Thursday, 27 February 2014

February 2014 Daring bakers challenge: Beautiful breads: Cherry jam and almond paste bread

Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of chef in disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste?
Well, this challenge was surely challenging for me as I hadn't tried this before. I am pleased with the result even though I know it is not perfect. But, if you saw how it looked before I put it in the oven and the mess around it in the kitchen, you wouldn't believe it would look like that after it was baked. So, no complaints here. The taste of the bread was very nice although it felt a little dense for me, so I think it needs the sweetened condensed milk that is suggested on the original recipe and I did not use. Overall, I would make this again and experiment with more recipes and different fillings and of course try to master the shapes. The recipe I used was the recipe given at the challenge with a different filling and very small adjustments.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Chicago-style deep dish pizza

I have always been craving this kind of pizza with the cheese at the bottom and the sauce on the top and I had never tried it before. Now, I know I love it and I will surely make it again. It is huge like a pie and the crust is just amazing. This sauce is a perfect combination with this pizza and I love it when you take out a piece and you see the cheese strings at the bottom. Also, you get full with one piece or if you are very hungry with two. Well, I suppose that depends on what you put inside it and how much of it, but it surely needs a big amount of stuff. It is not something to eat very often if you consider all the calories it has, but it is a nice once in while pleasure. The recipe I used is adapted from Cook's Illustrated so, I was sure it would be a good one. Also, this recipe makes two pizzas so, if you want only one halve the recipe or freeze the rest before you let it rise for the second time. As it is time consuming to make this pizza, if you have the rest of it ready in the freezer it will save you a lot of precious time when you decide to make it again. So, here is the recipe:

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Chocolate and pear tart

I made this tart for dessert on Valentine's day. I love the combination of pears and chocolate and the tart was delicious!! Very chocolatey and the pear was giving it just the exact freshness that it needed! Very nice and balanced flavour. But thanks to my clumsiness the half of it fell on the floor. :( Thank God it was not the whole of it but still... So, despite the accident I suggest everyone to try this tart, it's heavenly!!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Strawberries and Champagne Macarons

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! I hope you all love someone and are loved by someone as well.
So, I tried to make macarons for the first time! It was not so difficult but if I had paid more attention to the recipe I think they would have turned out better. Firstly, I didn't have a food processor so, my macarons ended up having crumbly texture and I think I should have folded them a little more. But if you don't make mistakes, you don't learn. There is always next time. The taste was very very nice at least and they had the right consistency inside and the champagne ganache is amazing, just make sure that you use a kind of champagne/sparkling wine that you like and something that is on the sweet side. The appearance could be better but there's always next time. Anyway, I will surely make macarons again and experiment with different flavours and follow the instructions carefully. Here is the recipe that I used:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Vanilla Pannacotta with Raspberry coulis

Valentine's day is almost here and everything is dressed in the colours and shapes of love <3. Even though it is a holiday for the shops and the restaurants I think your love deserves to be celebrated. For those of you who will make a dinner home this is a very nice dessert to finish it and super easy to make. It is as sweet as it s needed and the raspberries give it just the amount of tartness to create a nice balance. This is a basic recipe for a pannacotta that I don't remember where I found ( I use it for years) and the raspberry coulis I put it together and cooked it in Martha Stewart's way. If you find it too sour, add more sugar, because it depends on how sour is the fruit you are using. So, here is the recipe.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lemon Blondies

Valentine's day is pretty close and stores are all red and full of hearts and valentine gifts. Even if I don't really consider it as a real holiday, it is always fun to celebrate love <3 and a good excuse to bake.
This recipe is not in the valentine's spirit it is for those people that life gave them lemons. They are a ray of sunshine in the cold winter. So, I was craving something lemony the last days and I found this recipe. These blondies are delicious, especially for people that like lemons (obviously) and sweet and sour tastes. I think they are also great without the glaze; they have a nice balance. Perfect for your afternoon tea.