Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pecan Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Petit Fours-August '10 Daring Bakers Challenge

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 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”

Browned Butter, (Hello my little friend) also known as Beurre noisette, which  in French  literally translates to, "hazelnut butter." This unbelievable nutty phenomenon has been used since medieval times in French cuisine.  The French knew exactly what they were doing when they allowed the clarified butter to brown. In essence, the water begins to evaporate, leaving only milk solids and butterfat. The milk solids sink to the bottom and  become small brown flecks among the mixture. So, do not fear if you see these in the browning process. You have not ruined the butter. But, do keep in mind. We are making browned butter, not burnt butter. As I’ve said before, there are mere minutes in cooking time between the two, but a universe of difference  between their tastes. You will know if you’ve burned it. It will smell burned and repulsive, rather than nutty and wonderful.
Let’s take a little walk through its cooking process. Its started bubbling up and breaking down a bit:

Now here, wow, its really starting to foam up. For a moment, you may think its going to overtake your kitchen like one of those weird science experiments.But, it won’t…

Now finally, we are starting to see some beautiful color creep into our butter. Lovely, swirly colors. But, look closely..its a beautiful coppery brown, not black. (Yes, that is important)

This, beautiful, nutty, rich chocolate brown (ok, I’ll stop now) butter is what you’re looking for. Remember, don’t worry about those brown bits at the bottom of your pan. They are part of this browned butter too!

Now, I just want to get up on my Sinful Southern Sweets soapbox for a minute. ***If you have never tried browned butter in a recipe, you must do this!!! Soon! Browned butter is one of those little surprises in life that will make you want to be mad at your Mama because she never told you at an early age how unbelievable it tastes. You’ll be very ticked that you’ve wasted all your life not enjoying it!! Seriously, people, this is not an option, you must try it. If you would like to try it in something a little simpler, check out these Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats ***Ok, I’m down off that soapbox now. Don’t make me go back up there….

So, moving on…When I first started thinking of this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge, I was a bit torn. We had two options. We could make Baked Alaska. Which, I can not begin to tell you how appealing this option was just for the mere fact that I was going to get to use a little blow torch to brown the whole thing. OK, well, that was the main reason I was attracted to the Baked Alaska. But, then I saw we could make petit fours, well, I’m a sucker for itty bitty cakes. And Mr. Sweets said he’d rather have the petit fours because he didn’t really like meringue. So it was settled. Then I began thinking of the ice cream for the filling. We could use any homemade ice cream recipe we wanted.  I don’t really do well when given so much free reign. I tend to become compulsive and search for hours through recipes trying to make a decision. I knew the ice cream needed to have a bit of mature complexity. No kiddy flavors like grape or cookie dough. Well, I like grape and cookie dough ice cream as much as the next person, but it just didn’t seem like it paired correctly. Imagine displaying your petit fours and offering to a guest “Please try my delicious browned butter and grapico ice cream petit fours.”  Its just not right….Yet, I just couldn't stomach the thoughts of doing a "too mature" ice cream like caviar, feta and pear ice cream or some oddity that my palate has just not developed enough to accept (When did ice cream get that mature anyways!?!). Let's face it, part of me still wants the kiddy flavors. So here's what I came up with.... Pecan Toffee Crunch Ice Cream (with a fudge swirl!).

The ice cream is my new favorite. (Well, 2nd favorite. Mama's Peach Ice Cream will always be my number one favorite!) Mmmm….I’m not sure I can even continue….No, I’m going to just go  lust over these little frozen beauties. You go make these. You will not regret it.  Try to share them. Even if they’re a pain to assemble. You will make new friends or you could patch up old relationships. You need these in your life…….Enjoy!

Pecan Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Truffles with Browned Butter Pound Cake

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)
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
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.
2. 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.
3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. 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.
5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
6. 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.
7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

 Pecan Toffee Crunch Ice Cream
  • 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped Emerald Glazed Pecans, Pecan Pie flavored  
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped Heath Bars (about 1½ 1.4-ounce bars)
  • 1 jar Hershey's Hot Fudge Ice cream syrup
  1. To make the ice cream: In a medium-size bowl, with an eggbeater or a whisk, beat the egg yolks until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Set aside. In a double boiler, over simmering water, scald the half-and-half. Add ½ cup of the half-and-half to the egg mixture, stirring to warm the egg yolks. Return the entire mixture to the double boiler and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the pot in a bowl of cold water. Cool the custard to room temperature (about 45 minutes), stirring once about halfway through to prevent a skin from forming on the top. When the custard has cooled to room temperature, stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, preferably overnight. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze until partially set, about 20 minutes. Stir in the almonds and Heath Bars, and continue freezing until firm, about 5 more minutes, following the manufacturer's instructions. Turn off the ice cream machine, and using a small offset spatula or knife, swirl in the hot fudge syrup.
Glazing the Petit Fours:
You can glaze petit fours with a number of different coatings. I used a peanut butter confectioners coating. It is great if you are in a hurry. If you have the time, and would prefer a chocolate glaze you can try this recipe:
Chocolate Glaze
9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
Stir the heavy cream and light corn 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. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.


Johnnie said...

Hi! I am a new follower from Tuesday's blog hops. Glad I came across your blog. I will be back. Blessings...
Saved By Love Creations

Tickled Red said...

Lordy girl this is truly sinful! I love brown nutter. Your itty bitty cakes with that amazingly scrumptious ice cream will haunt my dreams. Great job!

♥peachkins♥ said...

Oh my! They look amazing!

The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
blowing peachkisses

Colleen (Shibley Smiles) said...

Your blog is very yummilicious!

Following from FMBT


TKW said...

Oh, Heath Bars! My favorite! Sweet torture on my molars, but I love them! Sounds wonderful.

Christina said...

Mmmm! Your flavors have me drooling! Awesome job on the challenge!

Julie m. said...

Holy cow does that ice cream look tasty! Nice nice work on this one! I did the petit fours too, I'm like your husband, I just couldn't resist the little cakes! congrats on a successful challenge!

Manu said...

Just love it!
They look very yummy!!!

Sweet and Savory said...

This is a beautifully planned blog. I had to follow you.
You are correct, these are sinful but sooooo good.

Mama Hen said...

What a great blog! It all looks delicious! You have a new follower. Come visit Mama's Little Chick.

Mama Hen

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

New follower here from Tuesday Tag Along by Twee Poppets. That looks absolutely yummy.
Would love it if you came by for a visit as well.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

The Things We Find Inside

Aparna said...

LOvely flavours here and your petit fours looks so pretty.
I grew up with browned butter/ ghee in savoury and sweet food so yes, I can understand your love for it. :)

Renata said...

Yum... this ice cream must be delish! Lovely petit fours!


I am in awe of how I could love food anymore than I already do...but everytime I read ur blog, I become borderline obsessed with food. <3

Pam said...

Oh, I want to eat at your house for sure! This is a gorgeous post and you did it all up perfect even if I am salivating right now!

www.sweetcreationsbystephanie.com said...

I am going to make that ice cream next..that looks sinful! yum

Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews said...

Yum! That looks awesome. I've never made ice cream before...

I found your blog from Follow me Back Tuesday. Have a great day!

Jacque said...

Oh my goodness, that ice cream sounds wonderful! Great post!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

There are so many delicious components in this dessert!

Krista said...

Dear Lord in Heaven, woman...what an amazing recipe. Excellent work! I adore browned butter.

kitchen flavours said...

First time here! You have a lovely blog. Joining you. Will be back to read your other posts. Have a lovely week!

Mandy said...

Tag you are it!


Design It Chic said...

I am your newest follower from Tuesday Tag-Along! It would be nice if you could share the love back on my blog;)
And also don't forget, for more easy HTML tutorials, or help increasing your blog's traffic, you know where to come!
Plus today we teach another one of our blog tutorials, so make sure you don't miss it! Happy Tuesday!

Thea said...

Your petite fours look great, and the icecream sounds like it would be fabulous.

Hanna said...

Hi There. I am your newest follower from Tuesday Blog Hop! You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

Your food is beautiful! I'm really looking forward to seeing more:)