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Daring Bakers: August

Blog-checking lines: 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”.

How very retro. Now if I could just get Don Draper to come over to share it with me.

It wasn’t to be, the rendezvous between Don and me, but the Baked Alaska turned out pretty well. I made the Brown Butter Pound Cake as instructed by the recipe Elissa posted, to the letter. Granted, I was rushed on the day I made it thanks to the party I was going to. It could have used a couple more minutes in the oven, I think, but I needed to get it to start cooling so there was a small dip in the middle of lightly undercooked cake. Maybe the undercookedness also contributed to the greasiness I felt in the cake that I’ve never found with any other pound cake I’ve ever made (not like I make it a lot). People liked it, though. I lopped off about a three-inch piece off one side and took the rest to the party where it was eaten and enjoyed. Not my best moment, but we were all a little soused and the fat in the cake helped sop up some of the alcohol.

I measured out out a piece that would fit into a little plastic container I had the next day and stuck in the freezer along with a layer of ice cream. I did not make the vanilla ice cream indicated, for the very simple reason that I’ve been working unbelievable hours and couldn’t bear to have to make a custard. I own The Perfect Scoop and made David’s slightly simpler Fleur de Lait ice cream instead. It’s one of my favorites. I had had it in the freezer poised and simply softened it the next Sunday after the hootnanny to fit over the piece of cake. I wrapped the two in plastic and left it there until the next weekend.

Since I was making a small Baked Alaska, I used only one egg white to make the meringue with rational downgrading of the rest of the ingredients. I covered the little cake in the meringue, froze it for a little while and then stuck it in the oven. I had thought of getting a torch since I didn’t think the oven would be able to brown the meringue just right. I’m glad I didn’t get one. The oven did it, look at the blackened peaks.

cross section

It may have looked better with an ice cream that created more contrast between it and the white meringue, but in my semi-delirious state, I just couldn’t be bothered. The Fleur de Lait was already made. It was delicious, but if I had to do it again, I would make that adjustment as well as making a genoise rather than a pound cake. I found the cake to be far too hard. If I let it thaw more, the ice cream would melt. Either way, I think Don would like it.

P.S. That adorable bottle out of focus behind the cake is fig jam I made with the last pound of the heavenly fruit I forced my friend to give me. That color is beautiful.

2 Responses to “Daring Bakers: August”

  1. 1

    Looks greaa!. Love the ice cream flavor! Well done on the challenge!

  2. 2

    Great job! It looks lovely.

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