Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mac Attack #18: Dark Chocolate-Espresso Macarons

I'm still obsessed with baking macarons.
And yes, I know, I still have not posted my basic recipe, but it just takes a lot of time, a lot of pictures, and so on. I will definitely try to post my version of the French Meringue method within the next two weeks....
DSC_0990 Yesterday, the Mac Atttack challenge #18 ended (I would have posted it back then if I hadn't though that I have to post it on the 27th...).
It's my second challenge on Mac Attack, and it was quite a common theme: Chocolate. It was so common, I really didn't want to come up with something new, creative and crazy, so I took one of the two chocolate macarons recipes that I make a lot: Dark chocolate and Espresso macarons!

I started to love dark chocolate only about two years ago, same with coffee. But now I love both, especially, of course, when they are paired together! But again, I have to admit, I don't make macarons because I want to eat them, I make them because of the process of making them, because I want to give them away, hoping someone likes them, too! But of course, I eat them, too.DSC_0994

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nut-filled Coffee Cake & Homemade Almond Milk

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.
Now, when I first read the task, I though it was a cake filled with something coffee flavoured. I'm not familiar with the term coffee cake, and it's also quite unusual to drink some afternoon coffee with a slice of cake, here.

DSC_0893I was a bit concerned about the meringue. I don't really like meringue, especially when it's not hard. It's a miracle, it seems some international recipes always need to make some meringues here, some baisers there; I feel this is rather unusual here.

But I was really looking forward to participate in that challenge, as I love working with yeast, even though often, my doughs just won't rise.
I was only making half of the dough!
Looking through the thread in the forum with the finished coffee cakes was great. It was a challenge where everyone came up with an individual filling.
Even though the though of a chocolate filling (I mean, when the chocolate is molten into the dough!) was very tempting, I decided not to do something with chocolate.
I had something else in mind which I wanted to try out since long ago. In Switzerland, it's a quite common kind of filling in storebought products, as in the "Nussgipfel" (croissant with nut filling) or "Nussschnäck" (looks quite like a cinnamon roll, but is also filled with nuts).
So, I was sure I wanted to do such a nut filling.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Mac Attack #17: Fruits & Spices

I'm obsessed with baking macarons., even though I have not posted my recipe yet, but I will do that within the next week.
Recently I discovered Mac Attack, of course I had to become a member, and the first challenge was: fruits and spices, so I made a brain storming. I had no idea which flavours I should use. I don't know much about spices or how to pair them.
Of course, everyone know the combination of apple and cinnamon, but that was just too boring, so is anything with vanilla. I was thinking about an avocado cream. Also, I don't wanted to use ginger with something like orange or lemon, I just wanted something more special... I wanted to use sesame / tahina but I really didn't know what to pair with.

I ended up choosing pineapple and curry. Probably not that special, too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Florentine Cookies

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

I must admit, I only know the florentine cookies from the supermarket, probably Swiss brand "Wernli". And even these, I had them very rarely and the last time I ate florentine cookies, I can't remember it. Some years ago.

I think this was really an easy challenge. There were some confusions about some ingredients and how to substitute them (this is just what I expected, this just happens when a Swiss uses preferably non-european recipes), as we don't have dark corn syrup (nor bright) here. People suggested to do some syrup with sugar, but I chose maple syrup. People wrote this wasn't a good substitute as it would be too sweet, but I reduced the sugar, or better: I didn't really use some.
Also, I have no idea what quick oats are and google couldn't really help me out, but I used "fine" oats.

I made half of the recipe, unsandwiched, but I only got about 15 cookies, not 2 1/2 dozen!

Also, it was the first time I made something out of oats, and it's even the first time I bought them. I often read about oats in cookies, but I really didn't know how good that was and how crispy the cookies get!
I added almonds and used dark chocolate, but for more, scroll down!
And, they are quite healthy!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Joconde Imprimé

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.
This was going to be my first challenge at the Daring Kitchen, and, I must admit, at first, I really thought that I wasn't going to make this one. But then, I took a closer look at the recipe and wanted to give it a try.

Now, that it became that good, I know, I will definitely do this one again.
I want to try more flavours. Maybe something more classical with flavours like hazelnut, vanilla, coffee, chocolates, and something with different fruits like banana, orange, lemon cherry, or even more exotic fruits like mango & co! There are just too much possibilities. But this one was so good, I don't know if I'd manage to get away from the rhubarb/raspberry/blueberry fillings.

It was so delicious, I love desserts with fruits! A friend of mine said it's "the best cake she has ever eaten".