20 Aug 2010

The decision has been made

Here we go, also for this month the PaperChef challenge has gone by and, judging from the submissions, surely not unnoticed; the hosts (Ilva and Mikey) have received in total 10 submissions.
As monthly co-host my duty was to choose a winner among them. Let me first remind you the ingredients you were supposed to use in your creative efforts: Dried cranberries, dates, candied orange peel and flour.
It was very interesting to see what these magic four have inspired in you. The entries may be divided in roughly 3 groups: leavened goodies, savories and baked desserts.
Let's start with the breads and rolls.

To Karen from Prospect in the Pantry, the monthly ingredients were simply speaking tea-times with her siblings in Scotland. She wanted to share with us the relaxed and elegant atmosphere of these occasions with a Date-Nut Bread with Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese.

When talking about Mike, from Spikey Mikeys; our four actors simply tickled his curiosity strongly enough to force him in producing some lovely Spiced Fruit Scrolls (cake, I would add).

Our four ingredients played the right music also to Susan's ears. After realising that flour was actually one of the required ingredients, she was ready to bake a tin of little Orange Pecan Sticky Buns with Dates and Cranberries, showing us also a straightforward technique to produce these little good morning kisses perfectly sticky and elegantly decorated.

Also Tanna, from My Kitchen in Half Cups, heard the bread call but with the enticing addition of booze! With her entry of Breakfast Fruit Bread she brought us to sunny Tuscany with a magic ingredient that speaks the song of sunny Italian countryside: rosemary.

Now to the savory entries.
Asa, from Miss Meister's mat med mera, took the chance of this monthly challenge to write her first post in English doing a really a great job. She came up with a tasty vegetarian dish: Zucchini and date vegetter with fresh cranberries served with Beluga lentils with smoky bell pepper sauce.

I was the other one posting a savory entry with Middle Eastern raviolo served with cranberry-sage butter sauce, fresh peach crescents and thyme leaves.

And what about desserts? Adele from from Will Work For Biltong, offered us a Chocolate, Date and Cranberry Cake with Candied Olives & Orange. Taking inspiration from a classic Nigella's recipe she leap forward in the unknown pairing it with the candied olives.

Naomi, from Bakers Royale, instead presents us a French inspired dessert that clings the eye to the tastiest of Middle Eastern pastry traditions: Crisp Poached Pears Stuffed with Chevre & Haroseth; Served over a Pomegranate Molasses Sauce. The crispy layer around the poached pear is unusual and enticing in the promise to balance the smooth firmness of the poached pear with its creamy stuffing.

Sarah of Simply Cooked, baked for us some Cranberry and Date Jammy Biscuits, rolled with her faithful rolling pin: a cold soda can; a great solution to keep the pastry cold while working it.

In the spirit of Ramadan, Kizzy, from Culinary Annotations created little Orange-Scented Date-Cranberry-Pinoli Pastry. Sweet half-moon of pastry filled with a rich nuts and dried fruits filling, simple decadent pleasure for every coffee break.

And the winner is... Asa! Her smoky pepper sauce just won me over. The coupling with the Beluga lentils and onions complete the perfect mouthbite.
Congratulation Asa!


  1. Brilliant round-up, Mr Witty Comments. You have a great writing style. :) And a well-deserved winner. Those veggie pancakes are so wonderful I wish I had made them myself.

  2. I don't envy you having to pick a winner, they are all wonderful dishes!

  3. Are you kidding me?? That is so fun! Thank you :-) I kind of surprised myself with that smokey sauce and use it for various dishes. Now I have to start writing more posts in English ;-)

    Wow! What a great start on this grey and rainy saturday. I'm off to our yearly Farmers Market that starts today :-)

  4. Very tasty roundup. Congratulations to Asa!