Friday, May 27, 2011

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Marquise on Torched Meringue with Spiced Almonds and Caramel Sauce

It's Daring Bakers time again, and this month's challenge was a "Chocolate Marquise on Torched Meringue with Spiced Almonds and Caramel Sauce". Quite a mouthful, and intimidating to make on the first look, but if you plan ahead and make each component early enough it comes together quite easy.

I really loved this month's challenge. Many delicious components, beautifully plated. But I think I could do without the torched meringue next time. The marquise was definitely the best chocolate mousse I have ever made. So silky and smooth, everybody loved it. I made them in little Half Sphere Molds instead of the suggested cubes.

The nuts were very tasty, but it was a lot of work to get them out of the coating. I also needed a much shorter baking time, since they were already getting very dark on the bottom after 20 minutes. I mixed almonds and walnuts. Next time I would only use almonds, since the walnuts were hard to identify in the sugar covering.

The caramel sauce was delicious, the added rum made the sauce really stand out. I think I will try this again with grand marnier one day.

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Burger-Style Macarons

I haven't participated in the Mac Attack Challenge for a while, but this month's theme was so interesting I wanted to give it a go. Ballpark-snack macarons are the topic of this month's Mactweets. I have actually never been to a big ballgame in Germany, neither have I been at a hockey game all those years I lived in Canada. I know, shame on me, but in my defense, I have been to several football and baseball games while I was living in San Francisco.

The football games always started with a tailgate party, which was totally new to me. I mean who would bring half of his kitchen to a parking lot. But it was always a lot of fun, often more than the actual game. Most people would make burgers, and this is what I wanted to make as my macarons. I have seen similar Macs a while ago and always wanted to try them, since they looked so cute.

Ganache filled macarons are always on the sweet side, but with all the fruit toppings it tastes really good. They would make a cute dessert for any BBQ party or picnic.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Amaretti-Apricot Cupcakes

If you like boozy baked goods, this cupcake is for you. They have a good amount of amaretto in it, combined with crunchy amarettini. Since those two ingredients are almond-based, they pair perfectly with apricots, which are also in the dough and the frosting. Of course you can use apricot juice instead of the amaretto.

I haven't made cupcakes for a while, since I often find the frosting too heavy. This one is made with mascarpone, which is by no means light, but the fruit puree gives it a bit of an airy taste.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

To all mothers: I wish you a very happy Mother's Day. Enjoy lots of treats from your loved ones. You deserve it. And a special big hug to my Mutti, she is simply the best. Thank you for being there! I made this Strawberry-Champagne Cake for her. It was really delicious. You can find the recipe here (sorry, it's only in German).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Banana Tarte Tatin

I made the traditional apple tarte tatin several times already, but this version with bananas is my new favorite. If you like fried or baked bananas, you will love this one. Caramel and bananas just go so well together. I have never tried mini-bananas before, and I don't think they tasted much different from regular ones. But their size was perfect for this arrangement.

The tart is best eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
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