Friday, July 27, 2012

Daring Bakers August challenge: Crackers!


Actually, all of us Daring Bakers have gone crackers! 

Blog-checking lines: Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.

This month's challenge was a heck of a lot of fun, and extremely timely for me. Since my cow is off at summer camp with a very handsome bull, I decided to lease a goat.  The ideas was that she'd eat down the pasture while the bovines were absent. This wasn't an animal I'd keep...just a weed eater and a milking trainer for me.  What better animal to learn to milk on than a sweet little goat who loves her job? This way I'd be ready for that crazy cow when she returned home! 

We were NOT to fall in love with the goat. 

Absolutely not...

Anyway, I made two types of crackers and several types of goat cheese. Based on a Smitten Kitchen recipe, I made Crisp Rosemary Flatbreads.  YUM!

Then, based on several different Ritz rip-off recipes, I made some ritzy crackers.

The ritzy crackers were okay, but the flatbreads were divine!  But is there anything from Deb that isn't????  If you haven't made her graham crackers yet, please just do that now. I made those when we did the Nanaimo Bars for Daring Bakers.  Sooooo good. 

To go with the crackers, I made mozzarella, ricotta, and to types of pressed curd cheeses.  If Blogger wasn't such a pain in the butter, I'd show you more pics, but I can't take any more of this!

Tanya: I think you're just about the only person who reads this lost and dejected blog, and this message is just for you.  I'm hosting DB next month, and if you want in on the action you have to sign up before the end of the month! 

Cheese and crackers.

Cheese OR crackers?

Which would you rather be?

Oh, and by the way?  We're keeping the goat.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Daring Bakers June challenge: Battenberg cakes

The June Daring Bakers challenge was so yummy, and was one of the challenges that showcased individual bakers' kitchen personalities to the hilt.  Choose a flavor, choose a color, choose a shape...

Blog-checking lines:
Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

Battenberg cakes are essentially a charming combination of two or more types of cake, presented in a neat little checkerboard pattern, with a choice of filling and a firm covering wrapped around. For my first attempt, I made a pink and yellow Battenberg, covered with my first attempt ever at making a fondant.  The cake was so pretty, and the apricot glaze between the layers was super tasty in combination with the almond and vanilla cakes.
My second attempt was a chocolate and coconut rendition of an Almond Joy candy bar.  I simply altered the original recipe by adding some unsweetened toasted coconut to the cake batter, and then adding some unsweetened cocoa powder to one half of the batter.

This post has taken just short of three hours to put up. It was due a month ago, but I had do many problems I gave up.  Since I'm hosting Daring Bakers in August, I decided I'd better get caught up. This has been just short of hell.

I'm not in love with Blogger. 

I am in love with Daring Bakers and Battenberg Cakes!