Friday, June 26, 2009

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.
Bakewell tarts…er…puddings combine a number of dessert elements but still let you show off your area’s seasonal fruits.

Like many regional dishes there’s no “one way” to make a Bakewell Tart…er…Pudding, but most of today’s versions fall within one of two types. The first is the “pudding” where a layer of jam is covered by an almondy pastry cream and baked in puff pastry. The second is the “tart” where a rich shortcrust pastry holds jam and an almondy sponge cake-like filling.

This is the reason why I dared to make that yammy strawberry-rhubarb jam a few weeks ago. The tart was excellent. I expected it to have a very strong almond-y flavor but it was surprisingly mild. It is definitely something that I thoroughly enjoyed. I've made it twice since, it seems only to get better and better and take less and less time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mm-mm-mm... Strawberry jam

I always loved the taste of a home-made jam but never actually made one. Until now. For something that I was making over the weekend, I needed jam. Any jam, really. I was going to use a store bought jam that I have plenty of in the house until I remembered that I had some strawberries in the fridge that were getting old and that I also had some pectin that I bought a while back in hopes of making a jam. It did not take me too long to reach a brilliant conclusion that -- finally!-- it is time for some home made strawberry jam.

By the time I was ready for the jam-making session, the strawberries have already gone bad. Not letting this sway me off course, I ended up buying some strawberries from the store along with whatever rhubarb they had left. I used strawberry-rhubarb jam recipe from Mike's Table. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time), I will add some lemon juice to make that wonderful sweet and little tart flavor combination a little more pronounced.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hello and Welcome!

This is my first attempt at blogging, mostly to showcase my creations for The Daring Kitchen.

I am Anna, a cook in VA. I love, love, love food. Good food, to be precise. My mother showed me how to cook so that I could help around the kitchen and I was hooked. Cooking always makes me smile. Well, maybe not in the middle of it but afterwards, when all the pain and frustration are forgotten. How can you not smile remembering my dad's reaction to the news that I used his best wine for a fish stew of sorts or bright neon green frosting on cupcakes.