Daring Bakers: Chocolate Marquise

I’ve had a slight hiccup with the Jupiter cake tutorial: I have the video done but it just won’t save! All my attempts at troubleshooting haven’t worked so I’m having to sort that out. I’ll have it for you soon!

In lieu of that, it’s time to move on to the Daring Baker’s challenge this month!

This month’s challenge was entitled ‘Eenie Meenie Miney Moe!’ In a celebration of past Daring Baker and Daring Cook challenges, Lisa challenged all of us to search through the Daring Kitchen archives and pick any one we’d like. The real challenge was picking which delicious recipe to try!

I set about trying to find the hardest recipe I could. I was going to challenge myself to the most ludicrous challenge I could find. But I struggled to find something that scared me. The most fearsome challenges I’d heard about from other bakers were things I have or now regularly bake: french macarons, joconde, croquembouche. The desserts I hadn’t tried all used techniques I’m familiar with. It was actually a nice moment to reflect on how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned over the last 3 years.

I couldn’t find something as challenging as I’d wanted, but there was one…

Cakecrumbs' Chocolate Marquis

The chocolate marquise. It was the challenge from May 2011. I’d never heard of it before and it looked divine. But the recipe was massive and had a bunch of pressure points that seemed difficult, so I decided to take it on.

I discovered as I made it that it wasn’t that scary, but it does force you to plan ahead. You need to be organised and to think through the components, particularly during plating. You have to have a plan of attack and stick to it. I’m a hot mess in the kitchen so perhaps this was the biggest challenge of all…

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Cinnamon Knots

Cinnamon is very not so secretly one of my favourite things to cook with. If I can find an excuse to put cinnamon in a thing, there will be cinnamon in the thing. Be it a bowl of yoghurt or just a hot chocolate, a little cinnamon turns it into the most exciting thing in the world.

So it’s no surprise that the simple cinnamon bun is high on my list of loves. Every now and then, I like to try something new with my standard recipe to change it up a little.

Cakecrumbs Cinnamon Knots

This method puts a whole lot of twists on the traditional cinnamon bun.

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Spicy Rose Cupcakes

With Mother's Day just around the corner it's a time for making all things pretty and elegant. The first thing that comes to mind for this occasion is roses. The rose has been used as a symbol in most societies throughout human history. And it's little wonder. It's a beautiful, and varied, flower. Qualities that make them a lovely way to say thanks this Mother's Day.

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose…

Orange and Cinnamon Macarons

I'm addicted to making macarons lately. And I have no intention of stopping until I iron out the little creases that are the imperfections in my biscuits. As if I'm going to stop when I do finally get them perfect. Ha!

They're so addictive and so appealing to make. It's becoming and\ obsession. There are so many colours and flavours and possibilities just begging to be explored.

My major challenge at the moment is getting the biscuits all the same size. No matter how carefully I drew the circles and how carefully I piped, they'd always be different. I'd spend ages trying to match up same-sized biscuits, getting grumpy about the misshapen ones. So I thought it was time to try something new.

Breaking habits…

Chicken Peanut Curry

This curry is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It's rich and flavour-full, but the addition of peanuts takes it to an extra level of taste and texture. I made this one for the family a few weeks back and wanted to share it with you guys.

While I typically use chicken for this recipe, like most curries you can swap the meat for whatever your preferred meat is. Chicken is such a cheap meat here that it makes a delicious budget meal, but if you live in a country where poultry is more expensive, feel free to sub in whatever cut of meat you like. 
Let’s get started…

Home-made Pretzels: Cinnamon and Choc Chip varieties

The inspiration for making pretzels came from the oddest of places. I was reading the beautiful story of a young kid called Anthony Smith. He suffers from Mosaic trisomy 22 and as such has no hearing in his left ear, and only minimal hearing in his right. At 4 years of age, he refused to wear his hearing device, a blue ear, because superheroes didn't have to.

His mother contacted Marvel comics asking for help. Not only did they reply, they sent Anthony comics of Hawkeye from the 80s when he lost his hearing and had to wear a hearing aid. They then sent him a drawing of a superhero they created just for him, called Blue Ear, who uses a listening device to hear trouble. Amazing. He took the pictures to school and his school threw a superhero week for him. Anthony now uses his Blue Ear and is improving rapidly in school with its use.

I loved the story so much I started looking for videos. In one, there were a few feel-good shots of Anthony and his mother were making pretzels together. They looked so delicious instantly I had the overwhelming urge to go make some.

I'm a little weird like that.

Twisty goodness after the jump…