Mint Chocolate Petit Fours
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 Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
I had all the intention in the world to do this challenge at the beginning of the month, even possibly doing both challenges. But as usual time got away from me and here I am the day the challenge is due finally finishing it and posting my results. Better late than never.
I was really happy with this challenge, even if my petit fours didn’t quite turn out like I had planned. I started by making mint ice cream, which is one of the most refreshing ice creams I have ever made. You know it is real mint ice cream when 1. it isn’t a fake green colour and 2. when it actually tastes like a bowl of fresh mint. Mint and chocolate go great together so I knew it would complement the chocolate glaze
Like I said above I had planed to do this challenge weeks ago so the ice cream was made 2 weeks ago and my husband and I have been slowly eating the ice cream since then, thankfully there was still some left when it came time to make the brown butter pound cake.
Oh my goodness, how have I never made browned butter pound cake before? It was absolutely amazing. I knew when the butter was browning that it was going to be great, the smell alone just made you want to eat the dough. I was surprised just how easy it was to make, within 30 minutes I had freshly baked brown butter mini cupcakes cooling.
Since neither my husband I need to eat the quantity of petit fours this recipe would have created I made a half batch and just baked 12 mini cupcakes that I planned to cut in half and put a layer of ice cream in between. My plan worked out pretty good, even if the ice cream layer was a bit thin.
The chocolate glaze came together even faster than the brown butter cupcakes, within 5 minutes I already had my glaze cooling. Since the glaze turned out quite thick I decided just to throw the petit fours in it and get them covered in chocolate and fish them out with a fork. They were left with a nice thick layer of chocolate glaze.
What a great recipe and a great challenge. I look forward to doing part two of the challenge, baked alaska, another time.
Mint Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 cup heavy cream
5 large egg yoks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Add mint leaves. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for 2-3 hours. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, add mint leaves then let steep for 2-3 hours.)
Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2 litre) bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.
In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into a custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon [5ml] if you are using a vanilla bean; 3 teaspoons [15ml] if you are not using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to directions.
Brown Butter Mini Cupcakes
19 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a mini cupcake pan.
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.
Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. 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. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
Scrape the batter into the greased and floured mini cupcake pan. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes.
Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
9 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons 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.