August 30, 2010

DB Baked Alaskas

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 know August was here because I have a number of new freckles, unloaded pictures on my camera and sand in my purse to prove it, but usual there was more to do than time to do it in.  In spite of my grandiose plans to wow all with my dairy-free baked Alaskas I instead bring you my thrown together, last minute attempt at this month's Daring Baker challenge.

We were given a brown butter cake recipe and I was enamored of our host's tag line, "Nutty and toasty meets cool and creamy."  However, margarine is not the kind of thing that improves with browning.  I instead played with the given pound cake recipe to make it toasted almond flavored.   I made a test loaf with the recipe quartered so I would only need one egg and could bake it in a mini loaf pan for just a few individual Alaskas.  I replaced the butter with coconut oil plus two tablespoons of almond flour.  Then I followed the butter browning and cooling directions with my coconut oil/almond flour mixture to get the most nutty flavor out of the ground nuts.  When I added the vanilla extract I also added in an eighth of a teaspoon of almond extract.  The resulting mini loaf was delicious!!  

I stuck with the ice cream recipe from Speedbump Kitchen I used last month but I flavored it with a real vanilla bean in addition to vanilla extract.  My only major trouble came when I beat my egg whites for the meringue cover.  They looked nice and glossy and not overbeaten when I finished beating them but in the time it took to turn around and get the piping bag ready they took on a slightly curdled texture.  Maybe it was the heat?  Either way I loved the cake and my son appreciated another baking challenge that included ice cream.  Thanks Elissa!  

-You can find the challenge recipes at our host Elissa's site, 17 and Baking.  She collaborated with Jen of Sugar High Fridays.
-Or you can go to original sources.  Elissa got her ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments and the Brown Butter Pound Cake recipe from Epicurious
-The ice cream recipe I made was the "The World's Easiest Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Vanilla Ice Cream" from Speedbump Kitchen (click to see all her other ice cream flavors.)
-I replaced the soy creamer with So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer.  I tried using the Original flavor this month but I recommend using the French Vanilla flavor instead. 
-Visit the Daring Kitchen and see other ice cream treats made this month by browsing the Daring Baker Blogroll

Naked Alaskas
Unbaked Alaskas
Alex at the NW Michigan Fair at the Cooking the Kids event making a sandwich wrap
And vegetable pasta salad
And blowing bubbles at the Buckley Old Engine Show.
Abbie has been murdering mice all summer
Sadly our duck Coco was killed by a predator while we were on vacation.  We suspect a weasel.
The others are doing well and free ranging more now that the dogs are back to protect them.
Penny is smiling and laughing.
And trying to wear all the cute clothes she got as gifts before the summer ends.
And she started rolling on our vacation to South Carolina and travels across the rooms getting into mischief.
Enjoy the rest of the summer all!

This is the almond flour I used, the cups I formed the Alaskas in and the cutters I used to cut out a slice of cake.  Love 'em all!