Friday, August 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Aug 2010 Baked Alsaka (Nutty & Toasty Meets Cool & Creamy)

“Another cake & Ice-cream challenge”,I sighed as I read the August Daring Bakers Challenge. I made a massive swiss-roll Ice-cream cake just last month for the DB challenge but was happy that this one was a Baked Alaska. I have seen so many chefs making this on tele and lusted for a slice of it, but never dared to make it. Well, it was time to shed my inhibitions, don the imaginary chef’s (toque) hat ,order the chef’s blow torch on Amazon (Oh I am such an internet junkie) and get on with the challenge. First I made a huge batch of strawberry ice-cream and let it freeze. Next, a browned butter pound cake. Assembling them and waiting for them to freeze was the most difficult thing to do, as I simply wanted to pipe the meringue and use my blow torch.
The August 2010 Daring Bakers challenge hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking, challenged us to make a pound cake using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter 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”.
Strawberry Balsamic Ice-Cream similar to this recipe
Strawberries – 400g hulled and slices
Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar – 1tsp
Sugar – 200 grams
Egg yolks – 10
Whole Milk – 500ml
Heavy Cream – 500ml
Vanilla Beans scrapped from a pod
Toss the strawberries in balsamic vinegar and a 1bsp of sugar and leave it aside for the flavors to mingle. Meanwhile, bring the milk, vanilla and cream to a boil in a pan and whisk the yolks with the sugar until pale. Pour the hot liquid over the yolks whisking all the time and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring all the time until you get a custard consistencyand ensure the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  Strain the mixture and let it cool. Whizz the strawberries in a processor and combine it with the yolk mixture. Freeze in an Ice-cream maker according to manufactures instructions or freeze in an air-tight container churning the mixture in a processor every 2-3 hours as it freezes at least 3 times. This is important to break the ice crystals.
For the Browned Butter Pound Cake
I followed the recipe from here, but just made half the quantity and baked it in a smaller tin.
For the Meringue
Egg Whites -  100 grams
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cream of Tartar - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Whisk the egg whites until frothy and add 1/4 cup of sugar, cream of tarter, salt and whisk on high until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fill up a piping bag (fitted with a star or round nozzle) with this beautiful meringue.
Assembly1: Take a ring mould and cover the base with a cling film leaving an  overhang. Cut off equal bits of cakes and place into a small ring mould. Scoop out the ice-cream and smooth on top of this. Place another layer of cake and finish with a smooth layer of ice-cream, gather the ends of cling film and cover it. Freeze for a couple of hours until firm. Un-mould the ice-cream cake, pipe the meringue onto this in whatever pattern you fancy. I used a spatula to spread the meringue like frosting and lifting it off randomly to create the ruffled look. Freeze this for a couple of hours.
Assembly 2: Take a bowl and cover the base with a cling film leaving an overhang. Cut out a round piece of cake using the bowl's rim as template. Scoop out the ice-cream and smooth it into the bowl and freeze until required. Un-mould the ice-cream onto the cake and pipe small stars, freeze for a couple of hours.
Using Blow-Torch: Work in a spacious clutter-free area to use blow-torch and make sure there is ventilation. Slightly toast the meringue using a blow-torch moving it constantly on all sides until brown.
Verdict: I loved making this in spite of struggling to make my blow-torch work, making frantic calls to 'S' as I tried to fill it with butane."Oh there is a hissing sound, I guess there is a leak" I yelled and in an attempt to turn it off I somehow managed to turn the flame on! Not wasting a minute, I quickly toasted the unbaked alaska and brought them back to life. It is a pretty straight forward challenge and easy if you make the components within a span of few days. Thanks again Elissa for hosting this month's challenge.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, your Bakes Alaska are fabulous! Very well done.



Poires au Chocolat said...

They look lovely! Is that handmade paper with leaves embedded in the background?

Jamie said...

Oh my! And you thought mine were pretty? Yours are stunning, girl! Fabulous ice cream and beautiful, impressive Baked Alaskas! My hat is off to you!

Marisa said...

Gorgeous! Love the pink layers inside.

Asha @ FSK said...

Oh my!! those are fabulous!!! Like how you stacked them.. :))

Debugcooking said...

Thanks so much Rosa,Poires au chocolat (It is indeed handmade are so right!),Marisa, Asha...

Debugcooking said...

Jamie...Thanks hon..XOXO..I really liked your Peach Melba!

shelley c. said...

Both of those Baked Alaskas are simply beautiful - amazingly constructed, beautifully meringued, and great torch-work! Great job on the challenge.

Manu said...

“Another cake & Ice-cream challenge”, that was what I though when I read the DB of this month too. But I loved to make it! Your Baked Alaska are just lovely! And I think it was such a good challenge. I choose the petit four, as a challenge and liked it very much! Congratulations for your first Baked Alaska, and for your blog too!

Anonymous said...

I love the "cake" look of the one with multiple layers of cake and ice cream. Beautifully colored strawberry ice cream!

neelima said...

Like like like love love love..............

Monika said...

I love your choice of ice cream! I madew a similar recipe last summer and it was a hit. It must be grat with this rich pound cake and the meringue. Great job!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Your baked alaskas look gorgeous. And the deep red of the ice-cream provides excellent contrast.

Debugcooking said...

Elissa Thanks so much for the challenge...I was lucky to make use of the best of summer berries here..both colour and flavour of the ice-cream were good!Monika it was indeed rich with the brown butter pound cake..

Renata said...

WOw!! Stunning Alaskas! Beautifully presented and photographed! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures! Glad everything came together even if that torch did give you trouble! :-)

Unknown said...

hey rt it looks gr8 i am sure it must have tasted gr8 as well. miss u & ur experiments a lot. lol. :P

sasasunakku said...

Hey Arthi! I've been away and not able to comment on blogs but wow...I'm so envious of your beautiful crockery and blowtorch - I want! I've neglected DB shamefully T_T You've done a beautiful job.

Debugcooking said...

welcome back sasasunakku...its always fun to complete DB challenges ;-)

Post a Comment

Design © 2011 Laura Jane Designs