Friday, January 27, 2012

January Daring Bakers: Biscuits with Audax

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

I've always wanted Audax Artifex to host a Daring Bakers challenge.  I've always fantasized about what he'd challenge us to bake.

Well this month I discovered the steamy answer to my fantasy.....

Biscuits. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful biscuits. 

The best part of the challenge was Audax, of course. 

Second best part was seeing all the rainbows in the steam and (barely) managing to catch them on the camera.  Chirp-chirp held the biscuits, steaming hot, up in front of the window as the sun was setting.  At first I didn't believe her about the rainbows, but there they were!  Go back and look for yourself.  Rainbows!

Third best part was tasting a new, simple, easy base for tonight's chicken divan.  I usually serve this with rice or potatoes.  This year, due to our bumper crop of Yukon Golds from the garden, it's almost always been served on taters. 

Fourth best part, or maybe a second first best part, is looking forward to dessert later on.  Strawberry jam and fresh-whipped cream?  Yes, please!

Oh, and fifth best part was a mid-winter challenge that didn't require eggs.  The chooks are giving me one egg a day right now, which doesn't stretch very far for our family. 

Here's the recipe and exhaustive technique review from Audax.  Have fun!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's not the height that counts...continued!

With so much work going on around the house, this French Fridays with Dorie selection was a pretty little light beckoning my return to the fold.  I've missed my Doristas!

Quartre-quarts is a simple, tasty, almost-rustic cake.  It's similar to the American Pound Cake in that the old-timey way to make it consists of incorporating equal weights of eggs, butter, flour, and sugar into a batter.  Vanilla (if you remember to add it, which I didn't!) adds more flavor, baking powder adds to the loft provided by beaten egg whites, and a sprinkle of brown sugar over the top adds color and an extra little hint of sweetness.

This is a snacking cake.  The recipe called for an 8" pan, and I baked it in a 10" pan, so the finished version is even easier to eat out of hand.  I'm going to claim that I planned it that way.  You'll forgive me my delusion, yes?

This weekend we're finishing the demolition of the hall bathroom, and I'm sure lots of snacking will be called for.  This is the PERFECT little cake for that!

Be sure to visit the other Doristas and see their (much more stunning) versions of this sweet little french treat. As with the other French Friday concoctions, we've been asked not to share the recipe. However, many versions are available all over the internets, and I'm sure you can find a recipe to suit you!