Who was brave enough to make the baked Alaskas this week?
In honor of our 49th state, we’re making Baked Alaskas! Posting date is October 25.
- 1 pint (473 ml) coffee ice cream, slightly softened
- 12 unglazed, unfrosted chocolate cupcakes (see Baked Note)
- 1 pint (473 ml) vanilla ice cream
- 7 large egg whites
- 1¾ cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pull one or two very large pieces of plastic wrap across the top of a 12-cup muffin tin. The plastic wrap should cover the entire tin, plus there should be overhang (6 to 8 inches/15 to 20 cm) on either side. Press the plastic wrap into the bottoms and sides of the cups. Don’t worry if it doesn’t adhere to the sides of the tin; you just want to make sure it conforms to the general shape of the cups.
- Equally divide the coffee ice cream among the prepared muffin cups. Use your fingers to press it into a compact, even layer. Cover the pan loosely with more plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
- Slice the cupcakes horizontally through the exact middle. Remove the pan from the freezer, and fold back the plastic wrap on top. Take the bottom piece of each cupcake (right side up is fine) and place it directly over the coffee ice cream, smushing the cake a little to create an even layer. Cover again and freeze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer to soften.
- Remove the pan from the freezer, and fold back the plastic wrap on top. Equally divide the softened vanilla ice cream among the 12 frozen cupcake layers. Use your fingers to press it into a compact, even layer. Immediately cover each with the top piece of cupcake (dome facing up) and press gently to adhere to the ice cream. Cover again loosely and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.
- Invert the cupcake pan, pulling gently on the plastic wrap to help release the Alaskas. Remove all of the plastic wrap and divide the Alaskas onto two separate, parchment-lined baking sheets or 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33 cm) pans (this will make it easier to brown the meringue on just 6 at a time, which is ideal) and freeze for another 30 minutes.
- After the Alaskas have been frozen for 30 minutes, whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a nonreactive metal bowl (ideally from your standing mixer) until combined. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture registers 140°F (60°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form, adding the cream of tartar when the mixture begins to thicken, after about 3 minutes. When it holds stiff peaks, after about 6 minutes, add the vanilla and beat to incorporate.
- Working quickly, remove 6 of the baked Alaska bases from the freezer. Cover each base in a thick coating of meringue—from top to bottom—taking care that no part of the base is showing, swirling and spiking the meringue as you like. Return to the freezer and repeat with the remaining bases. Freeze for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C).
- Bake just 6 meringue-covered bases at a time (do not bake one tray on the top shelf and one below), until the meringue starts to brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Keep the remaining bases in the freezer until the oven is free, then bake them at once. Alternatively, you can brown the meringue with a kitchen torch; just a few passes of the flame should do the trick. Plate individually and serve immediately.
We’ve got some great looking brioche and ice cream sandwiches — and of course, one rogue baker!
What did you think of these ice cream sandwiches?
We’re making ice cream sandwiches next – not just any ol’ ice cream sandwiches but fancy ones, with brioche instead of cookies.
Posting date is August 16!
- 1¾ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2¾ cups (385 g) bread flour
- ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 10 ounces (2½ sticks/285 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 2-tablespoon-size pieces, plus more for the pan
- 1 recipe Brown Sugar Praline Ice Cream (see page 59), or 2 to 3 pints (946 ml to 1.4 L) of your favorite ice cream or gelato
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the yeast with ½ cup (70 grams) of the bread flour. Add the milk, and mix on low speed until combined. Turn off the mixer, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for 45 to 60 minutes so the mixture can ferment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and salt with the remaining bread flour.
- Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Add the flour mixture and eggs to the bowl. Mix on low the speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high. Mix until a dough forms and begins to pull cleanly from the sides and bottom of the bowl, 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, the dough will have a nice sheen and look very elastic.
- With the mixer running on medium-high, slowly add the butter, one chunk at a time, waiting for each addition to incorporate before adding the next piece. After all the butter has been added, keep mixing until the dough is smooth and uniform. This whole process should take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the dough hook, use your hands to scrape any dough on the hook back into the bowl, cover the bowl lightly with plastic, and place it in a draft-free environment until the dough doubles in volume, between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- Use a dough scraper to scrape the light, silky dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand for about a minute, folding it in half and then over itself. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (use a scale if you have one), about 2½ ounces (70 g) each. Form each piece into a ball by rolling it on the counter between your thumb and fingers; don’t incorporate too much flour, as the dough should retain a little bit of stickiness. Place each ball in a greased muffin cup. The dough might pop over the top of the tin by about ½ inch (12 mm) or so. Cover the muffin pan lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours (or overnight).
- Prior to baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 90 minutes, but no more than 2 hours. At this point, the dough may have risen a full inch (2.5 cm) over the top of the tin. During the last 30 minutes of the rise, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Bake the brioches until the crust is golden and the bread is cooked all the way through, 12 to 18 minutes; the internal temperature should hover near 195°F (90°C) on an instant-read thermometer. If the crusts brown too quickly before the center of the bread is ready, cover the tops of the bread with foil until finished baking.
- Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes and pop the individual brioches out of the pan.
- Slice each brioche in half (slightly warm is divine, though room temperature is fine), separating the “muffin top” from the bottom. Place one generous scoop, about ¾ cup (180 ml), of ice cream on the flat surface of the bottom of the muffin and sandwich it with the top. Serve immediately. We have also been known to toast the brioche before filling it; this is a must-try at least once in your life.
A perfect dessert for a hot day!
Leave your links – what did you think? And did anyone try that challenging chocolate syrup again?
Bakers, are you ready for a nice cool summer treat?
The next posting date is Sunday, August 3rd.
Yield: Two 9-by-5-inch semifreddi
10 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) malted milk balls (such as Whoppers or Malteasers)
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup malted milk powder
5 large eggs, separated*
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
*The eggs in this recipe are not cooked, which may be of concern if salmonella is a problem in your area.
Simple Chocolate Syrup, warmed (optional, below)
Line two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with plastic wrap and allow generous overhang on all sides. Spray a paper towel with nonstick cooking spray and wipe the plastic wrap with it so that the plastic wrap is nonstick but not oily.
In a food processor, pulse the malted milk balls until they are coarsely chopped. (Do not process until powdery—you want some decent sized chunks.) Sprinkle the bottom of each loaf pan with approximately one-quarter of the chopped malted milk balls.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the malted milk powder, and the egg yolks fairly vigorously until the mixture turns pale, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a chilled medium bowl, vigorously whisk the cream for 1 minute, sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla over top of the cream, then continue beating until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt just until stiff peaks form. Do not whip past the stiff peak stage or the whites will become dry and unusable.
Fold one-third of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk base. Add half of the remaining egg whites and gently fold until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
Use a large spoon to fill each loaf pan halfway with the semifreddo. Smooth out the surface with the back of the spoon and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Remove the loaf pans from the freezer and sprinkle the remaining chopped malted milk balls over the semifreddo in each pan. Then cover each malted milk ball layer with the remaining semifreddo. Smooth out the top with the back of the spoon. Cover the pans tightly with the plastic wrap overhang and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.
To serve, invert the semifreddi onto a platter and remove the plastic wrap. Drizzle some of the chocolate syrup over the tops. Using a hot knife (dip in hot water and dry thoroughly), slice the semifreddi into 1-inch (or slightly larger) slices. Serve the remaining chocolate syrup on the side.
Simple Chocolate Syrup
Yield: 1 cup
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make sure you use a large enough saucepan as this mixture will bubble up considerably while cooking. If the mixture starts to bubble up, reduce the heat for a minute or two.
In a medium to large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of water until dissolved. Whisk in the sugar and increase the heat to medium-high. Boil the mixture for about 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Let cool to room temperature before using.
The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 weeks. Feel free to warm gently if using as a topping or use directly from the refrigerator as a milk shake mix-in.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Boozy shakes yes, but the simple chocolate syrup gave all of the bakers trouble this week.
Bourbon and ice cream – what do you all think, match made in heaven, or best left separate? Leave your links here!