Sunday, October 28, 2007

Daring Baker Event #1: Bostini Cream Pie

1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."

I spent the last week making sure I had all the ingredients for Bostini Cream Pie, the assignment of the month for the Daring Bakers. All kinds of incredients needed to be procured. By the time I was ready to tackle the project this afternoon the kitchen table was full. Along with the typical items one always has, I needed two oranges, a vanilla bean, cake flour, chocolate (I chose Moonstruck chocolates, as one of my daughters works for them as a barista, and they make excellent chocolate), heavy cream, canola oil, whole milk, and unsalted butter. As soon as we got home from church this morning I assembled all the ingredients I had, and put as many utinsels as I could think I needed on the table. We then went out to have a quick hamburger and pick up the missing items - whole milk and canola oil. We got back at 12:30 and I started right in on the dessert.

I began with the custard, as it would need time to set, and it was the first thing done in the recipe. It was very straight forward. The only little hitch was when I was mixing the eggs and milk. They wouldn't become homogenous, so I strained it then instead of later. This worked quite well.

I had selected eight Chinese dishes, and decided to put 1/2 cup of custard in each. There was just a bit left over, and I place it into two tea cups. The custards then went to the refrigerator in the basement, as it had room. It had taken me 45 minutes to this point.

Next came the cake. I've made many sponge cakes, so I wasn't too worried. But I didn't have the non-stick spray stuff, as I don't like it, so I took time to carefully butter and flour the molds. Then on to zesting the oranges, and what was for me the hardest part, juicing the oranges. I hate juicing oranges. The reemers are all made for lemons and limes, not oranges. But with a lot of effort I eked out enough.

The cake batter was really quite easy. At the end I dumped the liquidy part over the beaten egg whites, and took my time folding them together. There's a tendency to think you need to be very brief at this point, but I've found that it pays to be thurough. I filled the 8 ramekins, and two small ones for the tea cups, and there was still lots of batter left. I put the ramekins into the preheated oven, and quickly turned on another oven, and went to the basement to find an appropriate pan for the remaining batter. I selected a seven inch springform pan. I buttered and floured it, and dumped in the batter, and put it in the oven only seven minutes after the ramekins went in.

They came out looking lovely. And about 12 minutes later I took the big cake out. This proved to be a mistake, as it wasn't done. But it was a lovely brown and bounced back when touched, but I didn't take the time to stick something in it to check, as I was anxious to go out for coffee and sit for a while. But no matter, it wasn't the main event. It was now 2:30.

When we got back I went to turn the large cake out of its pan, and at this point, as my hand sunk into the undone cake, I knew it was in trouble. I managed to remove it from the springform pan and get it onto a plate. I then microwaved it for two minutes, and to my amazement it cooked. My solution for the very big dent in the center of the cake (caused by my hand), was to use the remaining cream, whipped.

The cakes were then removed from the ramekins, and the puddings were brought up from the basement, and I carefully smushed the cakes into the puddings. At this point I set the table, as there were going to be ten for dessert and champagne. Then shortly before I knew the guests would arrive I made the chocolate sauce, which was about as easy as anything could be. And then finally, there was the finished product.

After I took some pictures we all sat down and dug in with a chorus of "MMMMM". I think that what they liked the best was the custard. At Christmas I make pouring custard to go on the plum pudding, and everyone has a tiny bit of pudding under a big pile of custard. Annie, daughter numer two, liked the bostini so much that she said she would like to have it for her birthday next year. In the end, as the guests were gone and the dishes were brought into the kitchen, there were two dishes not completely finished (understandable, given the size of the portions), and one tea cup left, along with the remainder of the big cake. All in all I think it was a big success. And I really hope I now qualify to be a daring baker and get to put the logo on my blog and be on their blog list. We'll see.


But now that I did the recipe just like it said, here's how I would tweek it. The custard was lovely, but very rich and I think that I would use half and half next time. The cake was fine, but I don't like cake flour all that much, and I would much rather use good bread flour, allowing 4 ounces per cup called for. And finally, I love orange and chocolate together, but I think that instead of using oranges in the cake I would like to use Cointreau in the chocolate sauce. I would use milk in the cake. The portions and relationship of the different items - cake, pudding, sauce - didn't really match up. I am still not sure how I'd do that differently.


Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala's Bistro)

Daring Bakers Challenge #11: October 2007
Host: Mary (Alpineberry)
Post Date: Monday, October 29
Serving Size: 8 Generous Sevings


3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean (EDITED to add that vanilla extract is okay)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze:
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter

To prepare the custard:

Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:

Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.
Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.
Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze:

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble:

Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Meeting Tyler Florence

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7 

Earlier this week I discovered that Tyler Florence was going to be in Portland at the newly renovated Macy's (Meier & Franks) today from 1-3 for a book signing. I was quite excited and determined to go, until I realized that the schools had Friday off, and I would have not only 13 month old Emily but 11 year old Christian for the day. So I gave up on the idea of seeing Tyler Florence. But late this morning Christian was invited to spend the afternoon at a friends house. Yes! I got him their shortly after noon, then drove straight down town, got parked, got a tall Americano, and headed for Macy's.

The event was on the fifth floor. At this point in time that is the highest floor of the store. In the old days, the store had 12 floors. It really had been a great department store in its day. As a kid I loved going down town on Saturday with my best friend. We would get very nicely dressed, gloves and all, and we'd take the bus. The first store we would go to was Meier & Franks. Later, after lunch on the 12th floor at the lunch counter where we would get a hamburger and coke for 45 cents, we'd go to Lippman Wolfs or J K Gills or maybe one of the three five and dime stores. And to finish the day off we would either have lemonade in the tea room of Lippman's, or cake at the Bohemian Bakery, or lemonade at the London Grill in the Benson Hotel.

So today, on the fifth floor which used to be the fabric department and the book department in the old days, was Tyler Florence in the housewares. The line was rather long when I got there, but I soon found the end of the line. A nice young man soon came and assumed the position of the end of the line after me. He made a good line associate, which was good since we were there close on to an hour. There were all sorts of staff people, buzzing around doing their jobs, like seeing about what we had for Tyler to sign, or giving us recipe cards, or handing out drinks in champagne flutes and mini breakfasts on disposable plasitc plates. At one point someone maybe four ahead of me dropped thier glass. This sent some of the staff people into a tizzy. So when just a little while later I spilled part of my drink down a display of all-clad pots in lovely white boxes I just as quickly as possilbe wiped up using the red paper napkin I had been given. I certainly did manage to cover a rather large area with not all that much liquid. The young man who was acting as security for the event and was standing right there and saw everything, didn't say a word. I think he realized the necesisty of not getting the attention of the clean up people. Then not long after that I spilled the plate of food upside down on the floor. I didn't make an effort to clean that up. It was a bit dissappointing because Emily was enjoying the food, and I hadn't had enough time to feed her a decent lunch. But she was loving the drink. I got another one and poured it right into her bottle so I wouldn't spill it again.

Not too much later we were in sight of Tyler Florence, and before I knew it we were talking to him. He was just as delightful as he is on tv. It was Emily he was really interested in. I had not brought my camera, thinking they wouldn't allow it, but au contraire. That's my one big regret of this outing. But anyway... he talked quite a bit with Emily and said he loved her hat. I told him that it was a Hannah Anderson and that the store was on 10th and Flanders. He wrote this down, and said that he was hoping to go there to buy somethings for his new son, who is about 5 months. His name is Hayden.

Not knowing really what to talk with him about I asked him a couple of questions. First, who is he routing for in the world series. He immediately said that he was a die-hard Yankees fan, but that he was inclinded to pull for the Colorado Rockies, but if Boston won that was all right too. That's how I feel about it also. It was good to see that he knew what was going on in the world of baseball. I told him that I had gone to New York last month and seen the Yankees play Toronto, but he didn't seem to connect with that statement. Then I asked him what his favorite pie was at Thanksgiving. With just a little bit of thought he said pecan pie, chocolate bourbon pecan. At that he said something more to Emily and we left. Oh, I forgot to mention ... the book that I had him sign is the one pictured above, He wrote Molly and Emily, keep on cookin', Tyler, and then wrote his name on the back cover.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Food 911
Episode: Southern Roots

Pie Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely ground pecans
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup or sugar cane syrup (such as Steen's)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups pecan halves

To make the pastry: combine the flour, ground pecans, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the ice water and work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Carefully roll the dough up onto the pin (this may take a little practice) and lay it inside a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly and trim the excess around the rim. Place the pie pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easy to move in and out of the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the filling: melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, remove from heat and let cool. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy and then blend in the sugar. Stir in the syrup, vanilla, bourbon, salt, and the melted butter mixture until well blended.

Arrange the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust and carefully pour the egg mixture over them. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie, if it comes out pretty clean, you're good to go. Transfer the pie to rack and cool completely before cutting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A first time IKEA assembler

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Yesterday I took my aging parents to IKEA to buy an office chair and a bed slats unit. A wheel had fallen off my mothers desk chair and she wanted a new chair. This was easy at IKEA. She was quickly pleased with one of the chairs, and she liked the price and that was it. It seemed that my Dad needed a chair also, but he could not be coaxed into getting into buying one. I think he doesn't think he'll be around long enough to get much use out of a new thing.

My mother has been worried that she might fall off of her bed. It had been raised at the head, under doctors orders, and was thus rather too high for her. She's gotten quite a bit shorter over the years. It didn't take long for her to chose the slat frame that could be raise at the head, thus elimicating the need for the actual raising of her bed. But as slat systems go, that was the most complicated one. I wasn't worried however, as my husband is excellent at assembling IKEA things. He's been doing it for almot 30 years.

But I hadn't counted on his not being available to get this done before the weekend. My Mom was anxious to get her new items. So I offered to deliver the items today. They were in the back of my mini-van, being too large to get into their Lexus. I went out there just in time for lunch. They live in a retirement home where you have your own appartment, but they serve you meals. These meals are nothing to write home about, but the atmosphere is nice. Emily was of course with me, and she was flirted with by at least a dozen men. She was very well behaved, if you don't count the fact that she put the food she didn't want on the floor.

After lunch I went to move my car around to the delivery entrance. My Dad and the man there took the stuff upstairs, while I reparked the car. I was going back up to see if I could assemble the chair for them. Well I get up their and find that my Dad was knee deep in trying to assemble the slats. I knew immediately that I would need to stick around and help, as there were so many parts that he would surely foul it all up and his final verdict would be that IKEA made crummy products. I think in his world things come assembled. No need to cut costs by assembling it yourself.

I asked my Mom if she would keep an eye on Emily, and she happily agreed. Dad and I quickly commenced to argue. He kept trying to alter the procedure, but I stuck to my premice that you should put the object together exactly as they said. We were maybe a third done with the main frame when I heard strange noises coming from down the hall. I ran down there to see what was up, asked my Mom what Emily was up to, and she looked around and said she didn't know where she was! I immediately went into the bathroom and there she was with her hands in the toilet water. My Mom was quite shocked, saying she never imagined that she would go there. Who would quess that my mother had eight children. At least after that she kept a better eye on Emily.

Dad and I kept at it, with no deminishing arquing on his part, and we got the thing to the point where it could be set on the bed. I then need to head straight home because Tom was going to collect Emily and Christian. I don't yet know if my parents finished the job. But I was pleased to see that I could put something together using a screwdriver and the funny little tool following the schematic provided.

Now This weekend I'll see if I can do the same type of thing with following directions exactly to make my daring baker project. I've assembled all the ingredients, and I think Sunday is my day to make it, as Saturday there is a party at Heidi and Annie and Tia's house. I will need eaters. That shouldn't be too hard. There will be Riley and I, and maybe all of my children, though I don't know about Sarah and Zac. Tom has the kids only until seven on Sunday, so they can come, along with Tia and perhaps Ken and Marilyn. That's possilbly 12 people, more than I need.

Assembly Update: My Dad got the rest of the frame finished and the mattress back on the bed without my Mom even noticing anything happening. And then .... he assembled the chair. It think that my Dad is glad to find out that he can still do things. I think he needs more things like this. Good job Dad!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Emily is almost completely recovered

I need to say that Emily has come through her ordeal with flying colors. For 12 days her hands were completely bandaged. I had to change the bandages every day. Her hands looked terrible. Even she seemed to realize this. She would look at her hands with a look that seemed to indicate that she understood the severity of the problem. I had really never seen such bad burns. But finally, on the 12th day, I took her into the doctor, they removed the bandages and with surprise in his voice the doctor declaired her healed. Every one there was amazed. I was told to rub oily substances on her hands as often as I thought of it, until her hands look totally normal. I'm still putting Lubriderm on her, and she seems to appreciate it. She learned quickly how to rub her hands together to spread the lotion around. The palm of her right hand is still rather red.

This is a picture of Emily taken October 13th. Notice her lovely little hands. She's trying out the glasses that I had just given her for her birthday. I also gave her a dress to match.

I am so so frustrated

I have been trying and trying to figure out how to get pictures on my sidebar, or a picture to represent me in the about me bit, and I am getting nowhere!!!! It just brings up this little thing, a triangle with and explanation mark in the center, and goes round and round and round and round. I see lots of other blogs with these pictures. Why can't I do it.

This is one picture I wanted on my sidebar. It's the medal I was sent for successfully competing in the 2006 Knitting Olympics. I was able to knit an Aran sweater from the time the Winter Olympics started till just before they put out the flame at the end. But then I didn't want the picture to be so large. Just a small medal.

And what if I want to put the daring baker logo on the sidebar. I can't put it yet because I have done anything yet. But I'm really hoping to qualify. I might need to bother other daring bakers to find out how they did it. I can't bother Yvonne or Marie, becaue they are much too busy. And maybe the problem is because I have a MacBook. If anyone out there shoudl read this and you know the solution to my problem could you please let me know.

So for now I will just stick with posting pictures on the main section. I have little problem doing that. Notice I did not say "no problem". I've been trying to post a picture of the sweater I knit, but to no avail thus far. So I shall try once more. Success at last.


Update: I finally managed to get a picture of me on my 'about me' section. That took a LOT of effort. Now I shall continue to try and figure out pictures in general, like the daring baker badge, on the side. There must be a way. My Apple MacBook can't be that lame.

Further Update: I figured out how to get the pictures on the blog sidebar. It was a matter of trial and error over and over. But at last something I thought of worked. It was in no way what would seem logical. I wonder if everyone else has this kinds of problems when setting up things on their blogs>

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cookies on Demand

"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." John 15:17

Today I told Christian to have something to eat after school before he started his homework. He said that he would like a chocolate cookie, and Papa second the motion. So I told Papa to put Emily in her highchair right over by the baking center and I got started on cookies. I turned on the oven and got out the butter, putting it in a dish in the microwave for about 20 seconds, as it was hard. Emily looked like she knew something was afoot, and that it was bound to be good, so she sat in her chair smiling.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bickies

2 sticks of butter, a bit soft
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour
1/4 cup extra dark cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 big pinch of salt

two big handfuls of pecans, chopped
2 or 3 big handfuls of chocolate chips

Cream the butter and the sugar.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
Combine the dry ingredients, and add to the creamed mixture.
Add the nuts and chips and mix well.

I use a scoop to form the cookies. The small one is exactly 1 tablespoon and the large one is 2 tablespoons. I like to make the small cookies, beause it makes people feel like they are getting more cookies, or if you want more it's still not too much.

375 degrees
9 minutes, for cookies that are 1 tablespoon
11 minutes for cookies that are 2 tablespoons
makes 8 dozen small cookies or 4 dozen larger cookies

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This Food Rocks!

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation." Psalm 95:1

Sunday was my grand-son's birthday, and we had the birthday dinner at our house. Riley was a wonderful help, tidying up the kitchen and back room and vacuming. Christian had requested barbecued chateaubriand, french fries, green beans, and chocolate cake. I also made fresh bread. I set the table with a camo table clothe and simple white dishes.

The cake is a family tradition. I've been making it for 20 years. I can't believe it's been that long! Because we were only 10 for dinner I made only half of the cake. Actually today Christian was a bit disappointed to find out that the cake was finished. But anyway, when I make the cake I have to start early.

Though it is simple, it takes time. The cake layers have to cool. The genache filling has to be very hard before I can whip it up to go between the layers. Then when the genache is on, the cake has to be in the refrigerator for an hour of two before I add the whipped cream. You can find the recipe here on my other blog, where there are more how to pictures.

Or, here it is:

Half The Perfect Chocolate Cake


1/2 cup cocoa, best quality (40 gr)
1 cups boiling water

1 1/4 cups flour (5 1/2 oz)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter
11/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Butter Cream:

3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
(or any kind except white, which isn’t chocolate)

scant 2 cups icing sugar (7.5 oz)

Whipped Cream Frosting:

1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons sugar

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease, paper, grease and flour three 7 inch round cake pans. Stir together the cocoa and boiling water. Set aside to cool. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix only until combined. Divide evenly between the three prepared pans, and spread the batter out flat.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool cakes on a wire rack.

Chocolate Butter Cream: In a large microwavable bowl, put the semi-sweet chocolate, butter and cream, and place in microwave for about 2 minutes. The reason for the large bowl is to prevent it going over the top and then you’ve lost part of the ingredients and that’s a bummer. After taking out of microwave stir until everything looks melted and well mixed. If not so, put back in microwave for a little bit. When well mixed, add to the icing sugar in an electric mixing bowl and continue to whip until very smooth. It will be runny looking. Just leave the beaters in the mixture, cover with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator or freezer until very solid, but not frozen.

When ready to assemble the cake, put the filling back in the mixer and with a good grip on the bowl, whip until very smooth and spreadable. The mixture will turn from dark brown, to a very pale brown.

I put the butter cream mixture between the layers of the cake and the put a very light coating all over the cake and put the cake into the refrigerator until ready to be served. There will probably be left-over butter cream. It is very good between graham crackers.

Whipped Cream Frosting: Put the whipping cream into an electric mixing bowl, add the beaters and put into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and beat, adding the vanilla and sugar. Make the cream stiff, but not butter.

Get the cake out of the refrigerator and put most of the cream all over the cake, reserving some for piping however you please.

note: For this cake I added a heaping tablespoon of cocoa to the cream to make it look like one of the colors in the camo tablecloth.

When we all sat down to dinner Christian placed his walkie talkie in the middle of the table. Not long after we had started eating he picked up the other walkie talkie and said, "This food rocks!" That was so nice to hear. One always wants their grand-children to like their cooking. For years he was a picky eater and wouldn't eat what I cooked. But I think now he likes my cooking.

I made the French fries from scratch, but they were the one element that kept dinner from being on time. Everyone really liked them, but next time I am going to cut them by hand, instead of using the French fry cutting contraptions. I'll cut them thinner so they will cook faster. Also, I think it would be nice to have French fries that are flat round disks. There are lots of possibilities.

In the end I put cocoa in the whipped cream and it made it one of the colors in the camo table clothe. This is a picture of Christian all ready to blow out the candles. The really funny thing was that with all that effort only one candle went out. With a lot less effort he then blew them all out.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm going to be a daring baker

Hebrews 6:12 "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

Now this might sound underwhelming to a great many people, but I am really excited about it. It's something that can add a level of challenge to my life that won't do me in. It's nothing like getting a Th.M. and having to write a 150 page thesis and take a frightfully stressful oral exam. I've always imagined that I could maybe bake just about anything. It's funny, but what seems really scary in baking is having to deal with very hot sugar. But I bet I could handle it. I've made creme caramel many times. But I've never spun sugar.

I've been accepted to the Daring Bakers, but I have to prove myself before I can get on to the blog list. They post a new challenge each month, visible only to daring bakers, and you have a month to complete the project, at which time you post the pictures of your results. They don't disqualify you if what you made looks like a bit of a dissaster. I was perusing the results of one of the projects and several bakers results looked like they didn't quite get it, or like they couldn't handle a certain tecnique. What matters is that they attempted it. I remember my first pavlova. I made it in Hong Kong in April in an un-air-conditioned appartment. Can't be done. It was basically unedible. I made it later in the US and it was terrific.

The head 'daring bakers' are Yvonne of "Cream Puffs in Venice" and Lisa "La Mia Cucina" I would make thier names link, but I can't figure out how to do it. The directions given do not produce the desired results. Cream Puffs is in Canada and La Mia seems to be in California. I find it so amazing that a group of people from all around the world can come together and do something. Several people on the blog list have sites that I have admired for a long time. One that's missing, however, is Chocolate and Zucchini , but I think she is probably too busy with her new books.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Trying to be a Daring Baker

Romans 15:1 "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves."

So I've managed to get things rather fouled up, right from the get go. I was struggling with finding out how to get a blog on blog spot when I was told to provide a name for myself. I had already told the Daring Bakers that I had two sites, "Views from Nowhere" and "Cooking by the Book", but now I need a new name. After a bit of struggle I came up with "Molly Cakes". But no sooner had I gone with that name then my wonderful husband told me that he found it used by quite a few people on the internet.

Well one thing led to another, with me e-mailing this person and that. And now I don't know who I am. There was Ivonne and Lisa and Helene, and Mary, I think. And I think I will just have to ride this wave and hope I can hang on.

In the middle of all this, my absolutely adorable grand-daughter Emily, being baby sat by a freind of her mother, sersiously burnt both of her hands on the outside of a stove that probably should have been taken to the dump years ago. She is being such a good little girl about it all. Both of her hands are bandaged and then she has socks over the bandaged hands. Her determination to just keep on with life as regular as possible just amazes me. I take care of her about 55 hours a week, and I watch her every move. This is because she is curious about everything. But who would have thought she could be so seriously burned just from the door of the oven. It seems that that oven has now been removed. Emily has an appointment at the Emanuel Surgical Center this aftenoon to see a burn specialist. She's only just one last week.