Daring Kitchen Disaster with a piping hot mug of Humili-tea :)

Gluten free yeast cake1

Let me tell you a tale...

Once upon a time, not-so-long ago, there lived a young girl, willful and feminist. She spent her days carefree while taking care to stay away from the Kitchen. When her mother suggested that she pick up basic cooking (note: not culinary!) skills, she stuck her nose up, nonchalantly tossed her head and walked away....

Then came a time in her life, when she lived alone growing alarmingly atheist about food and struggling to turn to tangible the agonizingly nostalgic slivers of memory of mom's delicious cooking. And, then, she had to do the unthinkable... Pick up the ladle and spoon and get with it..

Over time, the past prejudices became mere amusing anecdotes and she prided herself on being a rather good, nay, awesome home chef. She came to think of the kitchen as her domain, holding to price any small change her rather accomodative husband unwittingly made. She insisted that no feat was beyond her and Ha! everything can be made perfect in the first attempt.

On any day, she could spin a mouthwatering meal out of the humblest of ingredients. Whenever she saw something new in the food magazines, she tossed her head nonchalantly, walked tall and steady into the kitchen, did a bit of this and that and came out bearing a lovely tray of hot food, beautifully styled, perfectly photographed and then served it cold!

Lunch - Antipasti

Then.... one day, it came crashing down. The bubble, the lofty self-perception and along with it an era of hegemonic self indulgence.... Ah! Karma exists, indeed!

Yes, dear readers... that arrogant, young (!!!) girl is/was/am me :) And my judgement day came today while attempting my Daring Bakers Challenge. And, what a hard fall it was.. Fortunately, I was rooted sufficiently to the ground, to take the failure in stride and laugh about it and learn something along the way.

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

What happened you ask? Well... It started with me running out of regular all purpose flour. Cocky, as I was, I decided I would just go gluten free and use rice and buckwheat flour. I mean, how difficult can it be, right? Wrong!

Top view - yeast cake

First, that little thing called gluten plays a rather significant role in dough becoming elastic. So my gluten free mixture just never came together into a tacky dough. It looked like a tart crust, smooth but crumbly. Nevertheless, I left it to rise, hoping, things would fix themselves along the way. Wrong again!

The dough never rose! So, after about 2 hours of patience and prayer, I decided to get on with it and just enjoy the experiment, however it turns out. :). So, I pressed the dough into a square pan, spread my meringue over, sprinkle a generous amount of dry fruits preserved in brandy, topped with another layer or the questionable dough and baked it. To finish, I spread some more meringue and baked until golden brown.

And, well, needless to say, it was disaster... LOL

The cake itself was abysmally dry and had a weird texture and taste. I have a sneaking suspicion that rice flour was the culprit on the taste. The yeast never worked with these flours. There was not even a minuscule rise. I honestly do not know how the gluten free bakers do it! I always thought they were resourceful and cool. Now, I have a new found respect for her, her and her!!

Gluten free Yeast cake with Meringue filling & brandied fruits

Nevertheless, I am happy I tried it out, even though my inner good self was snickering away at my right sized ego. LOL.. Now I'll just go get myself Shauna's book and let the learning begin.. :)

Meanwhile, you guys should head over to Daring Kitchen, to see how many people got it right, with or without gluten! :)

But, before you leave, I beseech you to help the Japanese Red Cross by participating in the International Food Bloggers Auction for Japan...

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