Daring Bakers & Ricotta Gnocchi

I’d actually never heard of Ricotta Gnocchi till I saw it on the daring cooks message board.  But now that I’m a daring cook I have to be up to try anything, right?!  So in the true spirit of being daring I thought I would make the cheese as well.  Which I thought was really easy and worked great!  It made some of the richest ricotta cheese I’ve ever had.  I don’t know if that worked against me though when I was making the Gnocchi.  It was so rich I couldn’t eat a lot of it so we had it more as an appetizer before a birthday party

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Daring Bakers - French Yule Log!

So I had good intentions of making this for dessert for Christmas Eve.  But then life happened.  Tim worked right up to Christmas Eve which made it hard to do this with a baby in the kitchen so I didn't get started until boxing day.  I made the Crème Brulée that day and then planned to make the rest following but that didn't happen either so my poor little brulee sat in the freezer for a few days by himself.  I am happy to report that he is doing well now that he had joined his buddies!  But...  I'm not done quite yet!  I had a miscalculation (didn't read fully) and put the dacquoise on the top of the log as opposed to the bottom, which means I needed to make more (which is ok because the leftovers are so yummy!).  So I have made more  dacquoise and it is ready to go when I get the ganache done.  I burnt my caramel (yeah, I know bad me) so I'm going to try again after my little man is in bed.  Hopefully it will work better this coming time and I will be able to finish tonight!  I am SO looking forward to enjoying this one as it has been the most exciting I think to date for me and I can't wait for more Daring Baker's challenges in 2009!

UPDATE:  Ok, everything is done!  Except for the icing and it is setting up right now.  I'm very excited to try it!  The ganache tasted amazing!!!  It's in my blast chiller (also known as my deck) as we speak.  I thought -25 Celcuis might freeze it faster than whatever the freezer inside is set at.  I'm hoping to have some pictures very soon of what it looks like so far but I guess we'll have to wait till tomorrow night for the finishing touches as we are planning on eating it for New Year's Eve.  I think this is my favorite challenge so far.  I'd like to thank my brand new Kitchen Aid Standing Mixer from my wonderful husband for Christmas.  Without you life wasn't complete! :P

kitchen aidIsn't it beautiful?!  I love it.  I can't wait to try it out on more things.  It's like having that extra third arm I've been looking for since my little man was born!  Just in time for the other one to come out and make day to day life even more challenging!  That's ok though, I can't wait for this new little person to make their appearance.  We've even decided on a name and sorted the baby clothes last night.  Ok, I'm getting side tracked.

This month's challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. 

They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

 

 

 

 

And the Challenge this month is…
A French Yule Log!!!

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Daring Bakers - Caramel Cake with Caramel Butter Frosting!

I have such good intentions...  I made the cake last weekend and was ready to start the frosting when I got just too tired and decided I would do it the next night.  Well... 4 nights later I finally did the Frosting! 

I enjoyed this challenge as I'd never made caramel this way before.  I've always done it the cheaters way with cream.  It works really well but does have a slightly different flavor than this way. 

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Daring Bakers - Pizza!

DSCF0059So I make pizza a fair amount at home, mainly because I like to know what's going into my sauce and what I'm feeding my little ones.  But I had never tried tossing the dough in the air!  It sounded like a step that really wasn't necessary to me.  I thought it would d

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Opera Cake!

DSCF0051   DSCF0052   DSCF0063   silueta2

I have completed my first daring bakers challenge!  It went very well and only took me three and half hours to complete.  I think thats a really good time.  I made sure that the little man was safely in bed before starting because it makes doing anything in the kitchen about a hundred times harder with him under my feet. 

I decided to make an almond cake with lemon syrup and a layer of strawberries, lemon-vanilla butter cream and white chocolate mousse and ganache.
 

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Homemade Fish and Chips

So the other night Tim and I were feeling adventurous and decided to do something we haven't done since our little one came along.  We cooked a meal together!  Back before dinner revolved around the little monster's choice of the day/week, we use to make an effort every Saturday night to cook together, enjoy some good wine/beer and talk a little other than just kinda talking in passing as we both go to do our own thing for the night.  It's been a while and to get back into the swing of things we decided to try one of our old favorites Fish and Chips with Tartar sauce, vinegar and a bit of lemon.  For not deep frying for several years (about three) and not cooking together it worked out quite nicely.  I would definitely make it again!

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