Petit Fours & 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 may have developed a grudge against ice cream.

And I don’t think the ice cream likes me all too much either…

Seriously.

Last time I worked with ice cream it didn’t work out all too well.

And this time making these petit fours? It was messy. Like with ice cream melting all over the place. Why can it not stay nice and solid for like five minutes or something? Arg.

But other than that i rather enjoyed(especially the brown butter!!!) this challenge, and loved how it came out all little and cute(although not exactly perfect).

I’m not sure if can see the coffee ice cream layer because it’s practically the same color as the brown butter pound cake i used and it’s not all that thick.

Oh, and let me tell you about the brown butter. It is magical stuff. Seriously. I love the stuff, mostly because of the smell. Yes the smell…all warm and nutty and creamy and amazing. Oh and by the way for those of you who don’t know what brown butter is, its just simply butter cooked until it turns a dark honey color. I was ranting about browned butter to my father, and he said: “There is no such thing as brown butter.” He though it was a type of butter, not simply cooked butter.

I was slightly disappointed with the brown butter pound cake though…neither the taste nor the lovely, lovely smell of the browned butter remained. And it turned out a bit dry, but I thought that was simply me because I sort of forgot about it(i was working on my summer reading essays), but when I read another bloggers post, I realized it wasn’t just me with the dryness problem…but I didn’t have an issue with that after I assembled the whole thing, because the richness of the coffee ice cream and the chocolate glaze pretty much over powered the brown butter pound cake, and the the melt-y ice cream must have been absorbed by the pound cake which made it bit more moist.

And over all, these came out delicious!

But anyway here we go with the recipe:

Coffee Ice Cream

  • 1/2 Cup of milk (i used two percent)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 a cup and 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1  and 1/2 tspns of instant coffee
  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

So now we start out with the milk, the salt, the instant coffee and the sugar, in a medium sized sauce pan, and heat that until it starts to steam, and then remove it from heat and let that cool down to room temperature. Meanwhile set up an ice bath( basically a large bowl filled, partially with ice and water, with a smaller bowl on the ice water). Grab a strainer, and pour the heavy cream into the strainer over the smaller bowl of the ice bath. Then in another bowl beat the egg yolks together(lightly) and then heat up the milk in the saucepan until its warm, and slowly pour it little by little, and constantly whisking(otherwise the eggs will scramble). Once the egg yolks are warmed up pour the egg yolk and milk mixture back into the sauce pan which you had previously used and let that cook over low heat, and stir constantly with something you can scrape the bottom of the pan with. The mixture will eventually thicken to a custard which can thinly coat the back of the spatula. Go grab your strainer again and strain(if you don’t you’ll end up with weird little lumps throughout your ice cream) this mixture into the heavy cream, and stir that up and until the whole mixture is cooled down. Now mix in that one tsp. of vanilla extract.

If you have a ice cream maker: Cool it for several hours and then churn according to your manufacturers directions.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker: Simply let freeze for about 45 minutes, and then stir the mixture vigorously. Check back in a half an hour and stir vigorously again. Continue doing so until the whole mixture is completely frozen and appears to be like ice cream.

Now on to…

The Brown Butter pound Cake

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 bars and 3 tblspns of butter(or just 19 tablespoons) all sliced up

2 cups of sifted cake flour(not self rising)

1/2 tspn salt

1/2 cup of light brown sugar

1/3 cup of granulated sugar

4 large eggs

Firstly preheat your oven to 325 degrees farenheit. Then grab a skillet over medium heat. Warm it up a bit and then add the butter. Stir the butter around until the butter turns a darkened honey color or chocolate. Finally when it turns that color pour into a bowl and leave it in the freezer until it solidifies.

Now whisk together the sifted cake flour, baking powder, and the salt. In a seprate bowl beat the brown butter the light brown sugar and regular sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy(this should take about 2 minutes). Then beat in an egg at a time, and then finally add the vanilla extract and then lastly add the flour baking soda and salt mixture.

Flour and butter a 9 x 9 pan and scrape the batter out into it, and smooth the top over with a rubber spatula(or a clean hand). Bake until you are able to insert a toothpick into the center which will come out clean and the top is golden brown.

Let the pan cool down for about fifteen minutes and then flip over on a rack.

Next…

The Chocolate Glaze (make this when i say so in assembling the petit fours)

a heaped cup of semi sweet chocolate chopped finely

1 cup of heavy cream

1 and 1/2 tablespoons of agave nectar(or light corn syrup or golden syrup)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring the heavy cream and light corn syrup to a boil in a sauce pan over medium heat continuously stirring. Turn the heat off and add in the chocolate, and let it sit for 30 seconds to let it melt in and then stir once again to completely melt the rest of the chocolate. Finally stir in the vanilla and let it cool a little before glazing the petit fours.

Finally Assembling the petit fours.

Let the ice cream warm up a little.

line the 9×9 pan you used for baking the pound cake with plastic wrap and and spread the ice cream around evenly and freeze for a two hours.

Meanwhile using a cake leveler or a knife cut the pound cake in half, from the sides, not from the center so you end up with two large thin cake layers.

Then after the two hours, put one layer of the brown butter pound cake and top with the layer of ice cream and then top that with the last layer of pound cake.

And then freeze again. I did this over night, but several hours should do the trick.

Okay now the next step is where I had my ice cream disaster.

Make the glaze

Now take the cake and ice cream out of the freezer, and now you have to cut it up into squares approximately one and a half inches in size.

My issue: When i started to cut it it was fine. After a while when I was cutting it up the ice cream was melting and hence, it pretty much squirted out of in between the petit fours.

place all petit fours in the freezer on a tray lined with parchment paper and a good amount of space in between.

Then glaze the petit fours, taking each out of the freezer placing each petit four on a fork and pouring the glaze over. You may have to reheat the glaze a couple of time if it get really gloppy and thick. Heating it will thin it out.

Place each one in the freezer after glazing.

Finally decorate and serve!

I used white chocolate to decorate mine.

Hope you enjoy!!

~D.D.

P.S. Thank you Elissa for this awesome challenge :)

I loved it!

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3 thoughts on “Petit Fours & Daring Bakers

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