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DB Challenge: Ice Cream Petites Fours

August 28, 2010


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.”

To make the ice cream petite fours, there are four processes: making the cake, making the ice cream, forming and freezing together the petit fours and finally, covering and decorating them.

The first step is to make your cake base. For this challenge, we all baked a delightful Brown Butter Pound Cake. First, create brown butter by cooking 19 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat for about 20 minutes, or until it smells nice and nutty and fragrant. Cool the butter until congealed in the freezer, about 20 minutes. In one bowl, whisk to combine 2 Cups cake flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Then, in a second bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the browned butter with 1/2 Cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add in the dry ingredients, beating on low until incorporated.  Bake in an 9×9 pan in an oven set to325°F for 25 minutes. Allows the cake to cool 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely. When completely cool, trim off any hard edges, level the cake, and cut the cake in half horizontally. Store until ready to set the middle layer with ice cream.

The second step is to make the ice cream and freeze the ice cream layer. The ice cream recipe we used was David Lebovitz’s vanilla, and I truly have never had such wonderful homemade ice cream. In one bowl, beat the 5 egg yolks together. Also, create an ice bath by nestling a bowl with a strainer on top of it over a bowl filled with ice and some water. Pour 2 Cups cream through the strainer into the bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 3/4 Cup white sugar and a pinch of salt in 1 Cup whole milk. Allow the milk mixture to cool slightly before adding very gradually 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the yolks, whisking constantly. Then, add the yolk slurry into the milk in the saucepan and reheat, stirring constantly until thickened. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir until cooled. Add 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before processing in an ice cream machine. Line the baking dish used for the brown butter pound cake with plastic wrap. Fill the pan with 1/2 inch of ice cream and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until set.

Next, you’re able to form the petite fours cake. Remove the ice cream from the 8×8 pan. Line the pan first with one layer of the cake, flip out the ice cream onto the layer of the cake, and top with the second layer of cake. Cover and return to the freezer to set for 12 hours. After setting, flip the large ice cream filled cake out, and cut into small squares. These small squares are now ready to dip in chocolate to finish up the project.

To make the chocolate glaze, heat 1 Cup cream with 1.5 Tablespoons of corn syrup until it boils. Remove from heat and add 9 ounces dark chocolate (at least 65% cocoa). Let the chocolate sit in the cream for 30 seconds before stirring to completely combine. Allow to cool slightly before setting petite four squares on a fork and spooning the chocolate glaze on top. Return to the freezer until set, at least one hour. Then, you can decorate your petite fours anyway you would like. I just combined a handful of white chocolate chips with a tablespoon of cream to create a white chocolate sauce to drizzle on top.

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