Friday, September 3, 2010

Baked Alaska and Petit Fours - August 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge

August was my first month as a Daring Baker. The Daring Kitchen is the home of The Daring Bakers and The Daring Cooks. The premise of both groups is to create one recipe each month, given to us by a monthly host. We all create the same exact recipe and then post about it on our personal blogs on a designated date. And so here I am on my first challenge and already a week late

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”.

I have to admit that I was nervous about this first challenge. Ice cream from scratch? Torch? Meringue? Petit Fours? Brown Butter? What??!? I got so close to foregoing the whole thing but then the weather got so hot that I decided...hmmm...maybe I can try making Ice Cream.

I don't have an Ice Cream Maker but was surprised to find out that you can make it without one. So, combining recipes and methods from various sources, I came up with my Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream.

During my last trip to Michael's, I bought myself a set of silicon baking cups. My boys love muffins and I use up cupcake liners all the time so I thought it would be a good buy. And since I already have all the ingredients for a brown butter pound cake...oh alright! I'll do the challenge. I'll make Baked Alaska Cupcakes!

Brown butter intimidated me. I kept reading and re-reading the recipe. I kept asking my husband, "Does that look like dark chocolate brown to you?"..."How about now?"...."Now?"

I ended up with a lot of extra batter after I filled up my baking cups. So, I decided to go ahead and make Petit Fours, too. Hey, I want to be daring, right?

The pound cake was indeed nutty and toasty as promised. It reminded me of danish cookies. I had a lot of fun with my first challenge. And even got to use a torch! Here's how I made the ice cream, cupcakes and petit fours...



  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt (pick up between thumb and two fingers)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup caramel dessert sauce

Whisk together milk, instant coffee, sugar and salt in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer and pour mixture into it.

After 45 minutes, open the door and check it. As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and use a hand mixer or spatula to beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freeze.

Continue to check mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as its freezing.

When it reaches "soft-serve" consistency, transfer half of the ice cream to a one quart or two quart lidded container. Pour half of the caramel sauce over the top. Then repeat layers with remaining caramel and ice cream. Swirl the caramel into the ice cream using a chopstick or knife.

Cover the surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, let ice cream ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.


  • 19 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Grease silicone baking cups or line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Also grease a 9 x 9 square pan if you want Petit Fours.

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.

Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

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.

Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop to cover the cups with 1/2 inch of batter. Scrape the remaining 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 10-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the oven!

I forgot to take photos of the cupcakes!
Cool the square cake in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

(for the Baked Alaska Cupcakes)

  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 
  • 1/8 teaspoon flavoring (optional)

In a large bowl, combine meringue powder, water and 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of the sugar.
Whip at high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the rest of the sugar and whip at high speed for 5 more minutes until meringue is stiff and dry.

(for the Ice Cream Petit Fours)



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.

(Assembly Instructions)

    • Once the cupcakes are completely cool, scoop the ice cream on top of the cake. Pack it down with a spoon and level it with a knife if necessary.  Place the cupcakes in the freezer and allow them to re-freeze for at least 3 hours.  You can even leave it overnight if you would like.

    • Make the meringue (see above).
    • Pipe the meringue over the cake using a Wilton 1M tip. In order to not have your cupcakes melt away while decorating, decorate one at a time and keep the rest in the freezer.

    • Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. 

    (Assembly Instructions)

    • Line a 9”x9” 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 ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.
    • 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.
    • 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. 
    • Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)
    • While the glaze cools, trim off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square ice cream cake. Cut the cake into small squares, length about the size of its height.

    • Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.

    • Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour. Then decorate as desired.

    Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream                                                                                                                                   


      1. Ooo... you made both the petite fours AND the baked Alaska! I am uber-impressed! Way to go on the August challenge, you totally rocked it out of the park! Keep up the amazing bakes ^_^

      2. wow! thanks. you did a great job with your baked alaska, too.

      3. You have discussed an interesting topic that every body should know. Very well explained with examples. i have found a similar websitePure Gelato Sydney visit the site to know more about puregelato


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