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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In the Kitchen: I've Become a "Daring Baker!"

One of the best ways to live life to its fullest is to take on challenges. Don't wait for them to happen to you, seek them out. Being a "can do" kind of gal has been my motto for the past couple of decades. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't. Either way I learn something new and life is never boring.

So, we were planning on staying in for New Year's Eve this past weekend. I wanted to eat Mallomars like Billy Crystal did in "When Harry Met Sally" but had only seen them in the grocery store once, years ago. I figured if I can't buy them I bet I could bake them or something that somewhat resembles them in either appearance or flavor. I Googled "Mallomar Recipe" which led me to this blog post on the Southern Baker's Blog: Mallomars - Daring Bakers

The post included a step by step photo tutorial, a layman's account, of what it's like to make your own marshmallows, bake your own cookies then dunk them in chocolate along with the full recipe so you could DIY at home.

Curious, I clicked on another link and saw this post: Puff Pastry Dough: Vol-au-Vents – Daring Bakers. Regular people like me baking puff pastry from scratch and making beautiful Vol-au-thing-a-ma-bobbers? Of course my curiosity couldn't be contained. I Googled "Daring Baker" and found "The Daring Kitchen" website...

In a nutshell Daring Bakers are people who want to learn to bake challenging new recipes. The way they do this is by joining The Daring Kitchen which has both a public and private forum for their members. In the private forum a new recipe is posted each month. The members bake the recipe, photograph and blog their finished product and if they're feeling really ambitious they photo document the project from start to finish. Stefani, a self-proclaimed bakeaholic and author of The Southern Baker Blog, does this really well.

The December 2010 Challenge: Christmas Stollen

So with the start of a new year just around the corner I went ahead and applied to become a "Daring Baker." Initially the recipe is kept secret and then everyone who participated publishes their blog post on the same day along with the recipe so that anyone and everyone who wants to try something new can join in on the challenge. I'm still not quite sure what to feel (nervous, frightened, intimidated or excited) as I prepare to undertake my first challenge. I'll let you know later this month how it turned out. I figure either way it's a win for the blog... I'll either have a beautiful food image and recipe to post or hilarious pictures of the disaster that was supposed to be a beautiful dessert to share with all of you.

And funny thing. We ended up going out for NYE so I never made the Mallomars. Maybe next year :)

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