Brown Butter Wonderment
August 27, 2010

First and foremost, Selamat Berpuasa to everyone. Today marks the 16th day of the fasting month. Soon, it’ll be time to bake Raya goodies and hopefully that will mean more posts!

Before that though, it is time to reveal the 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 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”.

This month, I was introduced to brown butter and oh my, was I glad I signed up as a daring baker. Just the memory of the aroma of the brown butter is enough to make me salivate. On top of that, I had to overcome my nonsensical fear of making custard-based ice cream. I tweaked David Lebovitz’s chocolate ice cream recipe to churn out this marvelously creamy roasted almonds mocha ice cream to go into my bombe Alaska. Overall, this month’s daring bakers’ challenge was absolutely fun and a wonderful learning experience. Plus, I finally had a reason to invest in a blow torch.. Crème brûlée here I come!

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Black and White
July 27, 2010

It has been too long, non? Not that I have not been baking – just that I have not been baking anything different. I have dabbled with candy making but my homemade marshmallows flopped, literally – taught me the importance of the candy thermometer – and my torrone/ nougat came out just alright, not a good recipe to share. Today, I will be posting my first daring baker’s challenge!

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

We were given the creative freedom to choose the flavors of the roll and the ice cream. I attempted to make mint chip ice cream, cookies and cream ice cream, hot fudge and just the basic chocolate swiss roll with vanilla filling. Somehow, the mint chip ice cream did not set and I decided to not add it to the bombe so that I’ll be able to slice the bombe. Seeing that the mint chip ice cream did not set, I used my own recipe to make the cookies and cream ice cream. So, everything turned out black and white.

The recipe for the swiss roll, hot fudge and ice cream can be found at The Daring Kitchen website. The recipe for the cookies and cream ice cream is as follows (no ice cream maker required):

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Perpetual Summer
March 13, 2010

Pretty Pomegranate

Have you noticed how hot it has been these past few days? And the short periods of rain do not help. It’s as though the clouds are rationing the amount of rainfall per day. Not enough to provide cool comfort but just enough to make it humid and stuffy. So how do you beat the heat and the humidity?

With ice cream of course! What with the sudden influx of tropical mangoes and passion fruit, I’d decided to make this ice cream that is just infused with the taste of summer to chase away the heat. Without an ice cream maker too!

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Someone screamed for ice cream…cake?
February 12, 2010

So I celebrated my birthday recently and being me, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to bake. So, I baked my own birthday cake!

However, I didn’t want to spend my day in the hot kitchen, I kinda cheated. I used Betty Crocker’s Fudge Brownie mix and I bought ice-cream from the supermarket. I decided on the brownie mix cause I wanted a cake that wouldn’t “deform” under the weight of the ice cream.

So I baked the brownies a day earlier and left them to cool. Using the same mould as the cake, I made a layer of the vanilla ice cream, cling wrapped it and stored it in the freezer for the next day.

The best part came when it was time to prepare the decorations for the cake.

Melt the chocolates! Using parchment paper, fold them into icing cones and fill the cones with the melted chocolate. Cut off the end and start creating webs on a sheet of parchment paper.

Get the strawberries out and dip them into the chocolate (ensure that you do this last as once water gets into the chocolate, you will not be able to re-melt the chocolate without ruining it).

Refrigerate them and then assemble the cake!

I used whipped cream frosting on the cake and just stuck the chocolate webs on.

Easy but the assembly has to be fast in this hot weather. Or just refrigerate after each step.

Then, slice it up and eat! And, of course forget to take a picture until it’s all melted.