Tuesday, October 25, 2011



The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

Here's my version of the Povitica. I filled it with my own homemade lemon curd and currant mixture made as per the walnut filling recipe. It was the quarter quantity recipe and I took the advice of some DB'ers and divided the dough into three and plaited it - hence the appearance of the loaf. It tastes great and even better toasted with butter.

Here is the link for the recipe http://thedaringkitchen.com/sites/default/files/u11/60_Povitica_-_DB_Oct_2011.pdf

Povitica is also called potica. Another Daring Baker says “ It seems that there are quite a few 'how to' videos on youtube under the name 'potica'! This is my favourite so far, not in English, but very cute:”

Thanks Jenni for a great challenge - everyday ingredients turned into something exotic !

Monday, September 26, 2011

THE DARING BAKERS’ SEPTEMBER, 2011 CHALLENGE: FRESH, FLUFFY, FRENCHCroissants !The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

Due to one thing and another I got to the challenge pretty late this month.

All went well until the final rise – the one after the cutting and rolling – they just didn’t rise much that time.

However they seemed to cook well, were a lovely flakey and fluffy texture with a crispy crust. I could see the laminations/layers in the cooked dough. They just weren’t very big! Maybe I’ve just got used to the upsized mass produced ones I see in the supermarket. On reflection I’m not sure how big the sample ones were – so maybe these are about right.

Thanks for the challenge Sarah 

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge:

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

I made Jo's Fabulous Fudge. It's pretty much never fail and gorgeous to eat.
Jo Seagar is a wonderfully popular New Zealand chef and cook book writer, she also runs a cafe and cook school in the South island of New Zealand. Here is the recipe - "definitely not part of the daily diet - to be made for special occasions only " !!!

I made a half recipe and that makes 30 good sized pieces.

Jo’s Fabulous Fudge from Jo Seagar Cooks Random House 2006

• 800 g sweetened condensed milk
• 2 cups soft brown sugar, firmly packed
• 250 g butter
• 100 ml sugar syrup (liquid glucose or corn syrup)
• 3 tablespoons golden syrup
• 400 g white chocolate, chopped
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Spray and line with non-stick baking paper, a 20 x 30 cm, quite deep (at least 4 cm) tin, or 2 smaller tins.
Place all ingredients, except the chocolate and vanilla, in a large heavy based saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil gently until it becomes very thick and changes colour to a dark caramel brown paper shade – about 6 minutes, to the soft ball stage, 116°C on a sugar thermometer. Stir often to prevent it catching on the bottom – I find a silicon spatula the best gadget to stir with. Remove from heat and stand until the bubbles subside. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla until melted and smooth.
Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Cool to room temperature (about 3 hours) then refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks – if you’re lucky.

Port and Prune Truffles

I made Port and Prune Truffles and dipped them in my attempt at tempered chocolate. The tempering process seemed to go to plan but did not stay shiny after it set. It did snap/crack nicely and tasted good. The filling is not a ganache but instead the prunes are simmered in port and mixed with chocolate cake crumbs and almond flavouring - very easy, quite economical and tastes stunning.

Port and Prune Truffles from The Australian Women's Weekly Light and Luscious SUMMERTIME Cookbook
These truffles will keep in the refrigerator, covered for several weeks.

½ cup finely chopped prunes
¼ cup port
1 ½ cups cake crumbs, lightly packed
¼ cup slivered almonds, finely chopped
¼ cup cream
¼ teaspoon almond essence

chocolate for tempering

1. Combine prunes and port in a small pan, bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered for a few minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed, let cool for about 15 minutes.
2. Then combine prune mixture, cake crumbs, almonds, cream and almond essence together in a bowl, mix well and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The mixture will be firm but not hard.
3. Shape teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on a tray and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Prepare chocolate for dipping, line a tray with baking paper or foil, dip the balls into chocolate and place on tray to set.
5. Store in an airtight container

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers July 2011 Challenge:


Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

Winter time here in New Zealand so no strawberries therefore kiwifruit it was – what else for a kiwi Daring Baker. I made a chocolate chiffon cake ( just with baking cocoa – not the real thing – hence it is quite light in colour). Flavoured the syrup with coffee liquer.

It turned out really well but maybe I could have cut the kiwifruit slices in half for a more refined look – mine looks very rustic! Tasted devine.

Thanks Jana for the challenge

Recipe is here

Monday, June 27, 2011


Erica of Erica's Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker's June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Never thought I'd be making phyllo pastry - wasn't difficult just fiddly and time consuming. Certainly something you could make very easily as the ingredients are so basic. I was pushed for time on this challenge and my phyllo sheets ended up sticking together after I rolled them despite using plenty of flour but I didn't have time to redo it. So although I layered the filling twice it's not a pretty picture.

Can't use nuts so made a filling of pumpkin seeds (pepitas), glace cherries, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon and allspice - yum!

Thanks to Erica for the challenge :)

Friday, May 27, 2011



The May 2011 Daring Baker's challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of PurpleHouseDirt. 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.

Here is my version of the challenge.

I made the 1/4 recipe and set my marquise in a loaf tin - made it easy to slice off like a terrine, also made almond brittle instead of the spiced almonds.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



Here’s my take on this month’s challenge. I nearly didn’t do the challenge this month due to shifting house at the very end of March, having no instructions left with the oven in the new house and the general chaos that accompanies a house move. But find it hard to let a chance to bake go by!

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container.
After a bit of thought I decided to make mini-pavlovas to contain the maple mousse. Both turned out fine but was a bit disappointed with the presentation – because I usually bake at night I didn’t put the mousse into the pavs until the next day – the mousse had set beautifully in the bowl but didn’t look so great spooned into the pavs.
It was also a very sweet combination and can appreciate the idea for having a savoury container

The mousse is a great recipe and thanks Evelyne for the challenge :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

THE DARING BAKERS FEBRUARY 2011 CHALLENGE: Here's to a Creamy Dreamy Crunchy Sweet February!
The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.
Here’s my effort – Giada’s Vanilla Panna Cotta, Nestle Florentine Cookies with Watermelon Sorbet. We have recently been on a big trip (for us from New Zealand) to London – our grown up kids for Christmas had booked for us to visit two Gordon Ramsay restaurants in London and on both occasions we had panna cotta with watermelon sorbet – delicious – my inspiration for making the sorbet and of course watermelons are in abundant supply down here just now.
My Panna Cotta was very soft, I think due to the gelatine ( Davis brand– very limited range down here and no setting data on packet ) – when I make again I will increase the amount a little. But the texture was otherwise very smooth, tasted a little sweet for me though.

The Nestle Florentine Cookies turned out quite big and I certainly didn’t get the 2 ½ - 3 dozen stated in the recipe, also I used golden syrup in place of dark corn syrup. Also delicious but quite sweet.

I found the watermelon sorbet recipe on line and had fun making it – it teamed well with the quite rich Panna Cotta – our cream in New Zealand is really creamy.

I enjoyed this challenge – it wasn’t too complicated and I produced 3 things that I will most definitely make again and again either together or separately – thanks Mallory.
Download the printable .pdf of the challenge HERE!
A slide show of other Daring Bakers results can be seen here http://thedaringkitchen.com/

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daring Bakers' January 2011 Challenge

Biscuit Jaconde Imprime/Entrement

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

This was all very new to me and a challenge - a challenge because at the moment I'm in a really busy phase, we have our house on the market - so it needs to be in a pristine state of tideness and decor perfection most of the time !!! Additionally I'm just starting back at work after a six week summer break, am busy preparing for the new school year and having professional development days. I almost opted out from this challenge but seeing I had last month thought I'd really challenge myself to achieve it.

The filling is a blackforest mousse - chocolate mousse made from scratch with cherries macerated in Grand Marnier, topped with whipped cream, fresh cherries and chocolate shavings - I used left over jaconde to make the base.
Haven't been able to upload other photos but will try again later :(