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”.
Baked alaska sandwich - brown butter pound cake + brown bread ice-cream
First off, if you haven’t ever visited Elissa’s blog (actually, I hadn’t either until today), head over there like right now! She is super incredibly talented and only 18. I can’t even remember what I was doing at that age, but definitely not taking photos as amazing as the ones she’s got on her site.
Back to the challenge, I followed the given recipe for the Brown Butter Pound Cake, which was very straightforward and very delicious fresh from the oven (it dried out a bit the next day but the ice-cream soaked into it and made it ok). Actually, one little part was not so straightforward – I accidentally threw out the solids left over when making the browned butter, but realised later they would have added more flavour to the cake. No biggie.
For the ice-cream, I made a Brown Bread ice-cream using a combination of recipes, one found here at Nordljus and one here from The Times online. Basically, I made the crumbs using the recipe posted at Nordljus, and I made the ice-cream base using the Times recipe. The only change I made was to use leftover crusts, even though the recipe states to use crustless bread. Well, I had to clear out the freezer to make space for the finished baked alaska, and these crusts had been hoarded for awhile now. Sometimes the MC’s request crustless sandwiches and rather than fight about it, I just save the crusts for later ☺
Crunchy, sweet, toasty crumbs, yum!
This is what happens to frozen cream when heated
The meringue part was straightforward too, I used 3 eggwhites rather than the recommended 8 because I only made two mini desserts (I whipped in 3 heaped tablespoons of caster sugar and a bit of vanilla extract, but forgot to add any salt). Not having a blowtorch, I baked the finished “bombes” in the oven, but only the tops got browned. Then I hit on the brilliant idea of holding the covered cakes close to the gas flame on the hob, and they coloured up in a flash ☺
Not content with that small act of pyromania, I then tried to set fire to my baked alaska. Trying to heat up the baked alaska, and the alcohol, then handling matches and the shutter button while keeping small children at bay - no flambé.
C'mon, burn will ya!
Alcohol is supposed to be flammable! Can't you read Rum?
So I waited for Mr. Kitchen Hand and voila!
Thanks Elissa for a fun and fiery challenge. Do visit the rest of the Daring gang to see what they’ve come up with. The challenge recipe can be found at the Daring Kitchen or our host’s blog.
Booze is deceptively hard to light, the alcohol needs to be warmed up to about 130˚F and it needs to be at least 80 proof (beer won't cut it). The food to be flambed also needs to be warm enough so the alcohol doesn't cool too rapidly. For more flambe information and important SAFETY PRECAUTIONS, check here.