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Daring Bakers – Maple Mousse in a Pizzelle Bowl

I promised another Daring Baker’s post soon!

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

I’m late for the contest, but I’m posting anyway, because these were delicious, and relatively easy, too! The maple flavor was prevalent but not overwhelming, and the texture of the mousse was divine.

I made the maple mousse (recipe here) and put it in an almond pizzelle bowl. I tasted the two of them together, and decided that both were pretty sweet and needed something salty to balance the flavor. I remembered the candied pecans that I have made before. The Official Taste Tester can’t eat pecans, but he can eat almonds. So I topped it with spicy, salty, slightly sweet almonds. The result was pretty, if I do say so myself.

If I were to make these again, I would probably try to cut down the sugar a bit in the pizzelles. However, these were still really tasty as is. While some of us used utensils to eat our mousse bowls, others couldn’t wait that long.

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Daring Bakers – Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

So I’m a little behind.

And by that, I mean I’m a lot behind.

Allow me to explain. There are a few reasons: 1) I have been trying to graduate. I’m almost there (yay!) but not quite. Once the impending graduation date occurs I will be able to devote myself more to things I love (like baking, taking pictures of things I bake, and writing about them) rather than writing code and other project-related things. 2) I have been cooking for a lot more people than usual recently, and haven’t really had time to take pictures of the things I’ve been cooking before a hungry throng is ready to chow down.

I promise to get on a more regular schedule once item 1 is addressed. Which is soon. Which makes me nervous. But, luckily, I have a couple of daring bakers recipes to post that are more than qualified to help me overcome my anxiousness in a wave of pure deliciousness.

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.

I am very glad they did.

This coffee cake was absolutely delicious. Next time I would probably up the amount of filling, which I chose to be chocolate chunks, dried cherries, and cinnamon-sugar. Even so, the cake was wonderful.

You can find the recipe I used at Life’s a Feast. All I changed was to substitute dried cherries for the nuts.

The cakes even looked pretty as they rose!

I will post the April Daring Baker’s challenge asap… then I have plans for some non-DB recipes! Soon!

Coconut Cupcakes with Pandan Frosting

During my undergrad, I didn’t live in the dorms. First off, I started taking classes as a high school student, so naturally I lived with my parents. By the time I would have moved in as a “real” student, I was a Junior. I was at a different course level, all my friends were upperclassmen, and I hadn’t heard many good stories about the dorms anyway.

Oh, and living at home was cheap.

There have been times, though, that I wished I would have had the “dorm experience”. Not the tiny rooms, the smells, or the drunk people down the hall. What I felt I missed out on was having friends one door away, friendships that often lasted through college and beyond. There’s something to be said about proximity helping relationships form in their early stages.

But I didn’t stay in the dorms. I commuted, and then, when I got married, I still commuted. But when I got married, my Official Taste Tester and I purchased an multi-unit building. We started out with tenants that were strangers, actively avoiding having tenants that were our friends, worried about how it would affect our relationship.

Last year that all changed. Our friend, who had lived with Official Taste Tester before and was very responsible, was looking for an apartment and our empty unit fit the bill (he was later joined by his wife; we are close friends with both of them). Then, my cousin moved into another unit that opened up. I found myself getting the “dorm experience”, but with more privacy, fewer smells, and much better food.

One of the great things about our friends living upstairs is that we like to share food. We will leave treats for each other in a common space, passing baked goods back and forth.

A few days ago, we had brunch with these same friends and they served green pancakes. Yes, green pancakes. The secret ingredients were pandan, a flavoring used widely in southeast asian cooking (our friend likened it to Vanilla), and coconut milk. The pancakes were amazing, and even better, I went back downstairs with a bottle of pandan, and plans to make cupcakes using a common pandan-and-coconut pairing.

The Official Taste Tester doesn’t like overwhelming coconut (nor do some of his coworkers, who helped finish off the batch of cupcakes.) I created these cupcakes to be dense and moist, with a sweet but mild coconutty flavor. The star, however, is the green buttercream frosting with pandan and more coconut. Even those who were hesitant about the coconut polished off the cupcakes without a problem.

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