5:59 AM

Daring Bakers' Croissants

I've always been a little bit in love with Julia Child, especially after the movie, Julie and Julia.. So when I realised this month's challenge's recipe is from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I swooned a little.

The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

This croissant took sometime to prepare, what with a total prep time of 12 hours. But, trust me, it's worth it.

I made mine dairy free by replacing the milk with soy milk, and the butter with magarine. It still tastes surprisingly buttery!

¼ oz (7 gm) of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon (6¼ ml/4 gm) of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon (5 ml/4½ gm) sugar
1 ¾ cups (225 gm/½ lb) of strong plain flour (I used Polish all-purpose flour, which is 13% protein)
2 teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) sugar
1½ teaspoon (7½ ml/9 gm) salt
½ cup (120 ml/¼ pint) milk (I am not sure if the fat content matters. I used 2%)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) tasteless oil (I used generic vegetable oil)
½ cup (120 ml/1 stick/115 gm/¼ lb) chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash

1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated

2:53 AM

Daring Bakers - Candylicious!!!

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

This month's challenge was so fun! And sweet! Very much so!

I made a whole lot of sweets, from Sponge-candy (Honeycombs), to truffles, to coconut fudge, to soft caramel candy, to praline.

The recipes for the sponge candy, truffles and praline can be found here. As well as instructions as to how to temper chocolate.
 I failed the first time I tried it, considering room temperature was 31C and I needed my chocolate to go down to 27C.. so it was so not happening. but some angel told me a new method involving ice, which I will try when I get a weekend free again. =)

As for the coconut fudge, recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. Can be seen here

Hazelnut Praline!

Sponge Candy. I covered some with chocolate to make Crunchie!

Chocolate Truffle with Praline

Ferero Rocher Box comes in handy for storing truffles!

Coconut Fudge

Dark Chocolate Truffles