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”.
Thanks for the challenge Elissa! This was a fun one and a couple of firsts for me.
Every since I received my ice cream makers from Mum & Dad for Christmas a few years back, Mac has asked me to make chocolate ice cream. Sadly slack me has made all types of ice cream but not chocolate, always seemed a dull option when I could play with savoury sorbets and funky flavours like hot cross bun. The decision was an easy one for the ice cream in the baked Alaska, rich decadent chocolate ice cream. Oh how good did it turn out!!! Ohhhhh My God why haven’t I made it before?
I was excited about using beurre noisette. One of the first recipes I made in home economics at school was burnt butter biscuits. I love using it with fish with lemon and pine nuts or sage, but I have never made a pound cake using it.
The whole process was quite fun, browning the butter and then letting it solidify again in order to cream it with the sugar. You ended up with a rich, nutty, dense pound cake, I will be making this again just to have with a cup of tea.
I am no stranger to the good ol baked Alaska, I have made them numerous times and sadly with more success than what I had with these ones.
I am use to baking them not using a blow torch to brown the outside of the meringue. I love having that crispy meringue shell to crack through to reach the still solid ice cream inside. Actually as a child my mother amazed me at this wonderful delight, how can you put ice cream in the oven and it stays cold and solid? Was something I introduced to junior at an early age as well.
Brown Butter Pound Cake
2c plain flour
1/2c packed light brown sugar
1/3c caster sugar
4 large eggs
1/2t pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the centre. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.
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 (I left it overnight).
Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
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.
Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
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 centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
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 didn’t use Elissa’s ice cream recipe (looks delicious though),the vanilla ice cream recipe is available here.
Ultra Rich Chocolate Ice Cream
1 1/2c cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2t vanilla essence
Place cream, milk, sugar and chocolate in to the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir over medium heat until chocolate has melted and sugar dissolved.
Cool slightly and then whisk in egg yolks and essence.
Cool the custard mixture completely. I tend to make it the day before and place it in the fridge so it is completely chilled.
Pour custard in to your ice cream maker and allow to churn until done.
Once churned place in a container in the freeze until needed.
Sara’s notes: As I was making individual square baked Alaskas I placed the ice cream in to a rectangular container, lined with cling wrap, to freeze. This was then unmoulded and cut to the desired shapes.
Cake was cut the same size as the ice cream squares. Ice cream placed on top and then covered with meringue.
I went to use my normal method of baking, but the meringue started to fall from the corners of one. I whipped them out of the oven and finished them via the blow torch. The meringue had crisped while it was in the oven so not all was lost.
These baked Alaskas were very very rich but completely delicious.