Friday, August 27, 2010

Broiled Florida...errr...Baked Alaska?

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”. 
I must admit that when I saw the Daring Bakers Challenge this month involved making ice cream for the second month in a row, I was a bit disappointed.  However, this month I would actually be able to make the ice cream from scratch as I had a WEEK !!!!! of vacation.  As evidenced in my last post, I went home for a little bit to spend some time with my parents (last time I was there was 6 months ago), so I used their ice cream maker.  Let me just say that make ice cream is fun!  I don't know what makes it so, but it just is.  My mom even said she didn't know why they didn't do it more often based on how simple it is.
Initially I was going to make the petit fours...I've always wanted to make those and the icing on top just fascinates me.  However, I came up with a fun idea for a baked, I changed directions.  I saw a recipe for a lime ice cream on another blog and thought that it would be neat to make a "key lime pie" baked alaska. 
So....that's what I did.  I found a pretty simple recipe on allrecipes for lime ice cream.  It did turn out a tad bit more like a sherbet but it was still delicious.  In fact, all of us liked it the best out of the entire dessert.  When I scooped it after the first night, I just giggled with delight in the perfect little rolled scoop of ice cream.
I wish that it had been more green but my dad didn't mind...he said "Well, a lime slush at Sonic isn't green" by all means our lime ice cream shouldn't be green!  ;-)  The second day I made the browned butter pound cake.  The first time I took this out of the oven I thought it wasn't done.  In hindsight, I wish that I had just taken it out then. 
After I cut it to fit the bowl, I put it on the ice cream and back in the freezer.  Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the freezing process just dried the cake out and made it too hard to eat.  We ended up not eating most of that layer.  The scrap pieces were good, though I think that the browned butter in a pound cake was just too rich for me.  The meringue was very easy to make.  Torching it, however, was another story! 
We attempted to use the propane torch that my dad had (in the garage!) but it was too hot and just burned the meringue.  So, I baked it (appropriate for the title of the dessert - and yes, I know it's not broiled Florida...that came from my dad who was trying to be funny - love you Daddy!) and it turned out great! 
All in all this was a fun dessert to make...and yes, I'd try the technique again but would probably use a different cake base.  Elissa, thanks for such a fun recipe...and making me discover the fun of making ice cream! 

Lime Ice Cream 
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp lime zest
1 cup heavy whipping cream  
In a saucepan, combine milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches 175 degrees F. Cool to room temperature. Stir in the lime juice and peel. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturer's directions.
 Transfer frozen lime mixture to a bowl; allow to soften slightly. In a small mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into softened lime mixture. Allow ice cream to firm up in your refrigerator freezer for 4 hours before serving (This is the point where I put the ice cream in my rounded bowl for the baked Alaska).
 Brown Butter Pound Cake
19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter (I used 16 or 2 sticks 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.

Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)
8 large egg whites
½ teaspoon (3g) cream of tartar
½ teaspoon (3g) salt
1 cup (220g) sugar
Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.

Assembly Instructions – Baked Alaska
1.  Fill desired rounded dish to the top with ice cream (I used a mixing bowl but you can use individual sized bowls as well). Cover the top with plastic wrap.  If you line the bowl with wrap just use the overhanging portion to cover it.  Freeze for several hours or until solid.  I did overnight.
2. Level the top of the brown butter pound cake with a serrated knife or with a cake leveler. Cut out desired number and size circles from the cake. Enjoy scraps!!!
3. Make the meringue (see above.)
4. Unwrap the ice cream “cups” and invert on top of a cake round. If you did not line with wrap you can place the bowl(s) in some slightly warm water to loosen the ice cream. 

5. Pipe the meringue over the ice cream and cake, or smooth it over with a spatula, so that none of the ice cream or cake is exposed. Freeze for one hour or up to a day.  I smoothed over and then spiked it using a knife.

6. Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. Or, bake the meringue-topped Baked Alaskas on a rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F/260°C oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

your made from scratch cake looks delish!

Cody said...

Key lime pie is my favorite dessert... that sounds amazing. Thanks for giving me an idea of what to make with my new ice cream maker.

Your lime Baked Alaska (which I hereby name Frozen Keys) looks great!

Unknown said...

IAO - Thanks!

Cody - I LOVE your name...Frozen Keys is just perfect! ;-)

Abby said...

Fun! It's certainly pretty. I've never made - or even eaten - baked Alaska! Now I'm intrigued.

Maria Beatrix said...

Loved your idea for a lime pie broiled florida!
I do agree with you about this cake. Mine turned out to be too heavy and dry either.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Lime ice-cream sounds great and would have balanced the sweetness of this dessert. Your "broiled florida" looks very good. ;-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! That Baked Alaska looks delicious and I love the flavor of your ice cream.



Hanneke said...

Oh, that's a great ice cream idea, love it! "Frozen Keys", I can see how that would work for me too :-)

Anonymous said...

Lime ice cream- sounds very summery. My pound cake was a little dry as well, I would make a few changes to it the next time. Thanks for popping by !

Christina said...

Sounds like the perfect flavor for summer :)Makes me want a slice of key lime pie. Mmm! Wonderful job!

The JR said...

Never had one. But, your's looks good!

Sherry G said...

So lovely. Nice job!!