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”.
So, another month, another new dessert to try with the Daring Bakers. When given the coice of a baked alaska or petits fours, i knew straight away that it had to be the mini sweets! I love the petits fours at fancy restaurants, and jumped at the chance to make some of my own!
I decided to make individual sized brown butter pound cakes, rather than one large cake. This helped me to control the cooking so each cake was evenly browned, and the edges were nice and sharp. I absolutely loved the cake and it was so easy to make. I am in love with pretty much anything with brown butter as an ingredient, and the nutty flavour of the butter was really prominent in these little cakes. I am now coming upwith all sorts of uses for this recipe, it is definitely a keeper!
After letting the cakes cool, I carefully levelled and split them before filling with dulce de leche buttercream. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Ice cream, and especialy David Lebovitz’s vanilla which is my go-to recipe. The only thing is: my tiny freezer drawer was so full that I wouldn’t have been able to chill down the petits fours, so I had to think of an alternative. I think the dulce de leche buttercream really complemented the brown butter flavour and I would love to try them with dulce de leche ice cream when my freezer drawer is a little more sparse!
The little cakes chilled out in the fridge for a while, and I made the chocolate glaze from the challenge recipe. I decided to decorate with piped milk chocolate and white chocolate stars, and I am pretty pleased with how they came out.
Thanks Elissa for a lovely challenge!
Brown Butter Pound Cake
19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour
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
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.
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.
Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
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.
Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
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.
Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Dulce de leche buttercream
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp dulce de leche
1 cup icing sugar
Beat together softened butter and dulce de leche until light. Beat in icing sugar until a thick consistency is reached.
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.