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.
This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge. I signed up at the beginning of July and then anxiously awaited the challenge. When I found out what it was I felt a mixture of both excitement and dread. Excitement because I had never made ice cream before and dread because I don’t own an ice cream maker. I’ve heard horror stories of crunchy ice cream that was impossible to scoop. I considered buying an ice cream maker but storage is an issue in my apartment, so I decided to try the machine free way (this is a challenge after all).
Next up was deciding if I wanted to do both the baked Alaska and the petit fours, or just one. Would I have time to make both? Could I eat both and not gain a million pounds? Once again I decided to go for it; I’m a Daring Baker!
The final decision was what kind of ice cream to make. At first I wanted to do vanilla with cinnamon chips or maybe something fruity. Then I read a post about mango tea ice cream and decided I needed to make tea flavoured ice cream, Earl Grey to be exact. (To the author of that post: I’m so sorry, I really can’t remember who you are but thanks for the inspiration!) When I got to work on the ice cream I realized that doing it without an ice cream maker actually made it pretty easy to make two small batches of different flavours so I made a batch of raspberry along with the Earl Grey. I thought the raspberry would go nicely with the chocolate ganache covering the petit fours, and it turns out it was. Plus the pink stripe looked pretty cute too.
Step one in the process was to make the ice cream. I made the Earl Grey by steeping some tea bags in the milk and sugar mixture. I also added a little Grand Marnier which went really nicely with the citrusy flavour of the tea. For the raspberry I just added some raspberry puree to the vanilla recipe. Making ice cream without an ice cream maker is surprisingly easy, all you have to do is blend the custard every thirty minutes while its freezing. Both flavours turned out very well; easy to scoop and no crunchy bits! It is time-consuming though, so if you don’t have several hours to kill I wouldn’t recommend it.
Once the ice cream was done I moved on the to beurre noisette pound cake. The smell of butter simmering is possibly one of the best smells there is. I really need more brown butter in my life. The pound cake was light and fluffy, not at all what I was expecting, and the butter gave it an amazing flavour. I think the cake was my favourite part of the challenge.
You can find all the recipes for this months challenge at Elissa’s site.
All in all I think this was a very succesful first challenge. I can’t wait for the next!