Friday, August 27, 2010

The Perfect Day for Baked Alaska

San Francisco is typically at its coldest in the summer, with foggy, barely 60-degree days.  Not this week, however.  This week it hit nearly 100 degrees: HOT!  Especially when you don't have air conditioning.

And in this unseasonably hot weather, I attempted Baked Alaska alone, without my baking companion, Sara.  Both of us have been traveling throughout August, taking our "bar trips," and we only had one evening of overlap in the Bay Area - not enough time to undertake this month's challenge.  I missed her in the kitchen!

I tried to do the true baking portions of the recipe in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day.  Lucky me - I had some help from our friend Cat, who was staying at my house during the heat wave in between her own post-bar travels.  She took pictures as I frantically assembled the quickly melting pieces of this dessert.

First, the brown butter pound cake:

Next, Kahlua brownie ice cream, per Cat's request:

Then, the meringue:

I am so glad I invested in a decent set of pastry tips.  More meringue piping:

And then, after some freezing time, we busted out the blowtorch!

And scorched the meringue:

Ever the manly man, TJ wielded the blow torch while I took pictures.  Perfect result!

And the interior was perfect, too:

This was definitely a great dessert to enjoy at the end of a hot day.

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”.

For my version, I used two additional recipes.  For the brownies, I used a tried-and-true recipe from The Wednesday Chef, which makes very fudgy brownies:
the_wednesday_chef/2010/02/alice-medrichs-cocoa-brownies.html.  For the Kahlua ice cream, I used a new (to me) recipe, with delicious results:
.  Instead of stirring in the semi-sweet chocolate at the end, I just chopped my chilled brownies into bite-size pieces and stirred them in while the ice cream was still soft, and then let it harden in the tea cup molds in the freezer.  I had brownies and ice cream left over for later enjoyment!


Renata said...

Love your ice cream flavor! I might try this soon as I have some Khalua from the chocolate pavlova challenge. Amazing job and great photos, too!

Emily said...

I CANNOT believe we missed this one. Daring bakers in Denver this winter??!?

Catherine Mongeon said...

I can attest to the deliciousness of this challenge!