Welcome to my latest contest and giveaway. Are you a Master or a Disaster Baker? Let's find out!
Self-proclaimed “Disaster Baker” Rebecka Evans hosts this bake along contest and giveaway. TV personality www.passionforbaking.com Manuela Kjeilen will handpick 6 recipes for the competition; the grand prize winner will walk away with a Ankarsrum USA stand mixer. Another lucky contestant will win a "Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela "The Baking Book". Are you ready to take the challenge?
CONTEST STARTS TODAY 6/24/2018:
Today marks the beginning of our contest as we start with our first recipe in the series; Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake.
This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and "Master Home Baker" - Manuela Kjeilen.
( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rule HERE )
Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #1:
The first recipe is a mocha meringues ice cream cake with a gooey almond crust, I want them [that's you] to taste how we make our cakes in Norway, Almonds crust we use a lot. I think they will love this one!
I think she is right! This ice cream cake has everything: mocha ice cream, coffee flavored meringues, and gooey almond crust; it's absolutely delicious.
The challenge begins today with my attempt to recreate Manuela's baked masterpiece: Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. I'll post a photo of my rendition for the world to see. The contestants that choose to take the challenge will bake along with me and post a photo of their attempt to recreate Manuela's beautiful recipes.
*NOTE: In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela, you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.
FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE
I am an award winning home-cook and a DISASTER baker.
The fact is I want to create beautifully baked masterpieces and learn from the best. However as I get closer to recreating Manuela's recipes for the series, I begin to experience some serious anxiety. The anxious feelings led to a few sleepless nights as I wondered how I was going to feel about posting failed recipes. This has been brutal; and it even led me to call in a close friend Lisa Keys
, owner of the Good Grief Cook to seek council for my anxiety as I was melting down over my failed Mocca Meringues for this recipe.
Despite all of Lisa's advice, my bad luck prevailed and the recipe didn't turn out. I was well aware the fault was my own because I didn't follow Manuela's instruction to "add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time," so the meringue mixture lost its fluff.
Part of why baking is so difficult for me is due to the slow and tedious process of adhering to the recipe's exact measurements. It's a real struggle to stay attentive as your work you way through a recipe; especially when you have to add 2 cups of hot sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Here's how my mind works as I begin my first bake:
The hot sugar comes out of the oven and I start to make the meringues. Checking and re-checking the directions I then pour the egg whites into my stunning Black Pearl Ankarsrum Mixer, and watch as they begin to transform. I stare mesmerized my mind wanders off: "I'm so blessed that Ankarsrum sponsored my contest with a mixer for the winner and so nice for them to send me one as well." A few more minutes pass and then I add more sugar. I admire how beautiful the egg whites look as they dance between the beaters when a question comes to mind: "Did I heat the sugar too long and is it cooling off too fast?" I ponder for a moment, and I quickly reassure myself that everything is okay as I tell myself: "No. You followed the directions and they look fine." I add more sugar and I hear thunder crack and I begin to worry about the weather, and another question comes to mind, "Will the rain effect the barometric pressure and ruin my meringues?" Mind you, I've only added ½ a cup of hot sugar at this point and my blood pressure is rising. Then my mind screams at me, "Oh no, should I stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl or will that mess up my meringue?" My answers,"Yes, I'll stop the mixer and scrape the sides. Dear Lord, that was a bad idea! The meringue looks weird, I should have left it alone."
More sugar is added and I hear my favorite song on the radio,"Tennessee whisky, Tennessee whisky," George Jones has such a beautiful voice, I love that song. I start singing along. George is done singing and I'm still standing there adding sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, I want to be done. After what seems like 30 minutes (in reality probably only 12) I think, "How in the world can it hurt to add more than 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time?" I knew the minute I threw in the rest of the sugar my meringue had broken, what a disaster.
Unfortunately since I didn't follow the directions, the Mocca Meringues were wet and difficult to pipe, rendering them almost impossible to cook properly; they were undercooked and gooey on the inside regardless of my effort to cook them 20 minutes longer than the recipe calls for.
Even though the product didn't turn out as hoped, I still tried to present my "disaster" beautifully in my photo. My attempt to disguise the ugliness of my creation failed, as it turned out to be more like trying to put lipstick on a pig than food styling!
On the bright side, the Mocca Meringues get crushed up and added to the ice cream cake and were so good that my husband even mentioned how much he liked the "chewy things" in the ice cream!
You see, we never know how it's going to turn out unless we try! I promise from now on that I will follow the recipe and do as Manuela instructs because without her guidance it's seemingly impossible for me to execute the recipe with perfection.
I know this makes absolutely no sense to "Master Bakers,"but for someone like me, baking recipes way outside my comfort zone makes me feel like crying. Therefore, being transparent about my failed recipes is difficult to say the least. As if my disaster attempt at the recipe wasn't enough, I managed to finish my first day of baking by dropping my favorite glass mixing bowl onto the tile floor; shattering it into pieces!
As Manuela says, "Practice, practice, practice! The more you bake the more you learn," and I intend to challenge myself because I aspire to succeed in the same way Manuela excelled until she became the Master Baker she is today!
So now that you've seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela's Mocca Meringue Ice Cream Cake above, say hello to my rendition:
Working to present the cake as best I could despite my set backs, the cake looks scrumptious. I even utilized my ugly mocca meringues to style the photo.
The almond crust was super easy to make once I got the hang of whipping egg whites and following the directions! I over baked the crust a bit and had some trouble keeping the cake frozen enough to get a good photo before the Texas heat began to creep in; and for a first attempt I think I did a pretty good job.
My family loved the flavors of the cake, but especially loved the coffee ice-cream. It's so rich and super easy to make. Plus, there is no need for an ice-cream machine! This cake is so delicious despite my failed Mocca Meringues. I plan to make the Meringues again to work on my technique.
What I Love About This Challenge:
I have pushed myself to operate outside my comfort zone and I've just added three delicious new recipes to my baking repertoire; almond cake, no churn mocca ice cream, and mocca meringues. I also feel more accomplished as a baker after my first bake, I hope you will too!
Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake Notes:
- You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, and cooking spray
- Invest in some vanilla bean paste for all of Manuela's recipes. I use Cambie Confections Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
- Don't freak out over making the Mocca Meringues like I did.
- Follow the recipe! When Manuela says, "Add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time" listen!
- The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela's US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP "Kitchen Pro"
- Don't over bake the almond cake. Make sure you watch your timer closely to make sure you get the perfect golden brown
- If you or your family suffer from nut allergies you can substitute crushed cookies when the recipe calls for ground almonds
I've added a few more notes in the recipe, however if you need step by step instruction after reading Manuela's recipe then please check out her helpful how to videos.
(Manuela's beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)
Now it's your turn to bake your "Master or Disaster" piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by July 1, 2018 Midnight CST.
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 cups (220 gram) powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, optional
- 2 cups (250 gram) ground almonds (Nut Allergy: substitute your favorite crushed cookie)
- 2 ½ cups ( 500 ml ) heavy cream, cold
- 5 oz(150 ml) sweetened condensed milk, cold ( see note below ↓)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoon strong espresso coffee, cold (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
- 12-15 Mocca meringues, crushed into small pieces (or crushed cookies)
- Makes ( 40 pieces)
- 2 cups (400-gram) superfine sugar or sugar
- ¾ Cups (200-gram) egg whites
- seeds from ½ vanilla bean pod, optional
- 2 tablespoon espresso powder (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
- lemon juice for cleaning the bowl and whisk
- You will need...
- piping bag
- wilton 1M nozzle
- Wipe a stainless-steel bowl and the whisk attachment, of a standing mixer, with a paper towel moistened with lemon juice.
- This step is done to eliminate any trace of grease, which would hinder the egg whites from stiffening.
- Preheat your oven to 200 C° / 392 F°
- Line two large baking trays with a silicone mat, or use parchment paper and set aside.
- Prepare the standing mixer, by wiping the standing mixer bowl and whisk with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
- Line a medium baking tray with baking parchment, pour in the sugar and warm it in the oven for 7 minutes. ( use a timer)
- A soon as the sugar is in the oven, right away pour the egg whites into a mixer and whisk them slowly for some minutes, allowing small stabilizing bubbles to form, then increase the speed to medium so the meringues become stiff peaks.
- When you have 30 seconds left of the sugar being in the oven, turn your mixer up to high speed.
- Take the sugar out of the oven, and turn the oven down to 225 F° (100 C°)
- With your mixer on full speed, very slowly add one teaspoon of the hot sugar into the beaten egg whites, take your time when you do this, and don’t be tempted to add more than one teaspoon at a time. (She means it...don't lose your mind and start adding more sugar)
- Make sure the mixture comes back up to stiff peaks after each teaspoon of sugar
- Once you have added all the sugar, add the seeds of the vanilla bean pod, and continue to whisk on full speed until you have a smooth, stiff and glossy mixture and all of the sugar is incorporated.
- Add the espresso powder and continue to mix for one minutt more.
- You will need a disposable piping bag and a wilton 1M nozzle, place the nozzle in the bag and cut the tip-off.
- Spoon your meringues mixture into a large piping bag.
- If you are using parchment paper to pipe the meringues on, you will need to add some meringues mixture underneath the parchment paper below so it sticks to the baking tray.
- Pipe out your meringue swirls, ( watch the video https://youtu.be/ovia5m9JhEE)
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until the meringue bases come off the parchment paper clean.
- These mocca meringues keeps well for 2 weeks, in a container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line a 9-inch (24 cm) round springform pan with parchment paper, grease the sides and set aside.
- Combine one cup of the confectioners’ sugar with the ground almonds in a bowl and set aside.
- Place the egg whites into the bowl and beat on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form about 1 minute.
- Increase the speed to high then add the remaining powdered or confectioners’ sugar, one spoonful at a time.
- Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy and thick.
- Add the vanilla and combine with a spatula.
- With a silicone spatula, fold in the ground almonds and powdered /confectioners’ sugar mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
- Use your spatula to spread evenly and to eliminate any air bubbles.
- Bake on the middle rack of oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Do not over bake this cake! )Manuela bakes her cake base 25 minutes because she loves her almond cake gooey on the inside. I over baked mine but it still tasted great!)
- Let cool completely. Meanwhile, proceed to make the Mocha ice cream.
- Pour cold heavy cream into a bowl, whisk until fluffy, and cold sweet condensed milk and with a spatula combine.
- Add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and with a spatula combine. (you can skip this step if you don’t have vanilla)
- Add the cold strong espresso coffee, followed by the crushed mocca meringues and blend together with a spatula.
- Have a taste if you feel you want more coffee flavor, add a spoonful cold espresso coffee, and with a spatula combine.
- Pour the mixture over the cooled almond crust, tap the pan on the counter a few times to make the ice-cream layer is even.
- Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight, covered well.
- This ice cream cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
- 20 minutes before serving, take the ice cream cake out of the fridge.
- Slice and enjoy!
- Sweet condensed milk usually comes in tins 14oz / 400g by weight, which equals 1 ¼ cups (10 oz / 300 ml by volume)
- Have a great day you all. Love Manuela xo
July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST