Here is the official recipe. I would have posted it here but it was way way to long. Let me start out by saying WEEEEEE I did it! The idea was lots more intimidating that reality. The recipe is actually pretty simple there is just alot of waiting for things to rechill up. I am thinking once I get a freezer I can make a batch once every several months and take it out as needed for a quick treat.
This is My first Daring Baker Challenge, I have been amazed by everyone's ideas and inspired by there results (not to mention stunning pictures). I was encouraged by what I achieved and it feels good to do this and have this experience (and goodies) to share. I grew up with everything made from scratch, we butchered our own pigs, goats, chicken, rabbits and deer. we grew our own veggies and fruits (we got a 5 gallon bucket of strawberries a day when they were in season). I had forgotten how good that was. So thanks DB for reminding me what a kitchen is for.
I actually made three braids and am making a 4th today. The top one is the Cherry Almond, in the middle is the Apple, and lastly is a savory Moroccan pork. The apple one if the first one I did and I had yet to master the braiding process but once you cut it up no one could tell.
I did the official apple one, with a honey caramel sauce and whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon (Indra Loved it, Me I loved the sauce). I used my fancy new slicer and sliced my apples extra thin. they were beautiful and when done just melted in your mouth.
A cherry almond one (My favorite). I took a bag of frozen black cherries (sugar free) and simmered them, I added almond extract, cardamon, and lemon zest. then just simmered till it was thick and very tasty (I see cherry jam in my future). I made an almond custard to go with it (also easy and oh soo good). Unfortunately this braid suffered the same fate as many other people's and leaked, it still tasted Divine though. I think in future I will A. braid better, B. not fill so full, and C. find a nice sauce to cut the richness of this combo.
The Moroccan Pork one was a failure. It was pretty enough, with salt crusting the outside of a near perfect looking braid, but taste wise it sucked. Starting from the top, To much salt on the crust, to much Moroccan Rub on the meat, The meat needed something extra to up the impact, I am thinking dates and coconut if I do it again. To be honest the real failure was me using a filling I had absolutely no experience with. It sounded good in theory but didn't work out in practice.
Today I am making a Blackberry something for Indra (I have not decided if it will be braid shaped or not). We picked a bunch this morning and it sounds scrumptious. She is angling for more whipped cream but I am thinking a sour cream sauce of some kind will balance the sweetness of the berries just right. We will just have to see what happens. I am hoping for enough dough left over that I can do something with cinnamon, sugar nuts and raisins, something more winter / fall then spring tasting. That may wait another week or two though.