AUGUST DARING BAKER'S CHALLENGE:
So this month was ice cream again (which I don't mind cuz i LOVE ice cream), this time with baked alaska and ice cream petit fours. I've never had either of these treats, so this was pretty exciting. Now I've got to say that this was the most amazing home made ice cream I think I've ever had- so rich and creamy. The cake was fabulous too- nutty and caramel-y; the browned butter really gives the cake a nice depth of flavor. Delicious.
Yummy stuff kids.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk (I use half evaporated milk + half water)
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream
5 egg yolks (save the whites for the baked alaska's meringue toppin!)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1) In a medium saucepan, mix together milk, salt, and sugar and heat until steaming; meanwhile lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl.
2) When the milk mixture is ready, pour about 1/4 cup of the warmed milk into the egg yolks while constantly whisking, until the mixture is warmed. Then pour back into the pan while constantly whisking. Then cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (scraping sides and bottom) until the mixture thickens into a custard that thinly coats the back of the spatula.
3) Set up an ice bath by placing a smaller bowl inside a larger bowl, and filling the larger bowl with ice and water. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl, and pour in the cream. Then strain in the custard and stir mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract. Remove from ice bath and refrigerate overnight.
4) When your ready to make the ice cream, freeze in ice cream maker according to your maker's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, no fears- follow THIS LINK for directions.
Browned Butter Cake
2 sticks + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups cake flour (or 1/4 cup cornstarch + 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1) In a 10-inch skillet, warm butter over medium heat. Brown butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown color and the butter smells nutty (keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn). Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed- about 25 minutes.
2) Sift together cake flour, salt, and baking powder
3) Beat the browned butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well, then add the vanilla extract.
4) Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
5) Grease a 9 by 9 inch square pan, pour in batter and smooth the top, then rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
6) Remove from oven when finished, run a knife around the edge of cake and invert onto a cooling rack. When cooled completely, level the cake (cut the "dome" top off so its completely flat).
Meringue for the Baked Alaska (I used a different recipe for meringue then what was in the DB challenge)
5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks, then add the vanilla and sugar gradually; continue beating until stiff, shiny peaks.
Baked Alaska Assembly
1) Choose container that you want for the mold of your baked alaska. Line with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang so you can pull in out later.
2) Pour in the ice cream, and then top with brown butter cake (cut to fit your container). Cover and place in freezer for several hours until firm.
3) Pop out the ice cream cake onto an oven safe dish (I had a nice platter totally shatter in the oven when i did this. . sad). Return to the freezer, and make the meringue. Then spread or pipe the meringue onto the ice cream cake and return to the freezer for about 30 minutes.
4) Preheat oven to 450, and bake for about 2-3 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned- don't leave it in longer than that, the ice cream could melt. Return to freezer for about 20-30 minutes and then serve.
*If you have a kitchen torch, skip step 4 and just torch the meringue until golden.