Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Daring Bakers Bake Alaska

No, this is not a post about global warming, but it probably should be. Have you always wanted to make Baked Alaska but thought it was too difficult? Too many components? Too much like something your parents' generation would have served at a dinner party? It is, but it's pretty tasty anyway.
When I was a teenager, I really wanted to make Baked Alaska and had an ice cream maker and my dad's  torch, but I never got around to it. Then, who knows what happened, but I kind of forgot about it. Now, all these years later and I got the perfect opportunity to make one. This month's challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. She's 18 now and takes amazing photos of her culinary creations.
The brown butter pound cake had the most delicious batter, but the baked cake didn't really work here. It was dense and became dry and unpleasantly hard in the freezer. If I do this again I'll make a genoise, as I think the texture will be better frozen. The other components were great, though--I made a honey-peach ice cream to fill this random act of piping, and covered it in Italian meringue, before getting a bit torch-happy. Well-browned Italian meringue tastes just like roasted marshmallows, doesn't it? More on that in my next post...


Blog-checking lines: 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”.

Link to full challenge PDF here.


Honey-Peach Ice Cream (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours)
4 large ripe peaches
1/4 cup honey
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
1. Chop the peaches into 1/2 inch chunks and place them in a small saucepan. Add the honey and bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan and cook until the peaches are soft (about 10 minutes). Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree. Cover and chill.
2. Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and sugar together until blended in a heatproof bowl. Drizzle in a bit of the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs, whisking. Slowly add the rest of the milk mixture. Pour the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan and heat ove medium-low, stirring until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof bowl, and chill. When all components are thoroughly chilled, stir in the vanilla, rum and peach puree.
3. Scrape into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When the ice cream is ready, pack into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours until it is firm enough to scoop.

31 comments:

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Lovely baked alaska. Very nicely done. Love the swirl of your meringue.

chef_d said...

That's a very pretty looking baked alaska--I'm envious of the browned swirls, i definitely have to buy a torch. And I'm drooling at your description of the meringue tasting like roasted marshmallow :)

Suzler said...

Your baked Alaska is perfect! It looks so beautiful with those blowtorched swirls, like ribbons. Honey peach ice cream sounds like the most delicious thing in the world - it looks it too. :)

Poires au Chocolat said...

It looks great, Mary! Honey and peach sounds pretty great for an ice cream flavour too.

chezluce.com said...

Hi Mary!

Your baked alaska looks gorgeous, and honey peach ice cream - wow!

Looking forward to seeing your next months' challenge :-)

Luce x

shelley c. said...

Okay, first of all, I love how this post is written! Makes the whole process extra fun. I LOVE the sound of peach honey ice cream - that just sounds like SUCH a treat. And your finished Baked Alaska looks amazing - beautiful piping, beautifully torched - seriously. Amazingly done challenge.

Valerie said...

Mary this is beautiful! I love the pattern, colour and shape of the meringue. And I think it's great that you implemented one of Dorie's ice creams.
Gorgeous! I wish I had not missed this month's challenge.

Tracy said...

Your baked Alaska is absolutely stunning! Love the look of the meringue and that honey-peach ice cream sounds amazing too. Yum!!

Jennifurla said...

Gorgeous, love these pictures - good job lady!

Jeanne said...

The random piping is beautiful. And honey-peach ice cream? Wow!!! I'm so impressed!

Elissa said...

Yikes, I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy the brown butter pound cake with the dessert as a whole, but it looks beautiful! I also love the sound of honey peach ice cream. My grandma's favorite fruit is peach, and she's been hinting not-so-subtly that she wants some ice cream with them.

Leslie said...

Incredibly beautiful! I made the petit fours and they didn't stay in the freezer long enough to really harden so the pound cake was OK. I agree with you, it was a more delicious batter.

Renata said...

Mary, Your Baked Alaska is so beautiful! The ice cream flavor sounds delicious! Great photos, too!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Beautiful job with the swirling meringue! I have to agree that the cake became quite hard. I thought that was just me! :P

Aparna said...

Honey peach ice-cream sounds delicious. And the baked alaska looks perfect.
I covered mine with ganache and that kept the cake soft enough.

Delishhh said...

Nice work on the challange. I decided to do the Petite Fours instead.

veena krishnakumar said...

your baked alaska looks so pretty and love the icecream

Katrin said...

Your Baked Alaska looks great! Mmmmh, honey peach ice cream... I definitely need to try this! Ever since I joined the Daring Bakers, I'm totally into making my own ice cream :-)

Blago said...

Oh wow, your browned merengue looks wonderful! I guess I will have to try again, but without the frozen stuff underneath, and see how that works for me :-)

shaz said...

Your baked alaska looks fantastic, and honey peach ice-cream sounds great. I had a few goes at trying to flambe mine, so the cake base soaked up a fair bit of rum, possibly why I didn't notice it was hard!

Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz said...

Love ice cream and I love your free form beautifully torched meringue. I agree the cake out of the freezer was not ideal but delicious on its own.

Oh glad you found a place for October...rental or house sitting again?

jfochek said...

Love your swirly meringue. The Baked Alaska looks amazing!

Marcellina said...

Honey peach icecream? I have to try that one! I too made the Italian meringue. I couldn't stand the thought of uncooked egg whites. I'm a bit icky about things like that! Great Baked Alaska!

Manu said...

Your Baked Alaska looks gorgeous!
Congratulations!
I made the petit fours for DB, but certainlly will try the Baked Alaska, and peach and honney ice cream looks perfect! I think I'll try it!

Taste of Beirut said...

The honey-peach ice-cream and the Alaska creation would make anyone swoon! Perfect for a special event or party. We have so many peaches in the pantry these days from the orchard, I am very tempted to go thorugh the trouble and make this!

Victoria said...

I have seen several Baked Alaska on many blogs there are few days ago and, they all a look fabulous! It's a good idea to have made your ice cream with a seasonal fruit!

Judy said...

I love the swirly look of your meringue. It was just about my favorite part of the dessert. I also love peach ice cream, so I would have loved to try one of your alaskas.

Valérie said...

Beautiful swirls on that baked Alaska, Mary! It looks delightful!

Cakelaw said...

LOL - I know what you mean about the "oldies" dessert. I have always wanted to make baked alaska too - and now it's ticked off the list. I feel liking a baking version of Earl!

Lisa said...

We both went 'peachy'! lol Your Baked Alaska not only sounds delcious, but it looks gorgeous. Those torched meringue swirls are gorgeous!

Pasididžiuojanti Namų Šeimininkė said...

What a beautiful desert!