Brown butter baked alaska cupcake = delish
This is my first attempt at a Daring Bakers challenge and although the outcome, Baked Alaska cupcakes, were phenomenally tasty I managed to cock it up somewhat by getting too excited and not reading the instructions properly. All I can say is I blame being sick - as I read the instructions while off work sick for two weeks and deciding what to make. There was a choice of a baked alaska or some small petit four type things - I immediately decided, obviously, to make baked alaska cupcakes.
The actual challenge had two mandatory sections - the ice cream and the brown butter pound cake. This is where I mis-read and thought you had to make the ice cream and a brown butter cake. Which is what I did ...oops.
Anyhow I did three new things for this challenge; I made my own ice cream, I made brown butter (without burning it) and I used a blow torch, and kept both eyebrows and my fringe!
First up was the ice cream. I used a recipe from July's edition of Good Food Magazine for vanilla ice cream (recipe here). I successfully made the custard, which I'd been dreading, then as I don't have an ice cream machine I hand whisked it every couple of hours till it was time for its final electric whisk and then went to bed at about 2am! I added extra vanilla too as I love the taste of vanilla and it came out really well - a few ice flakes but it tasted better than any posh store bought ice cream I've bought so I am chuffed with it for my first attempt.
Next up was the cake. Obviously I should've made the pound cake that I now know was compulsory but I didn't. Sorry, again. I however used a basic cupcake recipe but instead of using boring old butter I first browned it following instructions on Chow, with a little help from Bea of Bea's of Bloomsbury on Twitter and let it cool slightly before making the cupcake batter. The smell as these were cooking in the oven was amazing. And when they came out they smelt slightly toasty and nutty - I couldn't wait to try one and scoffed one when they were quite warm and burnt my tongue. Again my gluttony is foiled and punished.
The rest of the cakes were put safely away in tins until the next day when the meringue was whipped (using the egg whites from the eggs used in the ice cream which I'd frozen for these!) and my brand new blow torch was filled and ready to go!
My lovely husband had suggested I'd either burn the house down or end up doing something stupid like scratching my head while using the torch and ending up bald - well *raspberries* as I managed to blow torch nothing but the meringue toppings.
Browning not burning!
This is where we fall down a little again - we got no pics of the baked alaska cupcakes innards - for two reasons. One, we were too greedy and wanted to eat them as they smelt and looked delicious and two, I totally forgot. One bite and all I was thinking was YUM, my mind thought of nothing but the next bite.
Manny's blow torched beauty
We scoffed a couple of baked alaska cuppies each and then I made 4 with a bit of lemon curd, topped with meringue. Again, delicious. (Note: We didn't eat them all in the same day!). The rest of the cakes we ate plain with a cup of tea. The left over egg whites were piped onto baking parchment and placed in the oven and came out an hour later as gorgeously gooey treats which we had the next night for dinner with Chantilly cream! It was a bit of a sugar filled couple of days!
Lovely lemon meringue cupcake
I really enjoyed taking part in Daring Bakers even if I did cock up a bit of it - hopefully they don't throw you out for mis-reading!! And I've learned that burnt butter in cupcakes is a taste sensation - something I shall definitely be doing again soon!