August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers - Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé

Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé

I do love the Daring Bakers and their challenges. Luckily I have a great group of coworkers who eat everything I share...the eclairs were gobbled up before school started on the day I brought them in. My coworkers continuously thank me for joining the baking groups I have as they reap the benefits on a regular basis. Last month I said that a purpose of joining the Daring Bakers and Tuesdays groups is to stretch my skills and try new techniques in the kitchen. I have not yet started working on stretching my food photography or writing skills...I'm hoping that comes soon.

This month our challenge is hosted by
Tony Tahhan and MeetaK . Check their blogs for great stories about the baking and for the eclair recipe.

I have made eclairs or close variations a few times this year. This time the pastry came out perfectly browned and airy. The chocolate sauce and pastry cream were delicious! I am a big fan of all dark chocolates and this was almost chocolate overload. I wish the glaze/sauce had spread a little looked more glopped than glazed on most of the eclairs.

Thanks to Tony and Meeta for a great recipe.
August 26, 2008

TWD - Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte

I refuse to admit defeat this week, but I can't claim success, either. I'm sure you can understand the importance of a freezer in this recipe, given the ice cream component. I do have a freezer. Somehow all the food already in it is completely frozen. This recipe did not ever freeze completely so I have some wavy bands of chocolate and ice cream. My freezer chose this week to begin gathering droplets of water on the ceiling, and then it dripped all over the (still completely frozen) food. I, of course, forgot to cover the torte during its last freeze cycle, so I ended up with a watery top layer.

Why no pictures of this fantastic (really, very good-tasting) dessert? Because between home and school, I have no idea where the camera charger is and the batteries are completely drained tonight. I promise to post pictures as soon as the camera is recharged.

Thank you to Amy of Food, Family and Fun for choosing the Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte (on pages 288-289). It tasted great!

Now on to successfully complete next week's recipe!

Edited to add picture...after all the trouble making this recipe, I couldn't get a good picture of the final product. Here is my only picture. It tasted better than it looked.

August 19, 2008

TWD - Granola Grabbers

Yeah! I'm back. The neck pain is gone, school is in full swing, and I still have time to bake. This week's Tuesday recipe was Granola Grabbers, chosen by Michelle of Bad Girl Baking.
While I heard many people say these are good as after school snacks, I'm using mine bright and early in the morning. Actually, it's chilly and dark. I get up at 4:45 for my daily trip to the Y. Going that early is the only time I can have some quiet 'me time' each day. I've been eating a cookie or two (they are quite small) on my way downtown and they give me the boost I need to get my day started.
The cookies are packed with yummy things...granola, wheat germ, raisins, peanuts, almonds, and more.
Some of the cookies ended up a bit crumbly. I think the next time I make these (and there will definitely be a next time), I'll add a touch more liquid. I'll also play around with the combinations of fruit and nuts depending on what's in my cupboard...peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, craisins, dried fruit...endless possibilities.
Thanks, Michelle, for a great recipe. This one will be a staple in my house.

August 12, 2008

TWD August 12

Well, the pinched nerve neck pain didn't start easing up until the weekend. That on top of the start of school today kept me overworked and not moving much and prevented me from making ice cream this week.

Have no fear (I'm telling myself)...I'll be back next week.
August 04, 2008

TWD August 5

I need to postpone this week's bread making fun.
I pinched a nerve in my neck last weekend and it laid me up for a few days and that caused me to get behind in the rest of my work.
With school starting in a few days and much to do at school, I haven't had time to bake the bread.
I have my bananas ready and waiting so hopefully some evening this week I will find time. Until then, catch other TWD news here: