Thursday, January 27, 2011


The January 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She challenged everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

The basic idea was to make this special sponge cake that has a decorative design baked right into it and then wrap it around a multilayered, multi-textured dessert known as an Entremets. (Think trifle but not chopped into little pieces.)

I used a laser cut scrapbooking design as a stencil for the design on the outside of the sponge. Unfortunately it was so subtle that it didn't translate very well on the outside of the dessert. Next time I think I will pipe a more definite design.
I chose to do a vanilla sponge cake and wrap it around layers of brownie, vanilla pastry cream, raspberry jam, and chocolate mousse and top all of that with chocolate ganache, whipping cream and raspberries.

The result was outrageously delicious!!! I really think this is my favorite Daring Bakers' Challenge of all time, closely followed by the cream puff sculpture. While this dessert looks totally complicated it is really just several components put together. It took me about 3 hours start to finish, but it by no means has to be completed all in one day.

I highly recommend this dish to anyone with a sweet tooth. The flavor combinations are endless. Make it for your next party and you'll be raking in the compliments all night.

To see what everyone else did and to get the complete recipe for the biscuit joconde (the fillings are up to you) go to The Daring Kitchen.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Stollen

The 2010 Daring Baker's Challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie's Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Baker's to make stollen. She adapted a friend's family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart's book.......and Martha Stewart's demonstration.

I further adapted the recipe by using dried cherries soaked in orange juice in place of the rum soaked raisins and I didn't add any "mixed peel" to my stollen. I did include the orange and lemon zests but not the orange and lemon extracts called for in the original recipe.

Since I make yeast breads all the time I found the Stollen very simple to make but I didn't particularily like the taste or texture of it. I prefer my breads soft and tender and I don't generally like fruity flavored breads either. But this stollen did get pretty good reviews from a few of the diners at our Christmas dinner.

To find the recipe and see all the different stollens made by the Daring Baker's go here.