Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Daring Bakers Challenge - Ice Cream Petit Fours

Pineapple Ice Box cake ....No this is not a picture nor a post about pineapple ice box cake but it was the first cake that I ever ate that was cold and had cream on it at least to my recollection. If my mom is reading this she may correct me. The cake was made by my aunt who was considered 'The' baker in our family she baked for all the holidays and basically whatever other occasion she could find. There was always something sweet to eat at her house. I'm not sure on what occasion she made this but I remember being captivated by it. She's no longer with us but her baking skills are still missed.

Like many others I always had the choice of my birthday cake, as a child it was all about the character as I got older it was about the taste. For my 17th birthday my mom decided rather last minute that I should have friends over for my birthday and I of course thought that it was a great idea. That said we had to get the menu and dessert done rather quickly and the cake that I chose was the pineapple ice box cake.

When I saw this month's (August) Daring Bakers challenge I immediately thought of my pineapple ice box cake. Luckily for me I chose to make this the one week in August where we had warm temperatures and right before we left on holidays. I'm happy that I made it before because we got back Saturday night to chilly temps after having two weeks of glorious sunshine and warmth. Now that that everything has been packed away I'm finally sitting down to post.

The Daring Bakers - August Edition - Ice Cream Petit Fours

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 Alasa or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

I chose to make 4 individual bundt cakes and then one  loaf cake instead of a sheet cake as the recipe mentioned. The center I filled with the vanilla ice cream and topped with a dark chocolate ganache. As we were leaving on holidays I thought this was a better compromise as we made a few petit fours for us and then we took the loaf cake with us on holidays. The cake was incredibly moist and the beurre noisette definitely gave it that nutty taste. We served this accompanied with a glass of Mas Amiel (2003) a sweet dessert wine that complimented the beurre noisette and the chocolate ganache.

The Daring Bakers - August Edition - Ice Cream Petit Fours

Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
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
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
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

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)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. 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.

If its any indication, we are not big ice cream /cake fans but this was subtle enough that I can see myself making this again once warmer weather returns....which given current forecasts may not be any time soon.

Bon Appétit


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