Friday, August 27, 2010

August 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge #43: Baked Alaska

The Daring bakers again, ^^, and yes this month I didn't skip. Last month, due to all the thing in life (travel, eat, shop and etc. I really had no time to join the challenge). 

For this month, Elissa (of 17 and Baking), gave us a choice, we can make Baked Alaska or Ice Cream Petit Fours, which first I decided to make both of them. But there are many thing in life that you can predict, I couldn't finish the Ice Cream Petit Fours even it's in my freezer, waiting for the last step - the chocolate glaze!!!!
Anyway, I feel good that I start the Baked Alaska first and can finish it, because it's the one that I never make it before, so it's fun to try something new, haha.

The Baked Alaska is the combination of, buttercake, ice cream and the meringue, and then put it in the oven to bake (the meringue) until light golden. But if you have a blow torch it will be easier, and you don't have to be afraid that the ice cream will be melt before the meringue become brown. 
Even the host of this month give a lot of variation, I choose to make the basic one, the vanilla ice cream, which turn out to be very good, (actually I have this book too, but I didn't try this recipe before). But the recipe that I have to say "Wow" is the brown butter pound cake, it's very good. The texture is soft, moist and the taste is awesome!!!! That's the reason why I want to make the ice cream petit four too, anyway, I love this cake, I think it's because of the butter that we remove the water content out (by boiling it and burn the milk segment), so the butter becomes something like shortening (the shortening has no water at all) so, the cake texture is lighter.

Anyway, the cake become a bit dense after freezing, but it's not bad when you eating it with an ice cream, and I have to say it's delicious!, haha.
So, thank you Elissa of 17 and Baking, for this challenge and great recipe.

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 
Make 8-9 (6 cm mold)

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

1. Heat the milk, and salt  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, and salt 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 and sugar 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.

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. See instructions from David Lebovitz

Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour
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. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan, (I line it with baking paper ^^).
2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat (I use sauce pan). 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 vanilla extract then the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
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.

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.
Note: I use silicone pudding mold to make smaller size dessert, if you follow my method you will get about 8-9 Baked Alaska.

Note: I use 6 cm cutter to cut the cake.

Unwrap the ice cream “cups” and invert on top of a cake round. Trim any extra cake if necessary.

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.

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.

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.

August 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge #43: Baked Alaska 


  1. Oh, my...I don't even know where to start. I mean, your whole blog is perfect. The photo index, I loved it! The recipes, wow! heehee.
    Thanks for letting us visit such a lovely place.
    Greetings from Mexico,

  2. It looks yummy!
    And I like the new theme of your blog, I love the colors ^^

  3. Baked Alaska is in my list but I have no courage yet to try it. Yours look absolutely gorgeous!



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