White Chocolate 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’m going to warn you in advance. Today we’ll be having some ‘whine’ with our Baked Alaska. Hope that’s OK.
This whole Baked Alaska first experience was just a tad crazy for me. It went downhill from the start. From the browned butter pound cake base (which I’m sure would have been lovely had I not over baked the crap out of it) to the meringue (which would have been smooth had I not left it standing too long on the counter top before piping).
(I think I’ll keep the ‘after’ to myself)
I’m seriously annoyed with me right now. I should know these things. Correction, I do know these things. But put this ‘untouchable’ dessert in front of me and I’m like a kid on the first day of school. The anticipation and expectation killed me on this one and all skill and talent went out the window.
I thought about not posting, but I’m going to put it out there. I’m not perfect. I want to be, but I’m not. My kitchen is a place of ups and downs just like all of yours.
Many food blogs shine this sheen of perfection where every cake is perfectly risen and every photograph perfectly lit. Mine might even look like that sometimes, but its not reality. We work hard to make our little spaces on the internet beautiful for you to enjoy. How do our kitchens’ look? Not always so beautiful.
But ultimately we’re all here to learn and that means being honest about our shortcomings. What did I learn this time? Don’t get distracted by the so called difficulty level of a recipe or by your gorgeous boyfriend helping you out in the kitchen.
I’m putting the pictures up but just know that I’m peeking at them through my fingers.
There was an up side to this experience however. The White Chocolate Ice-cream was incredible.
I decided not to use my ice-cream maker as I was making two other batches of ice-cream at the same time. Turns out if I had it would have been complete overkill. Even beating once was overkill. There were no ice crystals to be found. I kid you not.
Seeing that the ice-cream eclipsed the dish as a whole for me, I’m going to share the ice-cream recipe (source unknown – due to my habit of scribbling recipes on random scraps of paper and my malfunctioning memory) and the rest of the components can be found at the Daring Kitchen. I must just stress that it wasn’t the dishes’ fault. Lessons learned.
Don’t get put off by all the stirring and pouring this much and that much back and forth. It took me a while to figure it. But it was worth it.
White Chocolate Ice-cream:
- 2 cups half & half (half milk and half cream) or light cream
- 2 cups heavy cream (divided)
- 340g (12 0z) good quality white chocolate
- 1/4 cup castor sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp creme liqueur
Whisk together the castor sugar, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium bowl until smooth and set aside.
Chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Set aside. Heat the remaining cream (1 1/2 cups) with the half and half in a saucepan over med. heat until it just begins to simmer around the edges. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate in the bowl and let stand for 30 sec or so before mixing together until smooth. Set aside.
Moving back to the egg mixture, pour a little of the remaining hot cream mixture into the eggs to temper and stir well. Then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of the spoon. If you’re unsure of the consistency, draw a line with your finger along the back of the spoon. If it runs back into the space then you’ll have to cook it a little longer. If it stays clean then you’re good to go.
Stir 1 cup of this custard into the chocolate mixture, then stir the chocolate mixture, vanilla and liqueur into the custard.
Pass the mixture through a sieve to get rid of any over coagulated egg proteins (sorry, years of being a science major coming out) and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Churn in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions, or pour into a container and freeze, beating every 45 min or so until thick and creamy. Then freeze again. Obviously.
Oh, I folded some extra chopped chocolate into the mixture just before freezing for the final time. It added a nice crunchy texture to the mix. Yum.