Sep 6, 2010

Miss Baked Alaska-Daring Bakers

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 am so late...again!! I was really excited to make August's daring baker challenge, I love browned butter and I want to use it all the time!! I decided to make the baked alaska for my friend for her birthday. She absolutely loves ice cream, and what's a better birthday cake for her than a Baked Alaska. But August was so crazy...I felt like I didn't have time to breath. Since I had a long weekend, I decided I better make this now!

To make it extra special, I decided to make a barbie cake!! I don't know what possessed me to do this..but I thought it would be fun. I bought a Disney High School Musical doll named Gabriella. I don't even know what High School Musical is. (Am I getting old?)

Anyway...I used the browned butter cake as the base, and put chocolate ice cream on top. I used a Chocolate ice cream recipe from David Leibovitz via Amanda's cooking. This chocolate ice cream is sooo good!!! The browned butter cake is even better!! I will be making both of these again and again. The cake came to getting pretty quickly after all the components were made. The hardest part was keeping the contents of my freezer away from Miss Alaska. =) Here are the recipes.

Baked Alaska

Brown Butter Pound Cake
adapted from Gourmet October 2009

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

1. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. 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.

2. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. 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. 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.

4. 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 ice cream
from David Leibovitz's Perfect Scoop via Amanda's cooking

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

2. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)


4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar

1. 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.

Miss Baked Alaska assembly

1. Spread ice cream in a shallow baking pan and freeze.

2. Cut out one 5” diameter circle from the cake. Cut a small circle in the middle for the doll to stand in. Discard the scraps or use for another purpose.

3. Make the meringue (see above.)

4. Cut out a few 5" ice cream circles with a small circle in the middle and place them on top of the cake. Smooth out the body to create the skirt for the princess.

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.


wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

I love the way you worked with the meringue here.
The burning of the tips of meringue was very well done, absolutely neat!!!

I smother you wet with kisses if I am the recipient of the cake.

dollee said...

You are soooo amazing! And, I love HSM (although she doesn't really look like Gabriella)!

frankie said...

This is so cute!! love it!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I can only imagine someday getting you to do a similar birthday cake for Nadia - she would love it! Rich

kk said...

thank you everyone!! your comments make my day!!


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