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Nutty and Toasty Meets Cool and Creamy, yah as she says the taste was exactly same. Somehow I managed to do this month challenge amidst my hectic schedule, because I was totally in love with that Baked Alaska. Hurray I had my blow torch in handy too. The brown butter cake was totally awesome. Here is my real challenge.....

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”.

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

Method :

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.

Brown Butter Pound Cake

Ingredients :

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

Method :

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.

Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)

Ingredients :

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

Method :

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.

Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)


8 large egg whites
½ teaspoon (3g) cream of tartar
½ teaspoon (3g) salt
1 cup (220g) sugar


Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.

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.

Assembly Instructions – Baked Alaska

1. Line four 4” (10cm) diameter tea cups with plastic wrap, so that plastic wrap covers all the sides and hangs over the edge. Fill to the top with ice cream. Cover the top with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze for several hours, or until solid.
2. Level the top of the brown butter pound cake with a serrated knife or with a cake leveler. Cut out four 4” (10cm) diameter circles from the cake. Discard the scraps or use for another purpose.
3. Make the meringue (see above.)
4. Unwrap the ice cream “cups” and invert on top of a cake round. Trim any extra cake if necessary.
5. Pipe the meringue over the ice cream and cake, or smooth it over with a spatula, so that none of the ice cream or cake is exposed. Freeze for one hour or up to a day.
6. Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. Or, bake the meringue-topped Baked Alaskas on a rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F/260°C oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.

Finla  – (August 27, 2010 at 3:10 AM)  

Wowo you did both, congragultions i just did one and thattoo at the last minute. I love than pink merringue, a wonderful idea which i think i will try next time ;-)

chef and her kitchen  – (August 27, 2010 at 4:07 AM) looks so gorgeous dear......Wish I could taste it..

Hari Chandana P  – (August 27, 2010 at 4:48 AM)  

Woww.. looks so beautiful and tempting :)

Nithya  – (August 27, 2010 at 5:17 AM)  

wow... you are becoming a dessert expert anni.. :) you should make some for me when you come here. I am craving for them :)

Shanthi Krishnakumar  – (August 27, 2010 at 5:46 AM)  

The first photo is gorgeous and you have become a seasoned photographer now.

Smita Srivastava  – (August 27, 2010 at 6:20 AM)  

Wow I'm drooling over the yummylicious dessert ... the pics are awesome n so is the recipe !!!

Home Cooked Oriya Food  – (August 27, 2010 at 6:50 AM)  

wow - amazing skills... That looks more than awesome!

GEETHA ACHAL  – (August 27, 2010 at 7:16 AM)  

U have become a great photographer....Nice clicks and drooling dessert..Love the way u arranged and prepared it...Thanks...

Sailaja Damodaran  – (August 27, 2010 at 7:45 AM)  

Great effort......making me hungry.Super click too

Hamaree Rasoi  – (August 27, 2010 at 9:18 AM)  

Excellent preparation both of them. I have bookmarked them. Would enter in this challenge very soon.

Hamaree Rasoi

Kalyani  – (August 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM)  

Wow the photography looks wonderful and it is so tempting ........

Unknown  – (August 27, 2010 at 9:52 AM)  

What an amazing job you did, and tackling both is amazing!

Aparna Balasubramanian  – (August 27, 2010 at 10:04 AM)  

Looks very, very good. Great take on this month's challenge. Congrats! :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums  – (August 27, 2010 at 10:15 AM)  

Both your Baked Alaska and Petits Fours look wonderful! You did a great job!



shelley c.  – (August 27, 2010 at 11:19 AM)  

Your work on both desserts was absolutely amazing. The petit four pops are inspired, and the Baked Alaska is simply beautiful. Amazing that those are just what you were able to "squeeze in" to a hectic schedule - WOW.

Unknown  – (August 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM)  

Wow, what wonderful, mouth watering and gorgeous pics :)

chef_d  – (August 27, 2010 at 12:11 PM)  

wow, congrats for making them both! the baked alaska looks amazing and the petit fours are so delicious looking :)

Unknown  – (August 27, 2010 at 12:32 PM)  

wowwwwwwww...what a recipe and what a snap, looks like its piercing out of the screen :) Love your Presentation...u rock pavi :)

Shabitha Karthikeyan  – (August 27, 2010 at 12:36 PM)  

Wow both the desserts looks awesome.Simply out of world !!! Awesome pics..Glad I reached your blog..Do visit my space when you find time

Priya Suresh  – (August 27, 2010 at 12:39 PM)  

Wowwwww, am speechless..wat a stunning and awesome work Pavi..beautiful alaska and petit fours..

sadaf  – (August 27, 2010 at 3:38 PM)  

finally I find another daring baker who have done both challenges. congrats both look delicious(specially your pops are so cute ). nice photography.

chakhlere  – (August 27, 2010 at 4:59 PM)  

Hats off to you dear!!! What an amazing post. Look at those pictures absolutely mouthwatering!!!

Renata  – (August 27, 2010 at 5:27 PM)  

OMG!!! So much inspiration! Your creations are absolutely amazing! The fruit decoration is so cute! Congratulations! You did an extraordinary job!

KavyaNaimish  – (August 27, 2010 at 7:20 PM)  

wow..u did both of them..Presentation is too too gud :)

veena  – (August 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM)  

wow!!!!!!! both the challenges!!!! mouthwatering pics!!!!

Raks  – (August 28, 2010 at 3:12 AM)  

Perfect Pavi,has come out very nice and you have made it look so so pretty! Nice clicks as well :)

Sarah  – (August 28, 2010 at 5:22 AM)  

I am impressed that you managed to do both challenges; well done. I wish I had a kitchen blowtorch! What else do you use it for?

suma  – (August 28, 2010 at 9:59 AM)  

Oh wow!! Both the desserts look fabulous!! I had loved your Devil's Food Cupcakes too. Your patience and zest for doing all this is amazing!!

Debugcooking  – (August 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM)  

Ahh you did both?brave I must say and gr8 results!Love the Popsicles idea..

aipi  – (August 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM)  

Love the gorgeous pics and wow, what a mouth watering end product..both of them look fantabulous.. Great job dear..kudos!!

Unknown  – (August 28, 2010 at 10:27 PM)  

oh wow!!!both desserts looks fantabulous pavitra...
Mind blowing desserts with superb clicks.
keep rocking .....

Sushma Mallya  – (August 28, 2010 at 10:56 PM)  

lovely pics pavithra with excellent presentation...looks so yum

Unknown  – (August 29, 2010 at 9:31 AM)  

Wow how did I miss this...looks so yum.Pavi neat template and lovely clicks..Way to go!!

Unknown  – (August 29, 2010 at 1:03 PM)  

real super wow...congrats for making it...Lovely pic and congrats...Oh ya Man, i gotta get that blow torch in my kitchen....its wonderful feeling of doing some real expt in kitchen he he :)

Radhika  – (August 29, 2010 at 1:16 PM)  

I love both of them, as every time love your presentation. I have got that torch but haven't bought butane yet :-(

Ramya Vijaykumar  – (August 29, 2010 at 7:03 PM)  

Hey Pavithra, the petite fours are looking awesome and so is the Baked Alaskan!!! Love the pics!!!

Christina  – (August 30, 2010 at 2:01 PM)  

Beautifully done! It all looks so great :)

Rachana  – (August 30, 2010 at 2:51 PM)  

Awesome! I am drooling here...

Kudos to you :-)

Unknown  – (August 30, 2010 at 9:21 PM)  

WOW!! Both the desserts look awesome!! Great job, Pavithra..

San  – (August 31, 2010 at 9:48 AM)  

This is such an amazing visual treat pavi,no wonder would have been a treat for the taste bud.Lots going on in ur space .Keep up the great work.

panchpakwan  – (August 31, 2010 at 1:32 PM)  

Wow everything looks so yummy and inviting..

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