Daring Bakers August Challenge: Ice Cream Petit Fours with Brown Butter Pound Cake

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 Alasa or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa's challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz's "The Perfect Scoop".

My ice cream machine-buy was no bad idea wasn't it? In this month's challenge I could use it again. The original recipe for the ice cream was vanilla flavour but I decided for cheesecake after tasting some crumbs of this delicious butter pound cake. Unfortunately my boyfriend didn't share my opinion - he doesn't like cheesecake at all and disliked the flavour combination at the first taste. I thought otherwise - I fell in love with it - cannot understand that there are really people who do NOT like cheesecake, the best cake ever ... I decided to go with white chocolate with some coconut shreds in it. The taste was all right, but of course the cake was shining through (should have thought about that before), the petit fours were great anyway (I'm going to post pictures of the ready ones later because I have to head to my mother-in-law...).

Ice Cream Petit Fours (*Butterfinger* style)

Brown Butter Pound Cake
  • 19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
  • 2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See "Note" section for cake flour substitution)
  • 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.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
adapted from David Lebovitz's "The Perfect Scoop", makes about 750 ml
  • 400 g cream cheese
  • 70 g sour cream
  • 130 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest and juice of one big lemon
  • 50 graham crackers, crushed
  • 60 ml milk
  • 60 ml heavy cream
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refridgerator. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the instructions. Note: I wanted the cracker crumbs smal and soft so I stirred them in with all the other ingredients - if you like otherwise, add them later.

White chocolate glaze
  • 250 ml heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla or coconut syrup
  • 250 g fine-quality white chocolate flavoured with coconut, melted
Stir the heavy cream and 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. Let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.


Line a 9"x9" (23cmx23cm) pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups (450ml to 500ml) ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.
Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.

Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)While the glaze cools, trim ¾" (2cm) off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5" (19cm) ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5"x1.5" (4cmx4cm).Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it. Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.

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