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 Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
(Written while cake is baking:) First, I would like to rave about beurre noisette. Browned butter. Whatever you want to call it. I wasn't sure how this would work, and was a little cautious making it. But ohhhhh my. Noisette means hazelnut in French, and it's called that because the butter turns brown and gets a delicious nutty flavor. Like a kind of unbelievable one. And oh-so-awesome. Just the batter for the cake is wonderful, I can't wait to see how it is cooked! And with the ice cream I picked... excited!
Which ice cream, then? The amazing delicious lemon ginger one that I used last month! It was so tasty, but I only got one spoonful of it and I didn't find the time to make it again. I was so excited when I realized I could do it for this month's challenge. I *do* have the recipe for you this time, unlike last month when I totally lied and never posted it. (Sorry.) I decided to try to be a little healthier and used half and half instead of heavy cream. I'll let you know if that turns out to be an ok thing.
Ok, it has all been made (and eaten!) now. The icecream was still really good, but I think that if you decrease the fat like that you *really* need to make it in an icecream maker. It was more icey than creamy. Which made it hard to bite with the cake. The cake itself was really good, as expected. I will definitely make it again! I decided for the ganache to use a cooking light recipe that I have made before to go on a (peanut butter chocolate) cake, which was delicious. Unfortunately, it was a little thick, so while it's still pretty, it's not quite as pretty as I wanted. I'll quit talking now and let you see the prettiness:
The Ginger Lemon Ice Cream recipe is one I tinkered with, while the others are straight from their original sources. Enjoy!
Ginger Lemon Ice Cream
Yields about 1 quart
2/3 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
2 cups heavy cream (or half & half, if you like)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Zest of 2 Lemons
5 large egg yolks
Cut the ginger into thin slices. In a saucepan, place the ginger slices and add just enough water to cover. Bring the water to boil and blanch the ginger for two minutes. Drain. Save the ginger and discard the liquid. (This is important! Ginger has the lemon-like ability to curdle milk if not blanched.)
In a separate bowl, combine the finely grated lemon zest, sugar and milk. If you have a clean processor, throw the sugar and lemon zest into it. Mix with milk thoroughly until the sugar dissolves.
Place the reserved ginger back into the saucepan. Add the milk mixture, half a cup of cream and salt. Warm the mixture. Once warm, remove from the heat. Cover and steep for at least an hour or up to a whole day. I did overnight.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
Rewarm the ginger mixture. Remove the ginger slices with a slotted spoon. Dispose of the ginger. Slowly pour the warmed mixture in the egg yolks and continue to whisk.
Once combined, return the egg-ginger mixture to the saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the spoon. Strain the mixture into a bowl and combine with the remaining cream.
Immediately chill the mixture in the freezer. Once thoroughly cooled, freeze it in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Get the other recipes by clicking below.
Brown Butter Pound Cake
19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (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.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup evaporated fat-free milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar and next 4 ingredients (through 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate) in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
Cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves and chocolate melts, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla; cool completely.
Use immediately if wanting to coat something, otherwise chill 30 minutes.
Assembly Instructions – Ice Cream Petit Fours
1. Line a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups (450ml to 500ml) ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.
2. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.
3. Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.
4. Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)
5. While the glaze cools, trim ¾” (2cm) off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5” (19cm) ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5”x1.5” (4cmx4cm).
6. Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.
7. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.