Friday, August 27, 2010

August Daring Bakers: Baked Alaska!

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”.

It's been a long haul this past two weeks!

The good news is, I get to keep my hand! The bad news is that I only started being able to use it, and cautiously at that, starting today. I still have some numbness and lots of swelling, but I'm out of the tunnel and definitely in the light. If you want to get truly disgusted, just do a little Google search on Infectious Flexor Tenosynovitis, but you might want to wait until after you've looked at the yummy food pictures below!

So starting today, I was finally able to type and I was also able(finally!!)to get back in the kitchen and do some cooking. Just in the nick of time, too, since today is the August Daring Bakers reveal date. Baked Alaska was this month's challenge, and I have to say it made a wonderful cake to celebrate the day with!

The first part of a Baked Alaska is a cake base--in this case we made a brown butter pound cake. How good was this? The batter was divine licked straight off the beaters, and cake is pretty great as well. Think pound cake, but with a sort of nutty caramel tweak. Yeah. Good. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the cake before I leveled it. Also, see the myriad of little holes? That's a combination of hurrying and trying to figure out how to hold spatula in a hand that's not working right.

The second part of the cake is ice cream. I followed (loosely, verryyyy loosely) the recipe for fresh strawberry ice cream that came with my ice cream maker. Instead of strawberries, I used a mixture of raspberries and blueberries. Along with vanilla, I added a nice little shot of Chambourd. Macerating the fruit? Who has the TIME for that???? And finally, instead of adding half the berries here and half the berries there, I just dumped the whole lot of them in at once.

So, you know, about as good as I ever follow any recipe!

The final layer of a Baked Alaska is the meringue. I love meringue. A. Lot. So, I was really glad to have a ton of egg whites left over that have been hanging out in the freezer for a few weeks. I thawed those and discovered to my dismay (naah, utter delight!) that I had approximately 50% too many for the recipe. I made it all up and I used it all up! Yay for meringue!

I was really scared when it came time to assemble the whole cake. My ice cream hadn't had time to freeze solid, so I was really concerned that the cake guts would melt before the skin was bronzed. No worries, though. I had plenty of time to use my kitchen torch and take plenty of pictures, too!

This brief interruption brought to you be gratitude. Hey Bet?! How long ago was it you gave me the torch for Christmas? Still one of my favorite gifts ever!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

Okay, back to business.

The business here being trying to get the cats off the table so I can take photos! Move your furry hind-end, Sky! Hurry, the sun is going down!

What, you too?

That's it! I'm going back to bed!


  1. Your baked alaska looks lovely. It must have been quite a challenge given that you're just recovering. Take care.

  2. WOW! Your baked Alaska looks so pretty! I bet the ice cream was to die for! May this beautiful and delicious creation be the beginning of a new time (recovered) for you!

  3. I pray you have a successful total recovery and that baked alaska looks amazing!

  4. OMG. Fantastic! It's picture perfect! (but, so bummer about your hand).

  5. So pretty. LOL, that would be my cat too up there seeing what food I had :)