I'm on to my second Daring Kitchen challenge, which is on the baking side of things. The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home. This has a few moving parts so it was recommended to do the challenge over two days. I'm no masochist so that's what I did, and I'm glad. First you need to make a swiss roll, then two flavors of ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Once the various components are ready you have to assemble it into a bombe. This was a good challenge for me since I haven't made a sponge cake swiss roll since my childhood days helping my mom make Bûche de Noël for Christmas, and I have never made ice cream before. Read more about Daring Bakers: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake
I love fresh-baked cookies. A lot of people do. I'm particularly stuck on the fresh-baked aspect and regular cookies which have been sitting around for a day or more are, well, just less interesting to me. I may poke at them out of boredom if I'm having a sweet craving. Store bought cookies in particular can sit on a counter for weeks without raising my interest. So I make my own cookies and gleefully eat them right out of the oven, but I also don't need to be wolfing down two dozen fresh cookies in one sitting. Years ago when I was in this quandary of how to make small batches, I decided that actually mixing up small batches was stupid and frustrating, so I turned to the master of food longevity: the freezer.
I am pretty big into baking. I love to start a day off with some fresh scones or whip up jalapeño cornbread for dinner. I do make yeast breads, but I spend most of my baking time making "quick" breads, those baked yummies that rely on baking powder and/or soda for leavening rather than the full action of yeast. One thing that I make everywhere I go is pancakes, which, while not baking, certainly relies on the same technique for getting that fluff. I have a basic recipe that just lives in my head and I can pull it together just about anywhere if I can get at the ingredients. When I first got to Ireland I was given pause though, because the flour in the kitchen was self-rising flour. I frowned. I'll mix my own leavening, thank-you-very-much. So, I went down to the store to get some "regular" flour and I discovered that in Ireland, self-rising is the norm. Whoa. I had to hunt around for anything that didn't say self-rising, and even when I did find that, I needed to read the ingredients because they would still have baking soda in them. Read more about Rise up! Rise up!