Saturday, 28 August 2010

Baked Alaska Cupcakes - Daring Bakers Challenge

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!

my very vanilla'y ice cream getting its final whip

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!

Me with the blow torch browning my first baked alaska! SO exciting!

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 baked alaska - yes I let him play with my blow torch even though he mocked me

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!

25 comments:

Sarah-Jane - SiliconeMoulds.com said...

Love your first photo ....

Seriously admire your commitment to find the ultimate cupcake. You made the ice cream too - geez !

I made cupcakes today too. Mine were ok - but I've had better. Hey hum. x

I heart cupcakes said...

Thanks Sarah Jane -the rest were a bit hit n miss - we were getting too excited with the blowtorch!

The ice cream was fab- never done it before but I will be doing it again!

I had that this week - I made some lemon ones which were a bit meh and dry!

Sarah-Jane - SiliconeMoulds.com said...

mine were ok - but I'm currently besotted with financiers and friands !

Hey - they don't have to look perfect to taste nice :-) More often than not, the ugly ones are best ....

Renata said...

I'm seriously thinking about substituting brown butter for regular butter on every type of cake! Your cupcakes are adorable! Great job!

Scraptastic Mel x said...

Fab idea but I think I would be too scared to use a blow torch. I will have to try home made icecream too. I have just found your blog as I was a dedicated scrapper but now I am into baking too. It's a great blog!

I heart cupcakes said...

Sarah-Jane I want to make friands and some madelines too. Never done those.

The cupcakes I made were quite pretty but very dry (had same problem with the recipes from this book before). Was a bit upset as they were meant for work and I refused to take them in.

Hi Renata - I LOVED the brown butter, was so tasty and definitely added a different element to my cakes. Thank you for your lovely comment :)

Hi Mel - I thought I would be but it was really easy to control and lots of fun! Thanks, its always nice to hear someone likes my blog! I shall have to check out yours too. Baking is so relaxing - lots of people seem to be into scrapbooking and baking.

Jenni said...

Baked Alaska Cupcakes! How divine! Those are so cute!!!! Well done!

shewhisks said...

Oh wow, love your idea of baked alaska cupcakes! Wish I had done that, they look so adorable! Ur ice-cream sounds gorgeous, I've got the July edition of GoodFood mag, think I'm gonna have to go through it again!

jessielou said...

these look amazing! I bet they tasted splendid :) I think you need to come to NYC and bake for me!

Julie M. said...

Well I for one love that you adapted the recipe to make cupcakes! These are fabulous! Nice work and congrats on completing your first challenge!

I heart cupcakes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I heart cupcakes said...

Hi everyone - thanks for the lovely comments!

Jeni - thanks! As soon as I saw the challenge I thought of them!

SheWhisks - I've always wanted to make ice cream and thought you needed a maker. It was a bit of a faff but it tasted really really nice. Even if I do say so myself. These are definitely something I'd make again!

Jessielou - You know I would if I could ;) If only those pesky green cards weren't so difficult to get!

Julie - thanks ever so much. When I realised I'd mucked it up I was quite despondent but at least I got some lovely cakes out of it. Am glad people have liked them!

Belle said...

They look lovely! You are incredibly daring!

I heart cupcakes said...

Thanks Belle - if you knew how clumsy I am, holding a blow torch is the epitome of daring for me ;)

I'm Kitty! said...

I'm jealous of all you people with blow torches! I want one! Great challenge!

Cath said...

Doing them as cupcakes is a great idea! Glad your fringe survived the blow torch!! And I love the idea of the lemon flavours!

twistedkitchen said...

Those look great! Welcome to Daring Bakers!

Manny said...

It was such good fun making those cakes with the blow torch, and even more fun eating them, they were seriously DELICIOUS! Your icecream and meringues ruled too - you really are a lady of many talents xxxx

Christina said...

So adorable! Wonderful job!

I heart cupcakes said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments - I'm looking forward to more Daring Bakers challenges!

Kitty - my husband didn't want me to get one for some time but now I have it I'm going to be using it LOTS!

Cath - sadly I try and 'cupcake' most things. I do prefer little bites of naughtiness

Twisted Kitchen - thanks :)

Manny - glad you enjoyed them! was definitely lots of fun to make!

Christina - thanks very much :)

jessielou said...

I probably take my green card for granted but I bet you take the availability of Britishy things like good curry and understanding irony, for granted too!

I heart cupcakes said...

@Jessielou - true we do get fine curry. I wanted to do the Brick Lane challenge when we visited (to eat a phaal curry as seen on Man V Food) but thought it mightn't be a plan i the end. They don't get irony much-or sarcasm I agree. But you can have lashings of cupcakes, sephora, shake shack and oodles of other stuff.
have you been to Tea and Sympathy for your English fix?

jessielou said...

aye it is true we have shake shack (amazing milkshakes!), cupcakes in all forms from the mini Baked by Melissa ones to mobile ones in vans placed at strategic places about and I could wax lyrical about sephora...
To get Britishy necessities, I have been known to visit Tea and Sympathy or Myers of Keswick. Oddly enough, there is a deli about a block from me in Brooklyn which has British candy and PG Tips.
I will find some good curry eventually...I hope!

Suzanne said...

Good job, really impressive.

I heart cupcakes said...

Thanks Suzanne - I really enjoyed these and will make them again!