April 29, 2007

A failure in my first semester

I entered the month of April with the best of intentions. My number 2 pencils sharpened, my college ruled paper in pristine condition, I was a proud freshman "Daring Baker," eager to join 13 other ladies in the Epsilon Class and forge ahead with our very first challenge.

Founded by Lisa and Ivonne last fall, the Daring Bakers group has grown to 29 members over the last several months, tackling such culinary challenges as biscotti, croissants, and that southern favorite: red velvet cake. In April they invited me to join the best fed sorority on the Internets.

As the group has grown past the point where it's easy to come to consensus on which recipe to use in a given month, we have adopted a hosting system. Each month a hostess chooses a challenge recipe, and each of us spend the month attacking cussing at perfecting it. We've committed to using the same recipe because part of the fun to see how the different interpretations turn out -- even when the recipe itself is not a success.

Brilynn of Jumbo Empanadas was our hostess/class leader for April, and she chose Martha Stewart eye-candy in the form of this sensational-looking Chocolate Crepe Cake. Chocolate crepes. A meringue-like hazelnut cream filling. Chocolate glaze. And caramel-candied hazelnuts. This group doesn't call themselves Daring Bakers for nothing...

I procured the hardware, a cast-iron crepe pan. I studied the recipe. I spent an hour on You Tube watching videos of people making crepes with the ease with which the average American adult ties his shoes. I studied the recipe some more. I sourced the ingredients with the exception of the elusive hazelnut cream (while Martha promises I can find this at Whole Foods, it's not on the shelves of any of the 7 stores within a twenty mile radius of my home).

But in the end April proved to be a very busy month, and I failed to carve the three-to-five hours necessary to actually make the components and assemble the cake. So you'll have to check out other Daring Baker blogs (links below) to see how the cake turned out...

And stay tuned to see how I fare with May's challenge

Crepe Cakes - The Good, the Bad, the Beautiful -- both the Martha-philes and -phobes among us struggled with this one:
Quellia of All Things Edible recommends a strong dose of patience to get you started.
She stood up for Martha during the tough times, but Mary of Alpineberry was ready to shred this recipe.
Becke of Columbus Foodie claims no such allegiance to the Martha and admits the recipe kicked (_]_), and not in a good way.
Ivonne of Creampuffs in Venice skipped the fussy pastry cream for a hazelnut staple of sorts: Nutella.
Peabody had... all *sorts* of colorful things to say about this recipe.
An A-student after my own heart, Mercedes of Dessert Candy creates a confection worthy of the magazine cover.
Laura of Eat! Drink! Live! presents another glorious piece of Martha-inspired food-porn.
Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms breaks the momentus task into achievable tasks -- and creates some scrumptious looking photographs of her results.

Stay tuned for more crepe cake goodness coming soon!

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Quellia said...

You'll do fine in this month's challenge! Everyone needs a period of adjustment.

Ivonne said...

Good luck! We have faith in you!!!

Anuhea said...

Don't worry, from what I've seen, most of the Daring Bakers didn't like that recipe!

Brilynn said...

I expect twice the effort for May's challenge! Actually, after having read it, I'll have to high a sous chef to help me conquer this one.

Mary said...

It's alright D! You'll need to save your efforts for the next challenge. I think we all do. :)

Peabody said...

Hang in there!

Kristen said...

I would have had to take a pass with that challenge too!

Wow Gold said...
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