Monday, November 28, 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge - Filopino Desserts - Sans Rival

Catherine of Munchie Musings was our November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make a traditional Filipino dessert – the delicious Sans Rival cake! And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog. (I didn't do this bonus recipe but it looks great.)

This Filipino dessert is amazing and is a decadent dessert ...definitely something I will be making on special occasions. It's a very rich combination of dacquoise and buttercream that is relatively simple to make. Simple as it may be to create, it will also impress your guests with its beautiful layers. In my version there were four layers of chocolate dacquoise separated by three layers of raspberry buttercream. I enrobed all of these layers in a coffee buttercream and added some fresh raspberries for extra visual appeal.

If you decide to make your own Sans Rival I recommend picking a buttercream recipe that is not to sweet. I used neoclassical buttercream created by Rose Levy Beranbaum...the plus to this recipe is that it doesn't require a candy thermometer!
You can check out the recipe here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maple Oat Scones with Ginger

These scones are simply amazing! Even more amazing is the aroma of these delicious treats during and after baking. I bet you could sell tickets to people to just come and take a deep breath in your kitchen. The scones have a slight crunch when you bite into them but they are soft and delicate inside. The maple flavor is subtle and the bits of ginger perfectly complement the nutty oat flavour and texture.

  • This makes a BIG bowl of dough - a small bowl will not do for mixing.
  • The first batched I baked was put into the oven right after the dough was mixed and cut. The second batch I put in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. The first batch came out about an inch or so thick but the 2nd colder batch came out at least double that size. Both tasted delicious and baked for about the same time.
  • I find powdered sugar can have a bit of a strange taste so I add a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up.
  • Makes approx 22ish scones.

Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten.

3-1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c oats, quick cooking
2 c butter, cold and diced
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c crystallized ginger
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c buttermilk

1-1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
squeeze of lemon

Sanding sugar and extra oats (optional)

What to do
1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt.

3. Mix in the cold butter in at the lowest speed and combine until the butter is mixed in and the size of peas.

4. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs and add to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended or your scones will be tough. The dough will and should be sticky.

5. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and knead 4 times (again to avoid toughness). Using a floured rolling pin flatten the dough to 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Pieces of butter will be visiblem (mmm butter). Cut into 3-inch rounds with a circular cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and bottoms are golden.

7. To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. When the scones are removed from the oven, cool for about 5 minutes and drizzle each scone with some of the glaze (I put it in a squeeze bottle so I have more control over it).

8. Sprinkle tops of scones with some raw oats and sanding sugar if desired.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cherries

I love cranberry sauce. I have a confession though....until adulthood I didn't know it could be made from scratch...I thought the canned jelly variety was the ONLY variety! Now I make my own because it is soooo simple to whip up a batch and it tastes soooo much better than the canned sauce. In this version, I add dried cherries for extra zing but you can leave them out if you don't have them on hand. If you don't want to use alcohol, substitute orange juice for the cointreau.

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
1 c water
1/2 c dried cherries
1/4 c cointreau
1 c brown sugar

What to do
  • In medium sized pot, combine all ingredients over medium heat.
  • Bring to simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for an hour.
  • Remove cinnamon stick.
  • If desired, mash with potatoe masher or use an immersion blender to puree slightly.
  • Refrigerate over night.