Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daring Baker Challenge - Brown Butter Pound Cake n Vanilla Icecream Petit Fours for Daksayani's Birthday

It's that time of the year when chocolate is taboo and flavours reign supreme..... It's Daksayani's birthday. She's allergic to chocolate so August's Daring Baker Challenge was just so right for us.... Petit Fours of Brown Butter Pound Cake. In the Petit Fours I substituted the chocolate glaze with a thick lemon curd.

The brown butter pound cake recipe is adapted from the October 2009 edition of Gourmet. The vanilla ice cream is from ice cream genius David Lebovitz, adapted from The Perfect Scoop. The chocolate glaze for the petit fours is a larger adapted version of this ganache from Godiva Chocolate and the meringue for the Baked Alaska is a larger version of this meringue from Gourmet, May 1995.

We celebrated her birthday in Mall rd with everyone on the occasion of Guru Poornima. Don't know why but suddenly Daks did a U-Turn n became so camera shy.....

Happy Birthday Daks.....

Her Birthday party was a 'Health Theme'.... The kids had a blast doing loads of activities... They were quite a handful... ;)

The cake was her delight and full of figures of kids playing games, playing golf, doing yoga, fruit n vegetables....

All the kids planted saplings and had a whale of a time playing with the mud... The grins are a dead giveways of the fun they had.... :)

The tug of war had girls vs. boys fun.... little do the girls know that this tug of war is gonna go on for life.... :) Ha.. Ha... Ha.... Hope the kids parents aren't reading this.... Lol....

Brown Butter Pound Cake
Ingredients: [I made a half of this quantity]
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.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Ingredients: [I made a half of this quantity]
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for an hour. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, then let cool to room temperature.)
2. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2 litre) bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.
3. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into a custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.
4. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon [5ml] if you are using a vanilla bean; 3 teaspoons [15ml] if you are not using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.
5. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it without a machine. See instructions from David Lebovitz: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/07/making_ice_crea_1.html

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. [Since I had made cup cakes, I used the cup cake moulds to set my petit fours as individual servings]
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 (I made lemon curd, 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. [I used Lemon Curd]
7. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.

Was making a cake, the batter was put in a lined cake tin...... then ELECTRICITY played T-R-U-A-N-T.... Boooooohooooo :( Didn't have time to lose.... had to quickly transfer the batter to cupcake moulds and cook it in whatever heat the oven had left after 5 minutes of cooking. Thank fully the batter cooked quickly as I had divided it into cupcake moulds. Hence the recipe above has Cake mentioned everywhere while the pictures have Cupcakes :(
The amount this challenge made me weep is unbelievable n it made me work till the wee hours of the night blending into the early hours of day....
Had it not been for Daks's birthday, would have done it the next day...... Ahhhhhh... what all this girl makes me do.....

We loved the cake, but after I knew the quantity of butter used, it's not happening in my kitchen again unlike the other Daking Baker challenges (which i've made over n over on popular demand). This cake has way too much butter.
The cake however was awesome as a Petit four. Do try it if using butter is not an issue with you.

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