t want a ton left over, I already have enough cake off cuts in the freezer from cake sculpting to sink a ship with rumballs!). I then cut circles out of my cake, and topped with a single scoop of the icecream (sensitively stir frozen by hand). Then I just made up a little meringue with two egg whites (reserving the rest) and waaaay too much sugar, (was a bit grainy and didn’t all get propperly disolved, although it looked meringe like).

I then used the oven method, to which our modern fan forced oven did not perform well. It distributes temperature to evenly, so instead of a nice brown meringue top, it tried to melt the icecream…but I didn’t let it, we had our single serve bomb’s just toasted.

I am taking the rest of the brood to a dinner party next week, buying a torch and then doing them that way, and taking brandy to ignite them too 🙂

I had fun but have done them before with big globby dulche con leche icecream and brownies. I wouldn’t rave about the burnt butter cake the way everyone else did. Was ok, but not what I’d want very often, and not super fantastic like a mudcake or anything. I will serve the next bombs with some raspberry syrup also, to cut the sweetness of the meringues.

here’s pic’s

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Polish boys and their Perogi

August 15, 2010

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

Ah perogi. I do like you, you are a pleasing warming mouthful in the chilly winter, almost spring we’ve got here. Sadly you will never meet any kind of polish expectations when I make you.  You see, my boyfriend is polish, and Steve’s mum is the only matriarch in the family that makes perogi, and therefore makes the best perogi around. He hasn’t even tried other family members perogi, or perogi at the local polish club…only his mums. I have tasted his mums as well, and it’s lovely. She makes a perogi most similar to the russian perogi recipe I tried out, with potato, cottage cheese, bacon and onion. She then always served them panfried with more onion and bacon.

Steve did eat the perogi, although somewhat unwillingly, and then didn’t hesitate in giving me his bare honest opinion. While I do care to get an honest opinion, I spend time on my cooking and enjoy it when it pleases people…not this time. But he did eat them atleast, even though I panfried them off with the addition of chorizo to the bacon and onion mix….yes I was trying to make it obviously different from his mum’s so he couldn’t be too picky on it tasting exactly the same. Well it didn’t quite work…there was still “just…something missing” Hmph! oh well. And all that, apart from the fact I didn’t do a great job of estimating the boiling time for some of the thicker rolled perogi, which were still a bit chewy and undercooked around the top of the folded dough, it made for a less than relished dish for the evening. But on the upside, the mix inside was great. Steve questioned how the dough was made, and it seems it differs from his mum’s, which is made with only flour and hot water, similar to wonton skins. I did like the fried perogi (the ones that had been cooked through obviously) and so did Steve (enough to atleast finish the plate) but I will be after his mum for true polish perogi cooking as soon as she’s back from her gray nomad trip up north of Australia. Till then I’ll just work on my folding and caking 🙂