Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Flaring Bakers go the hazelnut genoise

So, I am still going strong in the second month of claiming Daring Bakership.

The majority of this pack of strange people (I feel myself becoming addicted already) live far away in the US of A or far away elsewhere. So it seems they are likely to come up with slightly different challenges to what another Melbournian might think of.. a super-duper layered torte-ish gateau with creamy fillings, requiring hours of fridge time, for example, I think I would have been more inspired to make in summer. Teacakes call to me lately now that winter is settled in for the last coldest stretch...

That being said, I came home looking for the last piece of this creation about a day after completing it, and nowhere was it to be seen...!! So nobody had a major problem with it.
Nobody else in our house minded my lack of decoration skills either - well, maybe the noises coming from the kitchen during the decoration process! - so I am pleased.

Some books seem to say filberts and hazelnuts are related but slightly different, while other sources say they are the same thing. Whatevs.
Layers of Frangelico-brushed hazelnut meringue, held with praline buttercream and whipped cream, all swept over with a pear and vanilla glaze and finished with a second glaze of ganache (my favourite bit ;) and decorated (sigh) with more praline buttercream.

I left the skins on all my hazelnuts because going on my little experience of the sweetness of the DBs I -rightly, in all our opinions- predicted the cake would be sweet enough to take a tiny hint of bitterness. And maybe even some nutrition (fibre is in the skins, yes?). No laziness there at all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Welcome to the NT... beach!

It has been a while since my last post, eh. I have been away. To the beautiful big flat hot and cold Northern Territory! And July is escaping.

Apart from some very nice (inexpensive, too!) barramundi NT didn't really yield a great many culinary secrets to me.
But Darwin! is so warm all the time! and frangipane, and mangroves and bougainvillea and coconut palms are eeeeverywhere.
The Queenslanders and the locals couldn't believe how amazed I was at all the fauna!

Anyway, seeing as I was deeper into the tropics than ever I had been before, I decided to make it my business to try fresh coconut. Mirth abounded!
I know they talk about how hard coconuts are, but who knew!? Wow. One girl reckons you get a clean tea towel and swing it around and bash it on concrete.
We had a little tomahawk.
And crunchy coconut flesh. It was like coconut flavoured, creamy raw broccoli. I am sure there are many much more appropriate analogies, but anyway, yum.