Archive for June, 2009


heart to heart pudding or tart?

I can’t believe that it’s time to post another DB challenge.  For the first time EVER I completed my challenge way ahead of time.  YAY me!  The only problem with that is I mentally moved on and almost forgot to post about it.  Thank goodness I remembered because this month’s challenge is fan-freakin-tastic. delicious

 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.  The debate seems to be that no one’s quite sure if this is a tart or pudding and is this really a dessert.  I for one wouldn’t classify it as a “dessert” so much as a sweet course to have with tea. (except you can have it with anything at anytime…and trust me I did)  It’s absolutely delicious. crust puddingfrangipane

We had two mandatory elements….the pastry crust and the frangipane.  The crust was simple and very delicate and was just enough to fit in my glass tart pan.  I chose to blind bake the crust just in case so I wouldn’t end up with a soggy bottom.  The frangipane is what really makes this Bakewell tart.  It’s aroma of almond makes it an experience before it even hits your tastebuds.  There was a lot of talk about how the frangipane didn’t mix well, but I found that when the ingredients were room temp it was just fine.  Our lovely hostesses then gave us the freedom to use any homemade jam or curd to finish the tart/pudding.  I thought why not make this tart with pudding and then I shall have solved the dilemma of the tart/pudding debate.  It will be both.  I intended to make a blackberry pudding, but apparently I live in an area that is not palate adventurous and I could not find a blackberry.  I decided to then go with the blueberry and just as a word of caution……. berries stain.  

The feedback on this challenge was nothing but accolades…and according to boy….it was “a taste of heaven”.   Heperfect ended up eating 3/4 of it.  (teenage boys are amazingly able to eat a lot of food)  You really wouldn’t think that you could do much with this challenge but I definitely have to give a shout out to all my DB friends.  Their ability to make such creative pieces blow me should definitely check them out and see how it really should be done.  One day I’ll get there….  🙂 

Berry Pudding

2 qts fresh berries

1 c water

1 3/4 c sugar

1/2 c flour

1/4 butter

2  tsp vanilla

Bring berries and 1 c of water to boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes till berries are soft.  Mash berries with a fork and pour through wire mesh strainer, using back of the spoon to squeeze out all the juice you can.  Boil at reduced heat to reduce juice volume to 2 cups.  Combine sugar and flour in a saucepan; gradually add the berry juice, whisking constantly until smooth.  Bring to boil over medium heat whisking constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes  or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla


A Potsticker by any other name…..

mandus and sauce….is called a mandu.   How exciting that this month our challenge would be the loveable and controversial potsticker.  Why controversial you ask?  Everyone on the planet who has ever had one has their own name for it and claim it to be the best.  So we have potsticker, dumpling, mandu, guotie, gyoza and the list could go on a little bit more, and to be honest I’ve been around the block and tasted some in their original countries.  Therefore, for the rest of my post I shall be referring to the potsticker as a mandu which I think tastes the best.  (I ate so many mandus when I lived in Korea I looked like a mandu)

This months challenge was brought to us by Jen from use real butter.   Jen gave us the challenge of making the entire mandu from wrapper to filling.  There were many fillings I could go with but I chose to stick with the pork filling.   filling

The hardest part of the whole challenge was in making the wrappers.  There are only two ingredients in the wrapper, but getting the right consistency was hard for me.  I wasn’t sure what I was going for in the first place, but I knew rock wasn’t it.  Once I got a pliable dough I started assembling the mandu.making mandus 

Making all the mandus was the most time consuming part and I think it could be all kinds of fun if you have some friends over and do it as a group gig.  (note to self: make some friends)mountain-of-mandu

Once I assembled I had to decide which way to cook them.   I decided to go a little crazy and do two methods-steamed and panfried.  I learned two things from the challenge.  1. The wrappers need to be super thin,  thinner than you think.  And 2.  I dislike ginger.  I’ve used ginger many times before, but the ginger in this recipe was too strong and overpowered the taste of the filling.  I definitely recommend using a bit less.  The consensus from boy and man was that they were a good substitute for the real thing….but I feel that for all the work it takes I need to get a tastier filling.   mandus

The best part of the dish was the dipping sauce.  I was able to use my most favorite cookbook and make a Tahini soy sauce.  I’ve been wanting to try it and now I had the chance.  It was mashisayo (delicious). 

Tahini Soy Sauce (adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

2 tbs. sesame oil

¼ cup tahini

2 cloves of garlic

Pinch of brown sugar


Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Use immediately or refrigerate.

Daring Cooks 1~Me 1

June 2009
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