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Baked Alaska and Ice cream Petit Fours

August 27, 2010

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Another ice cream and cake combo for the Daring Bakers, but I had fun with this one. I decided to make both Baked Alaska and Petit fours, all using the same brown butter pound cake.

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Baked Alaska is a proper old fashioned dessert, it reminds me of school dinners, although I can’t actually remember ever eating it at school. Arctic rolls and Queen of Puddings were common occurrences on the menu though; I guess I’m confusing it with one of those.

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I wanted to continue the butter flavour and so thought this was the perfect opportunity to make the caramel ice cream that I’ve wanted to make for so long. I made David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, following the recipe to the letter, and it turned out perfectly; I can see myself becoming rather a fan of his recipes. It was gorgeous, but exceedingly sweet, and despite myself I found that I was standing over the tub of ice cream with a spoon on more than one occasion.

A while after first reading the brown butter pound cake recipe, I realised that I had tried making a cake on a similar vein before, using a Nigella recipe for a burnt butter cake, I think. I vaguely remembered that that burnt butter cake was heavenly, so I had high expectations of this recipe. It didn’t live up to my expectations, it was good, very good, but that’s all and I was expecting something special, extraordinary, even.

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I cut the cake into 3 layers, so that I could use 2 for the Petit fours and cut circles out of the other for the Baked Alaskas. I wanted to make individual Baked Alaskas, when they’re are only 2 of us in the house, things that need to be eaten immediately have to be made in small quantities. The smallest domed cups I have are my pretty little tea cups, so I took the risk that they’d survive a night in the freezer and used them as moulds for the Baked Alaska. Luckily they were sturdy enough to survive the freezer, and live to have tea drunk from them once again.

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The Baked Alaskas came out beautifully; the Petit fours were another kettle of fish. They were easy to make and looked beautiful until I tried to glaze them with the chocolate glaze, at which point (in my not- particularly warm kitchen) the ice cream melted despite my having left the glaze to cool as much as possible. The given recipe made a glaze that was far too thick to be used to coat the Petit fours and so I ended up mixing in milk, until it reached a pouring consistency. The ice cream continued to melt once I’d put the Petit fours back in the freezer, the residual warmth of the glaze was obviously just enough to continue to melt the ice cream. They collapsed. The chocolate glaze may have ruined the Petits fours, but it made the most wonderful hot chocolate base. I used a couple of squares of Green and Black’s Maya Gold in with the rest of the chocolate, which imparted a beautiful and subtle spiciness to the chocolate glaze.

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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”.

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Brown Butter Pound Cake

137g unsalted butter

20g cornflour

80g plain flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

55g light brown sugar

37g caster sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste

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Oven temp = 160˚C

Grease and line a loaf tin.

Brown butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, until it is brown in colour and smells nutty. Pour into a shallow container and freeze until cool.

Cream browned butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla bean paste.

Stir in flour, salt, cornflour and baking powder.

Bake for around 20 minutes until golden brown ontop.

Allow to cool, before turning out.

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When cool cut the cake into 3 layers lengthwise, reserve 2 layers for the petit fours, 1 layer for the baked alaska

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Caramel Ice Cream – made exactly to David Lebovitz recipe, here.

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Baked Alaska

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Meringue

4 egg whites

60g caster sugar

60g icing sugar

1 tsp vinegar

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Whisk the egg whites until the form stiff peaks.

Whisk in the sugar and the vinegar

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for 2 tea cup sized Baked Alaskas:

Cut 2 circles, the same diameter as the tea cups out of the brown butter cake. Line tea cups with cling film and fill with softened ice cream, place circles of cake ontop and freezer until hardened.

Remove from freezer, turn out onto a baking sheet, and pipe meringue over the ice cream.

Place into a very hot oven (250˚C) for 5-10 minutes, until peaks are golden brown.

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Petit Fours

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Chocolate Glaze

100g dark chocolate

25g Green and Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate

125ml Double Cream

3/4 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Heat cream and golden syrup until it just boils, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and vanilla.

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Create a 1 cm thick rectangle of ice cream the same size as the cake, freeze until solid, then place between 2 layers of cake and freeze again.

When solid cut into small squares, cover with the chocolate glaze and return to the freezer, before the ice cream melts.

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