People Worldwide Make My Daring Bakers Challenge: Filipino Desserts

photo: R. Blackwell
REPOST. Original posting date 11/27/11.

News has spread that the founder of Daring Bakers, Lis Cifelli, has passed away.  As a tribute to her, the Daring Bakers community is posting memories and recipes.  I have decided a fitting way would be to repost this as we think of this great learning tool that DB is, but also because of the recent Philippine typhoon. 

It took me almost four years. It took me that long to host the Daring Bakers challenge. This blog will be four years old next month and in the following January I also joined the Daring Bakers. I knew back then what I would use as my challenge for the group and the opportunity finally came.

Let's start with an explanation of what Daring Bakers is. It's an internet group made up mostly of food bloggers, although having a blog is not a requirement. Each month a member hosts the challenge for the month. The idea is that the challenge should teach some baking techniques or introduce us to some baked goods that we might never try otherwise. The challenge is posted on the 1st and for the entire month everyone is busy making it and posting their results on the member forum. On the 27th of each month it goes public and food bloggers all over the world post their results on their blogs. Over the years I've made croissants to danishes to fancy tarts and pastries. Some have been really challenging and other things had been much easier than I would have anticipated.

When I first joined, the host schedule went by seniority according to when you joined the group. Even though the membership was a lot smaller back then, I knew it would be many years before I got to host. But sometime later the scheduling changed and I became aware that I could volunteer to host. This was a year ago and I was told I could have November 2011 if I wanted it. I said yes and spent time over the last year practicing and perfecting which recipes I wanted to put up, even though I had known from the start what recipe it would be. Each recipe needs to be well thought out and documented before posting.

November 1st was posting day. I misunderstood and didn't realize that I was supposed to post the challenge, I thought the group founders would. We in California are at the end of the global spin of timezones. I found out that I was about 18 hours overdue in posting the challenge and people in Australia, Korea, Greece, Spain, etc. were all posting on the member forum - Where is the challenge!! Oops. 

My challenge was titled - Filipino Desserts. I always knew I wanted to do Sans Rival and later I decided to add Bibingka as well. The Sans Rival was meant to challenge skills for those newer members who had never made a meringue dacquoise and French buttercream before. The bibingka was to add a cultural challenge for a flavor/dessert that many would never have had.  Although the desserts had required elements, they were allowed to modify the flavorings and choice of nuts in the Sans Rival.

I've posted these recipes myself over the years, so I won't here, just click the hyperlinks to get to the recipes. Instead I've decided to share some of the results from the other bloggers worldwide in the collage above. What I especially liked was some of the variations of flavor and styling. Some did a more rustic take by leaving the edges unfrosted and others made individual mini cakes versus a large single cake.

I'm happy to say that the results were great and many people commented on how much they liked the Sans Rival. Many of them were served on Thanksgiving. Hardly anyone tried the bibingka, but that's alright. I posted something that I love, was new to them, and represented the Philippines.