Ice-cream Petit Fours – Daring Bakers Challenge

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This month’s challenge was to make ice-cream from scratch and to use it with a Brown Butter Pound Cake in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice-cream Petit Fours. Since we had the option to make either I chose to make the latter. I got these done a few days ago, on posting date to be precise, and got busy with work to take pics and update it on here. So here is this month's challenge, a couple of days late!

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”.

Recipe Source: 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. (I made my own Mango Ice-cream) 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.

Mandatory: Whether you make the Baked Alaska, the petit fours, or both, you must make the brown butter pound cake as written and the ice cream from scratch.

Variations Allowed: Both desserts can be made in any size or shape, and the ice cream can be any flavor you can think of! For the Baked Alaska, you can flavor the meringue however you want. For the petit fours, you are not required to use the chocolate glaze, or you can add additional flavors. You can also brush the cake with a simple syrup if desired.

Preparation time: 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 hour.

Equipment required:

• Small and medium saucepans

• Paring knife

• 2 quart (2 litres) bowl

• Electric mixer
• Whisk
• Spatula

• Sieve

• 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square baking pan

• 10” (25 cm) skillet

• Cake leveler/serrated knife

• Cooling racks

• Rimmed half sheets

• Plastic wrap
• Piping bags (optional)
• Electric beaters to make ice-cream

You will need: Makes around 3 quarts

3 cups Whole milk

3 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Vanilla custard powder (Brand: Brown & Polson)

2 cups Sweetened condensed milk

1 Cup Mango Puree

2 Cups Heavy whipping cream

½ tsp Clear vanilla extract

¼ tsp Orange Red colour (powder preferably)

Hand-held electric beater, the one which can withstand heavy whipping.

Make a smooth paste of the custard powder and ¼ cup of milk. Bring remaining milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat and slowly stir in the custard mixture. Keep stirring till the milk thickens. The custard is ready when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

While the custard is cooling, take a large bowl (which will fit into your freezer) and blend the mango puree with the condensed milk. Stir well to combine. Once the custard has cooled, add it to the puree-condensed milk mixture. Also add the heavy cream, the vanilla extract and food colour.

Cover and freeze for an hour.

What follows next is the important step…the 'churning' or whipping part. Since this ice-cream is made without an ice-cream maker, doing it right manually determines the final quality of the resulting ice-cream.
Remove bowl from freezer and using a hand beater, whip the mixture for 10 minutes at the highest speed on your beater. The mixture will begin to bubble because of the whipped cream. Return to freezer for another 30 minutes.

Repeat the whipping process, but reduce time to 5 minutes. Return to freezer for 30 minutes.

This needs to be done 2 more times(once every 30 mins). By the third time your mixture would have thickened and would be harder to ‘churn’. Let your hand-mixer do its thing.

After the last churn, you can transfer ice-cream to containers and then freeze or return the same bowl to the freezer. Freeze overnight or for atleast 6 hours.

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)

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

Note: You can make 1 cup of cake flour by placing 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a 1 cup measure, and filling to the top with all purpose flour.

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.

Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)

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

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.

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. I used an 8”x8” pan, so my brown butter pound cake was slightly taller, hence my petite fours are taller too.
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 (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.

The Ice-cream Petit Fours were scrumptious and the brown butter pound cake was out of this world! Thanks Elissa for a wonderful challenge.

Microwave Tomato-Garlic Chutney

Yes, you read right. A dish that has been made in a Microwave for the very first time on FLF. I am one of those who wouldn't dare 'cook' in the Microwave and confined this rectangular appliance to mere reheating of food(do I see nodding heads?). Back home among family, it seems to be a fad to own a microwave, an even more ignored appliance in the kitchen which sits in a corner under a host of other things collecting dust. Every relative I spoke to had only one demand, that I teach them how to cook and bake in a Microwave. I winced at the thought of doing either -- cooking or baking in a MW.

I finally cracked under the pressure and teaming up with mom decided to tackle this task head-on. Cooking and baking in the Microwave has already been taken to new heights here and I feel like a toddler taking her first steps.(Don't jeer at me oh great "Microwavers"!) Well, I had to start some day. Mom and I agreed upon a simple tomato chutney and a few minutes later, we were dunking into some finger licking goodness!

You will need:

1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Oil
1 inch piece ginger, grated
4 cloves Garlic
1/4 tsp Onion seeds (Kalonji)
2 tbsp vinegar (or to taste)
1 tsp Chilli powder
Salt to taste

Place chopped tomatoes, onion seeds and oil in a MW safe bowl and cook on 100% power for 4mins. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients, except vinegar, and continue to cook on HIGH for 7-8 minutes stirring thrice in intervals. The tomatoes should have softened and the chutney, fragrant. Add vinegar as needed depending on sourness of tomatoes.

Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

Channa Bathura...after a break

I am back after a wonderful vacation to India..had an amazing time with friends and family. Three days of trying hard to stay awake in the day and am back to good ol' way of life here. Apart from the fact that I miss being constantly offered yummy food, all is well ;)

In the short time I was in India, I tried to make the most of it by learning a few more dishes from mom - or should I say lazily overlooked while she did all the hard work..he he! My brother and I enjoy mom's finger licking Channa (Chole) and puffy Bathuras. I've already told you about mom's special Chole ..made with aromatic spices and a tea bag. Add some scrumptious Bathuras to the mix and you have one delectable meal!

Channa(Chickpeas) Curry:

2 Cups Channa/Chickpeas
3 Onions chopped

6 large tomatoes

1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste

1 tsp Anardana (Dried Pomegranate seeds)

1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Garam Masala powder

2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Lime juice

1 tbsp Jaggery

1 Tea bag (regular)

1 Potato, boiled peeled and cubed

1/3 Cup Oil

Salt to taste

Soak channa/chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook with a pinch of cooking soda till done(usually 3 whistles). Strain and reserve. Puree 4 tomatoes and keep aside. Chop the remaining. Powder the cumin seeds and pomegranate seeds. Then add a fistful of boiled channa, onions, jaggery, ginger garlic paste and red chilli powder. Grind to a smooth paste, add water as required.

Heat oil in a pan.Add the ground paste and sauté for a few minutes on medium heat till the paste thickens and the oil begins to float on top. Now add the tomato puree, boiled channa, chopped tomatoes and 1 cup water. Stir and bring to a boil on medium heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cubed boiled potato and then insert a tea bag and let the string hang on the side of the pan (allows you to remove it later)

Add garam masala powder, salt and lime juice. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Do not over boil as you don’t want an overpowering taste of tea in the dish. Discard tea bag,garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

You will need: (Makes 5-6)

1 Cup All-Purpose flour
Salt to taste
Milk as required

1-2 tsp Plain Yoghurt

Oil for deep frying

Combine all-purpose flour, salt, yoghurt in a bowl. Add milk to this and combine until it all comes together to form a soft dough. The dough should be smooth and not sticky. Cover and let sit for 3-4 hours.

Knead dough well. Divide dough into 5-6 balls. Roll each into a circle and deep fry in oil until puffed. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil and serve hot with the Channa curry.

Happy eating! :)

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