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Month 2 of my Daring Bakers Challenges.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers and Nainomo Bars.

I was initially excited about the idea of a GF challenge which then dissipated when I realized I didn’t really want to eat a GF graham cracker let alone make an entire dessert out of the stuff. I carried on however with the actual GF baking mostly so I could work with unfamiliar ingredients. The whole point of DB is the challenge right?

I followed the posted recipe exactly although my hunt for sorghum flour was almost the dealbreaker. The finished dough was very soft and sticky but the baked cookies were actually pretty good. I only nibbled on a small piece since I needed the rest for the Nainomo bars.

This is where I would insert a photo of the finished graham crackers but in my eagerness to move onto the next step of the challenge I kind of forgot to actually take a picture. Oops.

Now on the Nainomo Bars.

Immediately after looking over the posted recipe I decided I needed to make a major change (or two). I don’t like¬†coconut. Or more specifically shredded coconut. I’m ok with coconut milk, essence etc. Just no shredded pieces please. Mixing the coconut with graham crackers, sugar, nuts and chocolate wasn’t going to make me hate it any less. So bye bye coconut. Hello rolled oats.

From there it was a slippery slope to more changes. I got excited over the ‘custard’ layer until I realized the Birds custard powder (which I always have in the cupboard because I grew up with the stuff and as far as I’m concerned it IS a staple) was merely a coloring and slight flavoring agent in the custard layer. That custard layer I was excited about is in essence just yellow icing. I began to wonder if maybe I should skip the challenge.

Instead I bring you a Nainomo “inspired” torte.

The crust was made according to the posted recipe with¬†2 substitutions… no coconut (used rolled oats) and pecans instead of almonds (that was what I had on hand). I also decided to grind everything together for a less chunky cookie base. The “custard” layer of yellow icing was replaced with a vanilla bean homemade custard and I used semi-sweet chocolate for the top.

Rich and seriously easy if you use store bought graham crackers.

Having never eaten an original Nainomo bar I can’t say if I’ve bastardized the original concept or simply paid homage to it with a dessert you can impress dinner guests with. Either way I kind of like what I did.

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This year the goals will be a little different. In addition to knitting/spinning goals I’m also adding some baking goals as well.

Knitting:

1: Steeks. Doesn’t need to be a BIG project but I’ve been putting this challenge off for years and it’s time I face it.

2: Knit at least 1 sock yarn shawl. I have 78 skeins of sock yarn and it will take me YEARS to knit that all into socks.

3: Knit something out of one of my precious Wollmeise sock yarns. I’ve got 4 skeins that deserve to be knit up.

Spinning:

1: Spin my Fair Isle sweater yarn. This was started for Tour de Fleece 2009 but never made it past 12oz of singles. I still have 1.25lbs of grey left to spin plus about 12oz of white left to spin and ply up before I can call this project complete.

2: Spin a true laceweight yarn.

Baking:

1: Participate in all the Daring Bakers challenges.

2: Try at least 1 new bread recipe each month.

I think I’m going to have a busy year ahead of me.

Flickr Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

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