I forgot to mention that I recently joined the Daring Bakers as a way to connect with other food bloggers and become part of a community of food-minded people. I also knew it would help push me out of my comfort zone, and it most definitely has. 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".
Surprisingly, I don't think I've mentioned my love of brown butter here. If the opportunity ever arises to whip up a batch of cookies or a lovely ice cream that incorporates brown butter, I immediately get to work in my kitchen. It is such a warm and comforting thing to have your butter toasting away in a pot on the stove, filling your house with the slightly nutty aroma that is nearly impossible to resist. If you think you like butter, just wait until you taste brown butter! Also, please excuse these heinous photographs.
While the cake recipe was pretty set in stone, Elissa allowed for a little more creativity in the ice cream arena. Thank goodness. Vanilla ice cream is fine, particularly if it is homemade with good ingredients, but I prefer something a little more interesting. I chose to take the theme a little further and make browned butterscotch ice cream with toasted pecans. Man was it good.
I hate to say it, but I was sorely disappointed with the flavor and texture of the pound cake. I have never met a pound cake I didn't like, but this one came awfully close. It's not that it was bad. It was a little dry and it was almost too sweet, but I still ate it. Riley's friends happily gobbled them up, returning to the kitchen multiple times in search of another. The idea of an ice cream petit fours made me so happy. It's like a grown-up ice cream sandwich.
Next time I make ice cream petit fours, and there will be a next time, I think I'll poke around to find a recipe that has a tamer flavor. Anyhow, I'm off to visit some friends at college, but I will be back very soon with some very delicious recipes to share with you for World Peace Cookies, citrus almond poundcake, and Ukranian honey cake. Doesn't that sound good?
19 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sifted cake flour
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 and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” square pan. Place the butter in a 10” 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. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” 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. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
9 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Golden syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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.