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 was not too excited, nor was I successful, at this challenge. We just finished ice cream last month - which was fantastic... so I decided to use what I had already made. But the cake recipe was an absolute failure. Hard as a rock. It took 20 min longer to bake than the specified time. I was thinking it might be my oven temperature since those things tend to be a little finicky.... so I bought an oven thermometer - which I've been meaning to do anyways - and go figure, my oven's temp is all over the place. That may have been part of the problem. Bottom line - I did not retry the cake recipe so I don't have any Petit Fours or Baked Alaskas to show for. I like being a part of the DB because it introduces me to recipes I would not normally have picked... which is the whole point. This one used browned butter – which is everything its cracked up to be and smells beautifully nutty when you’re toasting it. The down side is that many times the desserts are only good fresh (i.e. cannoli), hard to transport (i.e. ice cream) and include pricey ingredients (i.e. mascarpone cheese). With that being said, I decided I had given this challenge a fair chance and may revisit the idea of a Petit Four or Baked Alaska some other time. On a lighter note - I've found a fantastic NY style Crumb Cake recipe I can't wait to share with you! It got two thumbs up on the taste test from a native New Yorker - that's gotta say something. ;)