What’d You Do Last Weekend?

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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.</p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:8b8531442d0947b3f5fbcb51b12323cc' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This recipe is adapted from Julia M. Usher\'s <em>Cookie Swap</em> Construction Gingerbread. I modified the flour to be half bread flour and half whole wheat flour instead of all bread flour, which she uses. Additionally, I doubled this recipe to make my gingerbread house, but probably only needed 1.5x as much as the original. </p>\n<p><strong>Whole Wheat Construction Gingerbread</strong><br />2+1/2 c bread flour<br />2+1/2 c whole wheat flour<br />2 T ground cinnamon<br />1 T ground cloves<br />1 T ground ginger<br />1+1/4 tsp baking soda<br />1/4 tsp salt<br />1 c+2 T granulated sugar<br />1 stick + 7 T margarine, cut into chunks<br />3/4 c corn syrup<br />1/4 c+2 T whole milk\n<ol>\n<li>Stir the flours, spices, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. </li>\n<li>Combine the sugar, margarine, corn syrup, and milk in a heavy bottom non-reactive pot.</li>\n<li>Place over medium heat and stir until the margarine is melted and it looks like thick syrup. I didn\'t use a thermometer to measure the heat, but if the margarine is melted and the syrup is cloudy and not separating, it\'s warmer than her target of 115 to 125 degrees. </li>\n<li>Take the pan off the heat and add half of the dry ingredients. Add the other half and mix until incorporated. Don\'t add any more flour even if this looks sticky and shiny. You\'ll add a little bit when the dough is rolled. <br /><em>Note</em>: She does have a point about not overmixing the dough - you don\'t want it to get too tough. However, in my case I wasn\'t planning on eating it so I mixed it well so that all of the dry ingredients were completely incorporated.&nbsp;</li>\n<li>Cover the surface with plastic wrap and set out at room temperature to rest.<br /><em>Note</em>: I divided it up and stuck it in the freezer thinking it would be a few days before I\'d get back to it again. This was a bad idea. It was hard to loosen up again because of all I\'d done to toughen it up. When I made a second batch I left it at room temperature until I was ready to roll it and it rolled (and cut) like a charm.&nbsp;</li>\n<li>Roll and cut in the shapes you need. I rolled these between pieces of parchment paper and then cut directly on the parchment. That allowed me to transport the cut pieces onto baking sheets without disturbing them - so no straight edges got messed up. </li>\n<li>Bake at 375 for 10 - 12 minutes, or until your shapes are done.</li>\n</ol>\n</p><p>Makes about 3 gingerbread boxes, 5\"x5\"x5\".</p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:7672582850c8586c61f8f7c4c54acdbf' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://thedaringkitchen.com/\">The Daring Kitchen</a></p>\n<p>Julia M. Usher\'s <a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://www.juliausher.com/\">Cookie Swap</a></p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a4cc6359735feb1d24baf1595757c5f3' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.</p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:274ed712a4e99b3248baed5818bc8948' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><strong>Homemade Cannoli</strong><br />Shells:<br />2 cups (250 grams/16 ounces) all-purpose flour<br />2 tablespoons(28 grams/1 ounce) sugar<br />1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.06 ounces) unsweetened baking cocoa powder<br />1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon<br />1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 grams/0.11 ounces) salt<br />3 tablespoons (42 grams/1.5 ounces) vegetable or olive oil<br />1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.18 ounces) champagne vinegar<br />Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/approx. 125 ml) sweet Marsala <br />1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)<br />Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups/approx. 2 litres)</p>\n<p>Yield:<br />About 50 cannoli shells\n<ol>\n<li>In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. </li>\n<li>Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. </li>\n<li>Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. </li>\n<li>Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.</li>\n<li>Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roughly roll them with a rolling pin so they are thin enough to put into a pasta machine. </li>\n<li>Starting at the middle setting, run one of the pieces of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine. Lightly dust the dough with flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Pass the dough through the machine repeatedly, until you reach the highest or second highest setting. The dough should be about 4 inches wide and thin enough to see your hand through</li>\n<li>Continue rolling out the remaining dough. If you do not have enough cannoli tubes for all of the dough, lay the pieces of dough on sheets of plastic wrap and keep them covered until you are ready to use them.</li>\n<li>Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes.</li>\n<li>Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.</li>\n<li>In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer\'s directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.</li>\n<li>Carefully lower a cannoli tube into the hot oil. Fry the shell until golden, about 2 minutes, turning it so that it browns evenly. Do not crowd the pan, but fry as many as you think you can manage without allowing them to burn. </li>\n<li>Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.</li>\n<li>Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough.<br /><em>Note:</em> I only had 4 cannoli tubes and managed to cool the tubes just enough after frying to roll a new piece of dough onto the form. You don’t have to cool them completely, but you do want to move quickly so your oil remains at the right temperature. </li>\n</ol>\n</p><p>Filling:<br />Because the dough had made so many shells, I had to re-make the filling more than once to have enough so I’m not including a specific recipe for the filling, but just proportions.<br />1 part ricotta cheese, drained<br />1 part mascarpone cheese<br />Granulated sugar, sweetened to taste<br />Optional additions: chopped chocolate, chopped candied fruit, chopped nuts, vanilla extract, pureed fruit, other flavorings</p>\n<ol>\n<li>Combine the ingredients to taste. </li>\n<li>Allow them to sit for a few hours so the flavors blend. The mixture should be soft enough to pipe through a pastry bag.</li>\n</ol>\n\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:6b94a3017ae22080a193a558a370c252' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s <em>The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern</em> as the challenge recipe.</p>\n<p>I would have bet it would take a Daring Bakers Challenge to get me to make macarons, that signature French sandwich cookie that lives in beautiful photos of Parisian cafe life. I\'d made them before, years ago in pastry school, at the insistence (and curriculum) of the chef who thought we\'d never make it in the world without learning these, langues du chat, and rumballs. </p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:6d540a4d63abb2318ce948dbdb447b2e' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p><strong>Macadamia Nut Macarons with Passionfruit White Chocolate Ganache</strong><br />Macarons:<br />225g Powdered Sugar<br />100g Macadamia Flour<br />90g Almond Flour<br />25g Granulated sugar<br />90g Egg Whites<br />1 tsp meringue powder\n<ol>\n<li>Three days in advance, separate the egg whites. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until you are ready to finish the cookies. </li>\n<li>At least a day in advance, grind the nut flours and combine with powdered sugar. Sift these 4 times, regrinding any time you have leftover nuts in the sifter. </li>\n<li>On baking day, preheat the oven to 200F. Prepare pans by lining them with parchment paper (I had 4 pans ready). Have a spray bottle with water handy.&nbsp;</li>\n<li>Prepare a pastry bag by standing it upright in a tall glass. Fold the edges over the sides of the glass. This will allow your free hands to spoon in the batter and hold the bowl without having to hold the bag too. </li>\n<li>Pour the egg whites into a large bowl for mixing. Add the meringue powder. </li>\n<li>Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. </li>\n<li>Gently add the granulated sugar to the whites and continue mixing until you reach stiff peaks. </li>\n<li>Sift a third of the nut flour mixture onto the meringue and fold to combine. Repeat until all of the flour is incorporated, but do not over-fold or you will lose volume.&nbsp;</li>\n<li>Immediately spoon the batter into the pastry bag, cut the tip of the bag (unless you\'re using a pastry tip) and gently pipe rounds onto the baking sheets.&nbsp;</li>\n<li>Allow the pans to rest on a level surface for 30 minutes. If you don\'t do this, you will not form \'feet\' on the macarons.</li>\n<li>After 30 minutes, place the sheets into the preheated oven and bake for 6 - 8 minutes. Watch them very carefully for browning or splitting, which they will do if they get too hot or the bake for too long. </li>\n<li>Remove the pans from the oven and immediately lift the corner of the parchment and spritz water onto the pan, dropping the parchment back on to allow the paper to capture some steam. Repeat this for the remaining 3 corners of the paper. </li>\n<li>As soon as you can gently remove the cookies from the pan, do so - and cool them on a baking rack. It may help to use an offset spatula to slide underneath the cookie and help it pop off the sheet. </li>\n<li>As soon as the cookies are cool (probably 10 minutes), place them in an airtight container or a ziploc bag (pull out as much air as you can). Fill when ready. </li>\n</ol>\n</p><p>Passionfruit White Chocolate Ganache:<br />1 c heavy cream<br />1/2 c passionfruit concentrate<br />1 c white chocolate, chopped\n<ol>\n<li>In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the heavy cream and passionfruit concentrate and heat until scalding (do not allow it to burn the bottom of the pan). </li>\n<li>Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. </li>\n<li>Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and allow it to stand for 5 minutes without stirring. </li>\n<li>After 5 minutes, begin stirring the mixture. The chocolate will melt into the cream mixture. If chunks of the chocolate remain, heat a little more cream and add it to the bowl. </li>\n<li>When the chocolate is completely melted, cool the mixture to room temperature, cover and then chill in the fridge until firm. </li>\n<li>When you\'re ready to use the ganache, remove it from the refrigerator and whip it quickly with an electric mixer. This will incorporate air and will soften the ganache. </li>\n<li>Spoon it into a piping bag. </li>\n</ol>\n</p><p>To assemble the macarons, pipe some ganache into the middle of a macaron cookie. Gently twist the top cookie onto the ganache to create a sandwich. It will take a few cookies before you get the proportions right, but make sure you don\'t press the ganache too hard onto the cookie base or you\'re likely to crush the bottom cookie. </p>\n<p>A few helpful hints when making these cookies:\n<ul>\n<li>You can run the granulated sugar through the food processor too. It will make it nice and powdery when you add it to the egg whites. </li>\n<li>This recipe indicates 5 egg whites, but when I cross-referenced the proportions against other recipes, I saw mention of 90g a number of times. I checked it against several other sites and recipes and decided I would go with the 90g measurement, no matter how many egg whites that was. 90g is only 3 egg whites for me - a big difference that might have changed how successful this was.&nbsp;</li>\n<li>I added 1 tsp meringue powder to the egg whites before whipping. I don\'t know if this helped or hurt, but I saw it as a suggestion (along with the 3-day aging) and thought it would be good insurance. That said, the best thing was that the egg whites were absolutely at room temperature before I started mixing. </li>\n<li>No amount of sifting is too little. </li>\n<li>I did not slam the cookie sheets on the counter to flatten out the rounds. Why would I want to deflate them?</li>\n<li>The spray bottle really helped on those sheets with parchment. I made one sheet with silpat and everything stuck to it. And those cookies got too hot - they cracked before I took them out of the oven, even though another sheet (on parchment) was still in and remained uncracked. </li>\n</ul>\n</p><p>Accompanying photos are below. Note that I do show some of the cookies that cracked, burned, and fell apart!</p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:bdc37d139110b789471b28faf7bdfffd' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>David Lebovitz\'s awesome <a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2008/09/making_french_macarons.html\">summary post</a> on macarons</p>\n<p><a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://thedaringkitchen.com/\">The Daring Kitchen</a>, where this challenge started</p>\n<p>Tartelette\'s beautiful <a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://www.mytartelette.com/2009/09/recipe-matcha-and-peach-pate-de-fruit.html\">Matcha and Peach Pate de Fruit Macarons</a>, which were an inspiration (and a great cross-ref for the recipe)</p>\n<p>An <a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://www.mercotte.fr/table-des-matieres/index-des-macarons/\">index of macaron flavors and fillings</a> on La cuisine fe Mercotte (it helps if you can work through the French)</p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:d4bea916f6cd753fbfd5bbc0d8154c7a' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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  • user warning: Table './db21429_purple/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>The September 2009 Daring Bakers\' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan. </p>\n', created = 1416570067, expire = 1416656467, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:17a836b13b073416dd781e7a790ed1ab' in /nfs/c02/h06/mnt/21429/domains/purplehousedirt.com/html/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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Daring Bakers

Gingerbread House: 2009

Gingerbread House: 2009

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.


Homemade Cannoli

Homemade Cannoli

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.


Mac Nut Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Macarons!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

I would have bet it would take a Daring Bakers Challenge to get me to make macarons, that signature French sandwich cookie that lives in beautiful photos of Parisian cafe life. I'd made them before, years ago in pastry school, at the insistence (and curriculum) of the chef who thought we'd never make it in the world without learning these, langues du chat, and rumballs.


Wild Huckleberry Vols au Vents

Wild Huckleberry Vols au Vents

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.


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