The holiday is over and so will summer soon. We went to Cyprus on holiday, like the year before, but this time we decided to stay on the beach and it was amazing. So peaceful, so calm. At nights, it was just us and the sea (and the turtles and the little cute lizards living in the yard).
We just bathed, relaxed, played and enjoyed the food. Oh, the food……, fresh octopus, and mussels and lobsters and snapper and dolmades or moussaka and haloumi and feta. Cyprus is so full of flavor and taste.
Maybe this will be our retirement destination, who knows.
But, that part is over and we back home, caught in the daily hassle and I just realized that one of the things I hate most is waiting. Specifically, waiting without having a clear deadline. This week we decided to upgrade our internet bandwidth and so we were sent some equipment and had to replace the old one. But, nobody said that our internet connection will be down for some time. At first they said it will take 24 hours. Then they added another 24 hours and nobody seemed to know the cause. After 48 hours without connection they noticed that there was something wrong with the upgrade ticket in their system, apologized and gave us (you guessed) another 24 hours wait. God only knows what they will come up with after these 24 hours, but I feel like my head will explode. So I started to write the post offline at home and I will upload it from work, if I will get 5 minutes to review it.
And I also hate the consultants who never give you straight answers. They all repeat the same meaningless bullshit that they are sorry, that they will do their best to bla bla bla, but never give you the expected information.
But waiting can be nice and fun, like waiting for ice cream to set, or for chocolate to melt and then to set on your petit fours.
This month’s challenge had still to do with ice cream, specifically ice cream petit fours or ice cream baked Alaska.
The host for this month is the wonderful Elissa from http://17andbaking.com/.
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”.
I chose to make only the petit fours and I will write the original recipes with my changes in italics.
Ice cream – 45 min active time, ice cream rests/chills for 1 hour then overnight. Without an ice cream maker, the ice cream chills 2-3 hours and must be stirred every 30 minutes.
Brown Butter Pound Cake – 2 hours (includes cooling time)
Chocolate Glaze – 15 minutes
Assembly of Ice Cream Petit Fours – Ice cream must be frozen ahead of time several hours, then the cake and ice cream freeze overnight. After dipping, the petit fours freeze for one hours.
• Small and medium saucepans
• Paring knife
• 2 quart (2 litres) bowl
• Electric mixer
• 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square baking pan
• 10” (25 cm) skillet
• Cake leveler/serrated knife
• Cooling racks
• Rimmed half sheets
• Plastic wrap
• Ice cream maker (optional)
I have made honey acacia ice cream using the basic recipe from here, and replacing all the sugar with acacia honey and infusing the milk cream mixture with dried acacia flowers.
Vanilla Ice Cream
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.
Lavender Brown Butter Pound Cake
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) – I used a mixture of kamut, rice, millet and cornstarch
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar – I used 150 g moscavado sugar in place of the 185 g stated
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – I used 2 tsp edible lavender buds to infuse the butter after browning; sieve after 5 minutes of infusing and continue with the recipe.
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 – I used two 20cm x 20cm pans and it was just fine
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.
9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar – I used acacia honey
2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
Stir the heavy cream and light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dark chocolate. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir to completely melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.
1. Line a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) pan (a pan that has the same size as your cake) 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.
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.
I did it a little different – I placed the bottom half of the cake in the prepared pan, scooped and leveled soft serve ice cream over (right out of the ice cream machine) and let it set for no more than 20 minutes. Then top it with the top half of the cake, press a little but not too much to avoid the ice cream escaping. Wrap and let in the freezer overnight
4. Make the chocolate glaze (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.
7. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.
8. 9. and 10. enjoy them one by one while patiently waiting for your ISP to solve your internet issues.