huckleberry cheesecake ice cream coconut shrimp spruce tip syrup and the muir cocktail cherry (ice cream) bombes


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archive for daring bakers

tribute to the queen of all daring bakers, lis

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Recipe: hot buttered pretzels (db)

I started blogging in 2004 – it was an outlet for my thoughts after my sister had died. There was no theme, no goal, just me unloading a lot of tangled emotions, working through my feelings. Only a handful of friends read it at the time and it was virtually unknown to the world. In 2007, I noticed a group of food bloggers – The Daring Bakers – who baked a challenge each month and posted their results on their blogs on an agreed upon day. I wanted to join, but I needed a blog. I mean, I HAD a blog, but I needed a public blog. And that was what prompted me to split off use real butter and start a food blog.


old school: we knead to bake



When I joined The Daring Bakers (now The Daring Kitchen) in late 2007, we were 80 strong. When I left in 2010, there were thousands of Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks across the globe. So much had changed during my stint, but there were always two constants: Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice – our founders. I learned from Kelly earlier this week that Lis had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Old timer DBs reconnected at hearing the news and it was decided (thanks to Kelly) that Friday, November 15th would be our day of tribute to this witty, energetic, supportive, and wonderful woman. Lis was every Daring Baker’s biggest cheerleader and we cannot believe she is gone.

It was only fitting that I post a Daring Bakers recipe. The first one – the one that started it all – was hot buttered pretzels. Lis and Ivonne made them back in 2006 and it has been on my list of “must bake” recipes for years. So this one is for you, Lis – and for all of my beloved Daring Bakers.


start with: water, butter, yeast, sugar, kosher salt, flour, sugar and salt

mix warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast

add flour



You can find old Daring Baker challenges (the recipes) in The Daring Kitchen archives, but there was a slight discrepancy between that one and the recipe on Ivonne’s site so I went with Ivonne’s version. I remember how I used to feel either elation or dread when I would get the next Daring Baker challenge. But here’s the thing – I learned so much and gained confidence and skill in the realm of baking with each monthly challenge. It helped me grow as a food blogger, a baker, and a person.

knead the dough

dust with flour

place in a ziploc bag to rise for 30 minutes (or a bowl – i’d go with the bowl next time)



**Jump for more butter**

daring bakers: french macarons

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Recipe: green tea adzuki macarons

NaBloWriMo day 27.

World colliding: NaBloWriMo meets the Daring Bakers meets use real butter. Oy.


the daring bakers get stabby


The official line: The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

The unofficial line: I went with a tried and true recipe from Helen, my macaron expert. Sorry – I didn’t have time for screwing around with an unknown this month. I had a few hours before my flight to California, but I wanted to make some macs to take to my grandma for her birthday. Helen’s recipes never let me down. Never.


i like the matcha very mucha

blend the matcha green tea powder with the confectioner’s sugar



**Jump for more butter**

daring bakers: lobster vols au vent

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Recipe: lobster vols-au-vent

**I’m not really here, I’m in San Francisco yukking it up with all of the food bloggers at the Blogher Food conference. If I’m in the hotel room geeking out, then I’ll post some pictures. If I’m with Helen getting lit on cocktails, then I’m not in any shape to post any pictures anyway!**

Roll the tape, Harry! [Who is Harry? I dunno… it’s late.]

I made doubly sure I did not miss this month’s Daring Bakers challenge because I had an opportunity to recreate a favorite dish I enjoyed as a kid in a fancy pantsy restaurant. So there ya go!


the daring bakers do it ninja style!



And the official line is: The September 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Did I mention how much I adore these two women: Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice? Well I do. They are the founders of the Daring Bakers (Daring Anythings) – and I bow to their awesomeness.

So let’s hop to it! Our challenge this month was to make vols-au-vent pastries – savory or sweet. I barely had time to brush my teeth in the mornings, so there was only one option for me – savory. When I was little, I ordered lobster vols-au-vent at a restaurant (probably the Williamsburg Inn). It was heavenly. Flaky puff pastry drenched in a creamy sauce with lumps of tender, sweet lobster meat. Never thought to make it myself, just never occurred to me until I saw this month’s challenge. We’ve made puff pastry once before (Danish Braids) but this was a little different and… I love homemade puff pastry. Store bought puff pastry leaves this crazy horrid film all over my mouth because they use some sort of fake fatty compound – I don’t know what it is, but it’s disgusting. I hate eating it because I feel like I just sucked a coating of wax inside my mouth. So, when the DBs say “Make puff pastry!” I say, “Yes, Sergeant!”


score the dough

fold the rolled out dough around the butter



**Jump for more butter**