Back in the Daring Kitchen… Spicy Pork Buns!

Well it’s been a while but after a little time off we are finally back in the Daring Kitchen.


The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

I’m not a bread person- it rarely works out for me, so this challenge had me a little concerned. Here’s how it all went down.

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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


Daring Bakers Challenge: Tree Cake (Baumkuchen)


The January 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij”. She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

When cut, this cake is supposed to resemble the grain of a cut tree… if done correctly! I was not so successful in achieving these beautiful lines. The whole process took a very, very long time (like nearly 2 hours)! And while if it worked out, I’m sure it would be beautiful, for me it is just not worth the effort. That being said it tasted delicious and got raving reviews from my new baking critics at work.

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


Oatmeal, Raspberry, & Walnut Muffins


It has been a ridiculously long time since our last blog post! We’ve had a busy few years. But alas we are back and our first Daring Baker’s Challenge of 2014 will be up later this week. In the mean time, I came across a few recipes I had pinned on pinterest involving healthy raspberry muffins. This recipe is a combination of a few different ones, and while I think they are delicious, next time I think I would try them with almonds instead of walnuts!




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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Fruit, Muffin, Raspberry


Daring Bakers: Povitica

October 26, 2011 – Telephone conversation between Nicole and Krista

K: Hey, I was wondering if you got a chance to do the daring bakers challenge?
N: Ah, nope, I was hoping you had done it.
K: Nope.
N: Well… maybe I can do it tomorrow, I have the day off. Do you think you will have time to do it?
K: Hmmmm I don’t think so. I’ll let you know if I get a chance and you let me know if you get it done before hand.
N: Sounds good!

October 27th, 2011 (Posting Day) – Telephone conversation between Nicole and Krista

N: Did you do the challenge?
K: No you?
N: Nope. Can we skip this one? I don’t know if I will get time to do it today.
K: We already missed 2. We need to do this one.
N: Will you have time?
K: Doubtful – I have to paint a room for Grandpa
N: Ok – I haven’t even looked at the recipe yet, do you think I have everything here I’d need?
K: Yeah you should
N: Ok, I’ll find some time. I’ll let you know if I get it done!

And now… with out further ado

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

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Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Bread, Cranberry, Daring Bakers, Dessert


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Pumpkin Spice Latte

As soon as Fall hits, you know its time to run to your favourite Second Cup (or where ever you go) and grab yourself a nice big cup of pumpkin spice latte. Ahhhh… so yummy! But this little treat takes a bit of a hit on your wallet. I’m not one to buy myself an expensive coffee very often. Its a treat. So when I came a across this recipe in one of my favourite cookbooks I HAD to try it!

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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Drinks



Rosemary Croissants

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!

Usually when only one of us is doing a challenge, its Krista. Motherhood keeps me busy! This month however – different story! This is all me! 😉  Croissants is one challenge that I was not going to miss out on. Croissants have been on my to-bake list for EVER!! But I have never gotten around to making them. I’ll admit – they scared the bejeepers out of me! Something that delicious, light and flaky had to be difficult to make. I would need to have a lot of time, and patience, maybe one day when the kids were older…. but my chance came much sooner than expected with this months challenge. And boy was I wrong. Do not be scared of making croissants!! It takes a long time (long periods of rising) but really the work required is in maybe 15 minute chunks max! You – yes, you with the 3 screaming children – can find the time to make these! And believe me, once you have made your own you will never want to eat store bought ones again! Give it a try!

I wanted to make something other than just plain croissants. I wanted them to have a flavour. Debating over all of the combinations I could do one night, I decided to make a more savory croissant (chocolate was a close second… its always near the top!). I had fresh rosemary growing in the garden so this would work out perfectly! I had all the ingredients on hand, so I set to work. I chopped up the fresh rosemary and added it in when making the dough. I found the dough to be a bit dry at the beginning but after a rising it seemed to smooth out more.

The final product was absolutely wonderful! I will definitely be making these again! It is a tradition in my husbands family to have croissants with breakfast on Christmas morning. This year, I think I will supply them!

Thank you Sarah for this wonderful challenge!

~ N

Preparation time: In total, 12 hours.
Making dough, 10 mins
First rise, 3 hours
Kneading and folding, 5 mins
Second rise, 1.5 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Rolling in the butter (turns one and two), 15 mins
First rest, 2 hours
Turns three and four, 10 mins
Second rest, 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Forming croissants, 30 mins
Final rise, 1 hour (or longer in the fridge)
Baking, 15 mins

¼ oz of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon of dry-active yeast (about ½ sachet)
3 tablespoons warm water (less than 100°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 cups of strong plain flour (I used Polish all-purpose flour, which is 13% protein)
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons oil (I used vegetable oil)
½ cup 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
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag
10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F/24°C for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches (20cm by 30cm).
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up)
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge.
16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.
21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle
24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch (6 mm) across from all the edges.
25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
34. Fold in three, as before
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches (35 cm by 20 cm).
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)
37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle (51 cm by 12½ cm).
41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches (25½ cm by 12½ cm))
42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches (38 cm by 12½ cm).
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches (12½ cm by 12½ cm))
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles.
49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
53. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants.
56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 


Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Bread, Daring Bakers, Savory


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Daring Bakers Challenge: Candyland

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 offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

Nicole was uber busy with month so I ventured into the candy making world alone for our first challenge apart. I decided to make 3 different kinds of dipped chocolates: mint marshmallow, french vanilla nougat with pecans, and my favorite a Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheese Cake Truffle!

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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


July DB Challenge: Setting Sail with Fresh Fraisers

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

A fraiser is a light, moist layered cake, split and filled with sliced strawberries and pastry cream, then topped with a thin sheet of almond paste. When we first read this challenge we automatically thought of making some sort of picture with our exposed fruit. In the end we decided to make a rather large fraiser featuring fruit sail boats made of sliced peaches, blueberries, and strawberries. Since our design was rather large this meant we had to find something extra to fill our cake with since we thought making 3 batches of pastry cream was a bit over the top. We dug around the kitchen and decided to use up some extra pieces of chocolate cake we had in the freezer.

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The Wedding Cake

Well it has certainly been a while since our last post and this is why…

That’s right! We made our sister’s wedding cake!
The following is a brief account of our adventures in wedding cake making…

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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Cake, Chocolate, Coffee, Dessert, Fondant, Wedding


Gum-Paste Flowers


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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized