Friday, August 27, 2010
Daring Bakers - Baked Alaska
When I was at Uni, I used to love Northern Exposure - you know, the show about Dr Joel Fleischman, who much to his dismay, had to practice in Cicely, Alaska as a condition of his medical school scholarship. My friend Jen was so hooked on it that she refused to take phone calls while it was on (she was a med student, after all). I thought Fleischman was kinda cute, and that Maggie was mad not to just fall head over heels for him. I was so caught up with Fleischman that I didn't take much notice of the delightful John Corbett, who these days is much more my cup of tea (check him out in Sex and the City or The United States of Tara and you'll see why). I never did understand Ed, or why Marilyn had such a babyish voice - those are mysteries that will remain unsolved.
The Alaskan theme segues nicely into this month's Daring Bakers challenge:
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 made the Baked Alaska - primarily because I am still rather time poor and I could make one huge Baked Alaska rather than numerous cute but fiddly petit fours. Besides, I've always wanted to make a Baked Alaska - it intrigues me how icecream can go into the oven and survive without melting into oblivion. The trick is to freeze it until it is very hard.
The browned butter pound cake smelled amazing and tasted good on its own the first day, but it was little hard and tasteless in the Baked Alaska, and didn't taste like much the next day. I also feel that I should have halved the cake for use as a base for the Baked Alaska, because you have to admit, it looks a little out of proportion here:
I made David Lebovitz's vanilla icecream as per Elissa's instructions - simply because I love it. Like I said last month, this is the best icecream I've ever tasted (even better than Baskin Robbins Toffee Praline, which is pretty damn fine).
I then piped meringue all over the hardened icecream/cake combination until it looked like a jester's hat, and baked it in the oven - and voila, we have a Baked Alaska that did not, to my relief, end up as a puddle on the floor of my oven.
Here is a peek inside:
Delicious, yeah? Unfortunately, that cake did not do it for me - but with all that yummy icecream and meringue, who cares?
Thanks to Elissa for hosting us this month. You can check out a veritable parade of Baked Alaskas and petit fours by visting The Daring Kitchen.