Are you a "daring" baker or chef?

Whatever your answer, you may want to become an official "Daring Cook" or "Daring Baker" - the rewards range from joining secret monthly challenges to participating in foodie forums and reviewing cookbooks all at no cost, except your time.

On April 27, the Daring Bakers got a shout out by a proud member and Canadian teacher, foodie blogger EatLiveTravelWrite who wasn't able to join the Daring Bakers' April Challenge and who noted:

"Circumstances beyond my control have prevented me from completing this month's Daring Bakers' challenge according to the recipes provided. I did want to participate though and had the brilliant idea to introduce Les Petits Chefs to the Daring Bakers by way of this challenge and Jamie Oliver's recipe for quick steamed microwave pudding cakes. Steaming a pudding in a microwave with 9 year old boys - that's a Daring Baker wouldn't you agree???"

Curious to know what these private challenges are all about, it appears to be very simple. On the 17th of every month, members, known as Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers, have access to a forum where a challenge with one new recipe is posted by an alternating host on the Daring Kitchen's site; each member then creates the recipe, records the process and posts on their respective blogs all on the same date.

There are a few rules that must be followed to ensuring you are kept in the secret cooking society:

- You must participate in eight months of the 12 monthly challenges

- Never post early on your blog

- Always comment if you are unable to participate

- Missing two challenges consecutively and not commenting (that you are unable to participate) results in no more access to the challenges or forums.

- All challenges should be followed as the host defined them, however dietary restrictions allow for substitutions and omissions.

- Keep all challenges secret from outside the Daring Kitchen private forums

To date Lis, the cofounder of the Daring Kitchen, told Relaxnews that there are "currently over 4,500 members worldwide" including individuals from the "USA, Canada, England, Australia, India, Africa, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Iceland..." A third of the group is male and numbers are constantly growing - each month "membership usually rises between 200-300."

It all began in November 2006 when Lis and Ivonne, partner in the Daring Kitchen, "baked the same recipe separately in our own kitchens. Then we blogged about our different results even though we followed the same recipe. That's what started the ball rolling... people reading our blogs asked to join in the next time we baked - it became a monthly event from there, gaining more and more people each month."

Concerned you are not quite so daring or don't have the time to commit to eight challenges a year? There's no reason why you can't create your own mini challenges. Perhaps cooking clubs are the new book clubs. By the way, if you rise to the challenge and deem yourself a "Daring" member, cookbook reviews are welcomed and published.

To see April's challenge go to: http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2010/04/les-petits-chefs-meet-the-daring-bakers-food-revolution-week-5/

To become a Daring Cook or Baker, visit: http://thedaringkitchen.com

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