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 an Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
I decided to make the Ice Cream Petit Fours for this challenge. Seems I have been meringued out lately so the Baked Alaska was not calling to me. this was a comedy of farce experience for me due to lack of attention and impatience. I mixed all my dry ingredients together and only read after I had to beat the sugar with the butter. I did not freezer my ice cream into a shape first. I just cut the cooled cake, spread the half melted ice cream, put the top on and threw it in the freezer. Then after 2 hours I was impatient and glazed right away. My cut squares leaked not completely frozen ice cream that were way bigger then the 1.5 inches. My glazes was to thick, even hot, for the job. I got in the end pretty big Petit Fours but they did look great. I did not have cute little almond paste decorations or candies to decorate…but I had frozen jalapeno peppers! This was an awesome combo actually. I had friends over last night for a pot-luck dinner and this was dessert. They vanished in a blink of an eye.
This recipe calls for beurre noisette, or also called browned butter. According to Wiki: Beurre noisette is frequently used in French pastry production. It can also be used as a warm sauce to accompany a variety of savory foods such as winter vegetables,pasta, fish, omelettes, chicken, etc. Unsalted butter is melted over low heat and allowed to separate into butterfat and milk solids. The milk solids naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and, if left over gentle heat, will begin to brown. As the milk solids reach a toasty hazelnut color, the pan is removed from the heat. Beurre noisette may be used in its liquid state, or cooled to a solid form. It has a characteristic warm, nutty flavour, and is particularly included in the batters for madeleines and financiers.
Ice Cream Petit Fours
Ice cream – 45 min active time, ice cream rests/chills for 1 hour then overnight.
Brown Butter Pound Cake – 2 hours (includes cooling time)
Chocolate Glaze – 15 minutes
Assembly– Ice cream must be frozen ahead of time several hours, then the cake and ice cream freeze overnight. After dipping, the petit fours freeze for one hour.
Recipe 1.Make an ice cream of your choice
I used 2 ice creams I had already made, mixed together: Mango Curry Cardamon Ice Cream and Chai Soya Milk Ice Cream.
Recipe 2. 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)
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
Note: The pound cake calls for cake flour. You can make 1 cup of cake flour by placing 2 tbsp of corn starch in a 1 cup measure, and filling to the top with all purpose flour.
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.
Recipe 3. Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)
9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
Stir the heavy cream and light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dark chocolate. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir to completely melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the 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.
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