Saturday, August 28

Daring Baker's August

And just a wee bit late oops! I seem to be running in circles atm :(

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

As always my adjustments are in red

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup (250ml) whole milk I used lite milk as that's all we have in house these days.
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream - I used thickened cream, hoping to avoid ice crystals as I don't have an ice-cream maker ....... yet!
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract - I omitted this as I used beans instead.

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for an hour. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, then let cool to room temperature.)

2. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2 litre) bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.

3. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into a custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.

4. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon [5ml] if you are using a vanilla bean; 3 teaspoons [15ml] if you are not using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.

5. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it without a machine. See instructions from David Lebovitz:

The recipe was easy enough, I found it a little bit too creamy for my tastes, so would probably revert to using the semi-freddo recipe I have used in the past if I remade it.

Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See “Note” section for cake flour substitution) Basically for every cup of plain flour, remove 2 tablespoons and replace with cornflour.
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt Again I leave salt out of our baking for Shane's health.
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.

2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.

3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.

5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

I actually didn't think I had browned the butter enough, but I think it actually worked quite well. Family was fascinated by the pan of *something* sitting on the stove and kept poking it with a wooden spoon lol!!

Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)

8 large egg whites
½ teaspoon (3g) cream of tartar
½ teaspoon (3g) salt
1 cup (220g) sugar

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.

I only have 5 egg whites, because the ice cream only used 5 yolks and with the ridiculous amount of eggs we go through in a week, I wasn't wasting any - I think this weeks count is 4 dozen. Time to get that chook shed built.

Now to put it altogether, you can read the full instructions on Elissa's blog. This is how I did mine. Cake was baked in a slice tray. Cut into shape with a round cutter, size 1 1/2 inch. Small balls of icecream placed on top and then covered with meringue!

I've decided making minature Bombe Alaska's was a dumb idea! I thought they would be easier, but I ended up with meringue from head to toe practically. A can of Canola oil was my saviour and I used it like a minature turntable along with a trusty crank handled palette knife.

And yes the darn things look like little aliens lol!! But oh my they tasted sooooooooooooo GOOD!!!!


  1. Personally I'm all about the taste. :)

  2. Very clever idea with the canola can, desperate times call for desperate measures!!! Great job, well done.

    Cath @

  3. Very tasty looking aliens though :) lol