That is a tiny piece of brown butter pound cake, with vanilla bean ice cream sandwiched in the middle, and then
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”.
So of course I did this last minute. And of course I tried my hand at making my own ice cream, which actually worked out well, given I do not own an ice cream machine. But the recipe I chose involved raw egg whites. And I was very brave and "foodie" and all, but the rest of my family got weak at the knees when I told them what went into the ice cream and squirmed out of their seats when I served them, and subsequently I buckled too.
I would suck at Survivor. Thats why I've never applied to go on the show.
So, for this challenge, I ended up using store bought ice cream. Sorry, it was a cop out. But at least give me brownie points for using Haagen Daz's new "Five" range, where apparently there is nothing else in their ice cream but those 5 ingredients listed. Which included eggs, by the way. And my family had no problem chomping down that ice cream.
I loved the brown butter cake, what a luscious, dreamy cake. All soft and buttery, it was very tempting to just scoff down the cake before going down the steps of making the petit fours. But this is where I raise my one little protest, I thought the brown butter cake wasn't suited for a frozen challenge. It lost some of its consistency and flavor the more it was chilled. And unfortunately, in our insane heat, I had to keep shoving the petit fours back in the freezer if they weren't eaten at once, else they dissolved into a puddley mess.
All in all, a great challenge, even though I took the easy way out and didn't use my own ice cream. It is a tricky feat to get the petit fours perfectly glazed and thye get messy and drippy the minute they start to defrost, so I'm not sure if I could make these for a crowd. For now, I'm content just devouring them all by myself, one by one.
Brown Butter Pound Cake
19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See “Note” section for cake flour substitution)
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.
2. 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.
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 eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.
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.
Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)
9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used milk chocolate)
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
2 teaspoons (10ml) 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.
Assembly Instructions – Ice Cream Petit Fours
1. Line a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups (450ml to 500ml) ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.
2. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.
3. Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.
4. Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)
5. While the glaze cools, trim ¾” (2cm) off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5” (19cm) ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5”x1.5” (4cmx4cm).
6. Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.
7. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.
Click here for more variations of other Daring Bakers take on this dessert!