So today is the 3rd* and final reveal day of this months Daring Baker Challenge for March and well…..I am writing this actually before I have even begun!!!!
*apparently sometime between the last time I visited the site and yesterday the reveal date kinda changed on me!!
When I first joined the DB, 11 months ago, I was soooo good at gettinig it done early and having the time to contemplate a post, not so much as of late. Lately, I have been scrambling and today I am scrambling HARD!!!!
Let me first off get the formallity out of the way….
The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.
…now let me drive this baby home so I can get in the kitchen!!!!!
I am of Italian descent so I am more than familiar with fresh pasta, bechamel, ragu and of course lasagne, so this month didn’t really phase me much. However, being that this particular version of lasagne is much lighter than mine, I have decided to deviate very little from the recipe Mary, Melinda and Enza have chosen. My version of lasagne is laden with layers of sausage, ground veal, ground beef, garlic scented ricotta and pasta (a typical pan of my lasagne goes at least 15lbs). This is a much lighter version and I figured give it a go!!!
Why then, if it is something I am comfortable with and actually a bit less work than I normally put into, am I scrambling…..and again, scrambling HARD?? Well, this “cake thing” of mine is kinda “taking off”, this week alone I have done 7 cakes (5 paying, 2 gratis), along side of the normal 2 stores to run, 2 dogs to deal with, a house that NEEDS attention and of course my very own RAY!!! It’s sunday you say, the day of rest…not around these parts, I have a cake due for tuesday, one I have always wanted to try but was always intimidated by, well today is the day…this cake is a 3 tiered, carved, fondant coated work of engineering….one of those wobbly wacky looking Dr Suess cakes.
That’s the scramble, so why are you now going to laugh?
As I said earlier, I am not deviating from the recipe much, initially I thought we had no choice but to make spinach pasta and Ray doesn’t “do” spinach, so I told a couple people about it and they are waiting for a taste…this then means I have a sunday meal to make as well, and guess what picky boy wants!!!!
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes!
So go ahead and giggle kids, as I am off to …
Bake 9 cake layers
Put lasagne together
BTW It is 10:58am and I vow to have this post finished, photographed and posted by the end of the day…I refuse to be late this time!!!!!! So more later.
2:44pm- First snag of the day came at 11:30am, the girl that was to open one store was going to be late, as the subway in PGH was down for some reason, so I had to go in. Got the pasta made there, here are some bad pics from cell phone camera.
5:34pm-Snag number 2, camera batteries dead, so no pics of me rolling sheets, but it is a quick charge and you will see them drying. Along with the first of the cake tiers cooling.
6:46pm-Snag number 3, no this one is much more an EVENT!!! While making the bechamel I let the dogs go out in the yard for a bit, as per usual when they returned they pranced around the kitchen. However, I was working on my roux and was being careful not to go past “blonde” on it, so I paid no mind to the happy romping pooches. Long story short…there was a pail of driveway tar out back, somehow it was knocked over and here is the result!!!!
8:18pm-Things are looking up, dinner is done, more cakes in the oven, camera battery is good to go and Mr. Picky Eater is on “floor patrol”!!!!
9:07pm-Taking a Celebrity Apprentice break!!!!
To hell with the time checks, the water is boiling and it will be done in time. The complete recipe can be found here. The only variation from the original recipe was in my Bechamel. When I make this sauce I typically dice a small onion and a couple cloves of garlic and simmer that in the milk, I then strain the milk into the roux and cook as directed in the recipe. I used my own sauce and not the recipe given, I would share that recipe with all of you but then it would no longer be my secret sauce and I would not be a happy boy and let’s face it, after the day I have had we all want me to be a happy boy!!!!!! So I am in the final stretch, it is finally in the oven, obviously I am not going to be eating it tonight but I can say the cooked pasta was divine!!!! It was perfectly “to the teeth”, just as any good pasta should!
TADA, out of the oven with 20 minutes to spare…the only thing is I may not get a plated photo in time, so here is one that has been edited a bit so as not to spoil what I hope will be the surprise!!!!!
And now, one last picture and hopefully a surprise… we are the Daring Bakers, which to me means we go a bit beyond the norm on occasion. Since I have been so into cakes and I have never to my recollection seen a round lasagne…. well, I dared!!!!
Ok, so all done but it was a LOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG day and the only way to sum it up would be to quote my dear Mrs. P, “FAAAKKKK!!!”.