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Cooking Club Challenge: January's Spectacular Results


Posted by : Souzan Michael, Fri, Feb 01 2013

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 To celebrate the premiere of the new series Sugar Dome, January's challenge featured a dessert recipe instead of a savoury main, and judging by the incredible submissions, the recipe was a hit! The winning recipe was Carrot Cake in a Cup and you all impressed us with your beautiful photos. Thanks to everyone who contributed!


Congratulation to Chefs Brianna G and Leandra T for winning this month's challenge with their collaboration dish.

Chefs Brianna G and Leandra T: “For this carrot cake challenge, my friend and I decided to get a little creative and use a martini glass as our “cup” as a symbol of celebration for the new show Sugar Dome. We also tweaked the recipe a bit and used pineapple and half the amount of orange so that our cake would still be moist. We used half the amount of oil suggested in the recipe and whipped a light fluffy cream cheese icing that we piped on top of the cake. To top it off, we made a spun sugar creation to go with the sugar dome show theme. It was delicious!”


Chef Annunziata Diana: “There is nothing that goes together like better than mid afternoon tea or coffee with something sweet. I love carrot cake and I like making individual sizes, they are comforting and they make you feel special. My grandchildren wouldn't even question that there are vegetables in this dessert, when topped with chocolate. Mine has a little bit of extra decadence. The frosting is Chocolate Hazelnut spread mixed with Cream Cheese topped with Honey Greek Yogourt with a few delectable pieces of chocolate covered orange peel.  So delicious and decadent but easy for any mid week snack or weekend guests!”


Chef Catherine R: “I didn't have any rock glasses, so used what I did have - straight sided wine glasses. I wanted to pipe something really cool on the top, but as I didn't have a piping bag, I used an ice cream scoop to place the icing mound on top of the cake.  Decorated with orange peel and top with a cherry - voila - Carrot Cake in a Cup My Way! To serve I'll pour on a hefty splash of Ginger Ale and have a carrot cake sundae winter style.”


Chef Darlene G: “This is my 1st try at your food challenge, I have checked out the challenges for awhile but thought I would give this one a try due to my love of carrot cake & cream cheese... yes any excuse... I followed your recipe but used a 15x10 pan & I had no trouble with your cooking time.  Worked out great & I do like the idea of individual serving glasses.  This challenge was a success for me & will look forward to more food challenges.”

Chef Darryl J: “Carrot cake seems to be one of those recipes that everyone has a version and sticks to, me included. I haven't deviated from my own "go to" recipe for a while, so this was the perfect chance. After all it is carrot cake, so it's not like you're going to be steered wrong. This edition was no disappointment for sure. I'm not sure I'd go with this display technique if I was serving company though. The glass was happy to show every smudge and smear, very high maintenance presentation approach.”


Chef Elizabeth S: “Delicious carrot cake......spicy and moist with just a whisper of orange flavour (I included grated rind when I saw that a whole orange was required). It was quick and easy to make and baked up beautifully in a 9" x 13" pan. I decorated the individual cakes with my favourite cream cheese buttercream and a candied carrot "rose". Nothing goes to waste here so the cake scraps and extra frosting became carrot cake "truffles" dipped in white chocolate. A very simple and elegant presentation and one that I will use again.”


Chef Jenn S: “I decided to layer the cake inside the glass giving it some more depth. Frosted with buttercream icing topped with shaved carrot as a garish.”

Chef Jenny M: “I love baking, it's a big hobby of mine. I'm known around the office for bringing sweet treats and fancy desserts! When I saw this cooking challenge, I couldn't resist! In my version of this, I followed the cake recipe as is, but instead, I added a layered feature. A layer of Buttercream icing is wedged between 2 layers of the delicious cake, topped with another layer of Buttercream and a delicious fondant carrot! Yum!”

Chef June B: “I layered homemade vanilla cream cheese frosting in different size parfait glasses and my cake also contains zucchini, crushed pineapple, coconut, raisins and chopped pecans.”


Chef Kelly C: “Although it may not appear this way from the photo, I am normally far from a good baker. I was pleasantly surprised at how simple this recipe was, and yet how great it came out looking and tasting. Along with the given recipe, I added pineapple to the cake and made a homemade pineapple cream cheese frosting. To top, I made a few white chocolate decorations as well as combining orange juice with some newly acquired molecular gastronomy skills to create "orange caviar.”


Chef Laurie F: “Theses turned out soo cute!! I followed the recipe pretty close just used a little less carrot because mine were huge. Then I topped it with cream cheese icing and with the new show sugar dome I felt it needed something sweet. I made orange stained glass candy crushed it up and sprinkled it on top.”

Chef Marisa R: “At this time of the year we seem to be counting our calories, yet I find carrot cake to be guilt free because of it's nutritional values with the addition of carrots in it!  This tiny portion size is a perfect snack size, really guilt free and chock full of healthy ingredients. My carrot cake is baked in an oven proof cup that was my mother in laws 70's retro espresso cup! She is no longer with us but, I have her set and it is a lovely memory of when she loved sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee and dessert with the family after Sunday lunch.  My carrot cake in a cup, has an Oatmeal Cinnamon Hazelnut Coffee streusel topping adding a crispy texture and is topped with frozen yogourt and drizzled with caramel! Yummy!”


Chef Sarah R: “I had a lot of fun with this month's Cooking Club Challenge. I decided to make my cakes into little layered cakes, to enjoy more icing, so I baked my cakes on cookies sheets and cut out two small layers for each glass. Also, I love my carrot cake fruity so I added raisins to the cake and made a banana icing by mixing 3 tablespoons of butter, half a ripe banana, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar together. Then I topped my cakes with coconut and dried pineapple bits. They were good enough to want seconds!”




Posted: by Souzan Michael

Get to know:Souzan Michael

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