Monday, June 29, 2009

Daring Bakers June Challenge - The Bakewell Tart

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

So, during this challenge I learned that so much butter can leech out of pie shell that you can (almost) start a grease fire! Who knew? Due to this somewhat unsettling fact, my tart was not fully cooked. Despite it all, I think it turned out pretty well.

Here is the (butter filled) shell:

With my homemade rhubarb jam filling:

And some (slightly gross looking) Frangipane:

Ahh! What happened?

Despite it all, my Rhubarb Bakewell Tart was pretty tasty. The proof is in the pudding:

Thankyou to Jasmine and Annemarie for hosting this challenge.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daring Cooks June Challenge - Potstickers

This month’s Daring Cooks Challenge was Potstickers/Goyza and was brought to us by Jen. I am not a fan of pork or shrimp or cabbage (yes, I know, I am picky) so I developed my own vegetarian version and made several attempts.

First, I made a root vegetable mixture in whole wheat wrappers. The beets made everything purple and the whole wheat flour was too chewy.

I tried again with white flour. Much better, but the filling still wasn't my cup of tea so made a pesto and white bean filling. Mmmmm!

I loved this version although I found the mixture too wet for the water and flour based potsticker wrappers - they tended to leak a bit (see above). To compensate for this, I switched to a egg and flour based pasta. So, although it was not my intent, my vegetarian potstickers eventually morphed into lovely Pesto and White Bean Tortellini! Perfect! I forgot to take a picture of my final version, but maybe next time!

It's Strawberry Season!

Mmmm. I love berries. I think that raspberries are my favourite, but I was recently reminded of the bliss of a perfectly ripe strawberry when I bought some from a local orchard. I don't know when I last had a decent strawberry, but these berries reminded me of the "fake" strawberry flavour in lifesavers.

I just HAD to capture the strawberry goodness I discovered, so I made jam. Two batches. I made a batch of uncooked freezer jam and a batch of traditional pectin free jam. They are both delicious.

The traditional jam (front) tastes very much that: sweet, sticky, traditional jam. The non cooked freezer jam (back) tastes like perfectly ripe strawberries. I can't decide which one I like best. My cat, Ollie, was convinced that he also likes jam. I am not so sure how jam fits in with an "obligate carnivore" diet, but who am I to question good taste?

I also recently made my Strawberry Fields Forever Cupcakes. I make them with frozen strawberries, but I bet they'd be even better with local fresh berries. I might have to test that theory :)