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Friday, August 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska? I have seen it featured in many different cooking books and magazines. And every single time I looked at the pictures I always told myself that I would love to bake this. However it never happened since somehow I always caught the impression that it was complicated, leave alone the raw meringue coating was another reason for hesitation.

Having mentioned that, this challenge is definitely a trigger to finally bring it to reality. I’d like to experience baking and freezing this cold cake, and finally face my fear of raw meringue.

And for this challenge, I was ready to take the distance of preparing various flavors for ice cream. I had imagined having the ice cream layer of vivid colors - either pink, purple, and red. Especially red! Therefore, I changed vanilla ice cream into lychee cranberry sorbet for pink, blueberry yoghurt ice cream for purple, and strawberry sorbet for red. Before taking any step into my kitchen, I visualized taking colorful and interesting pictures. The thought itself was so delightful... For that reason, I wished that this cake would be a success story.

And thanks to Elissa for bringing up this wonderful challenge. Totally enjoyable and delicious! The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Please check out more details about the challenge and recipe here and don't forget to view other Daring Bakers' takes on this challenge!

Daring Bakers' Petite Four

In the other hand, I also like to bake Petite Four. I am a big fan of this petite delicacy, and how on earth would I ignore it for Baked Alaska? So I decided to aim for both and just wished for the best to happen.

It didn't take a lot of efforts since Petite Four shared the same components of pound cake and colorful ice cream (blueberry yogurt ice cream and strawberry sorbet), so this challenge is more like winning two prizes in one lucky draw. And by the way if you are thinking about doing both cakes make sure you double up the pound cake or else you will end up with too little cake to work with.

So here I go. Hope you enjoy the photos! I can't wait to grab these little ones and eat them like there is no tomorrow. Which one should I have first, the blueberry or strawberry? And again thanks to Elissa of 17 and Baking for bringing up this wonderful challenge!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Anniversary

This is the post I have been waiting to send out since last two weeks ago. It presents a simple recipe which I like very much due to its taste and the endless possibility of fruit decoration. And it expresses how special August is to me.

August is a pleasant month in Bangkok. The rainy season is back and the weather is cool and sometimes windy. After months of heat this is the month most of us here have been waiting for. Fruits are plentiful too, for one I can see starfruit, a particular fruit that is so appealing in sliced form and suitable for cake top decoration. And it just happened that we can also find abundant imported fruits like strawberries (I just love the weird longish shaped Australian strawberries, they are so peculiar and beautiful in their own way....), kiwi fruits and lots of cherries. Just love them all.

August also marks the first anniversary for me and T. It has been a remarkable year in a relationship that seems promising and feels so right. The chemistry is great between us and I could see myself cutting down on activities so I could go back home earlier and be with him. Deep down I just feel so grateful that somehow destiny has led me to him after a long and tiring search.

If you have noticed I also have changed the look of my blog. August is the start of the series of changes I am planning to do for myself. There would be more things featured in this blog and soon enough there would be an official bakeinparis site (I am excited about this, a lot!) and currently thinking about setting up a photography blog, a place where I could pour out my passion for still-life photography. Lots of photos that fall into a non-food category need a platform for display and comment.

And the "Order a Cake" thingy will work soon I am ready with the mechanism for ordering and delivery. So for now, it just sits there quietly and hope you don't mind about it. Cross my finger, it will be activated soon.... However, the cake order is only open to Bangkok customers in yet limited areas. But I guess I need to get started somewhere somehow and it seems fun to fill up my time with someone else's special celebration, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Guest Post, and Vegetarian

Aparna of The Diverse Kitchen had asked me to do a guest post for her blog last month, but as I was so busy I initiated to send my slot for the month of August instead. Absolutely pleased that I had enough time to think about what kind of vegetarian food I would be posting (by the way, it is my very first vegetarian post so I need to get it right, don't I?). Finally settled with the idea of making the best out of sweet potatoes, rum and honey. It is simple and easy for all baked pudding lovers to follow...

So without any delay, do visit The Diverse Kitchen! And happy baking :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

One Photo One Chance

How does it feel like to be one of the finalists of Leites Culinaria Photo Contest? I hardly thought I would get to experience it. From the onset, I realized the participants most probably would have come from a higher level of photography expertice (I mean look at the list of contest jury, wow... in the little dream of mine I had wished that once in my blog lifetime my photo would ever been viewed by Aran of Canelle et Vanille). Mostly I imagined I wasn't qualified enough to take part.

Therefore I wasn't thinking about participating. And during that one last week into the deadline I was so swamped with work at the office, plus trying to wrap up my website, and then came the DB Challenge and T.... T was hinting to me that I had been spending too much time on my work and website. As much as he showed he understood the situation, I had to put him back into one of my priorities..

So yes, I tried to make free time for T last Friday by not doing anything and comfortably staying by his side the whole evening. Just when the next day it happened that T had to go to work and suddenly I had free time in hand. I thought why not giving the contest a shot, got a few hours... so tried to make good use of them. And at the end of the day, if I did not pass the final, it was still nothing to lose cause I could use the material for a new post in my blog, right?

I quickly whipped up 2 recipes and as practical as I tried to be, both required time for refrigeration. So cut the story short, I managed to bake Mini Muffin Strawberry Financiers at lunch time and decided to just focus on one recipe instead of two. Next I frantically took photos like crazy and managed to get one photo sent after midnight (that shows how much time I had spent to shoot the right angle and selected the most appropriate photo, from like hundreds of them). And as I got the reply email informing my successful entry, I was relieved that I was officially taking my chance in the contest! One photo one chance!

And yes, my little wish came true. I made it to the final among other 9 finalists. I was so thrilleddddd! I actually shouted and quickly broke the great news to T!

Thanks to Deeba of Passionate about Baking for being the very source of information about the photo contest! Share the excitement with me by viewing the finalist photos here and at the same time you could also vote one of the photos to win People's Choice Award. Have fun!

So what was I going to do with my second recipe?... The batter was sitting in the fridge and I had to make time to bake it the following day and that is what I am going to share with you here. It is the recipe that I churned out from Leites Culinaria's recipe box that somehow did not make it to the contest due to my limited time.