Friday, August 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Baked Alaska with Blueberry-Ricotta ice-cream

Well, I never thought of putting ice-cream into a hot oven, but this month it was time to try something daring. Yup, it's Daring Bakers' time again. This month challenge was to make a Baked Alaska. A Baked Alaska is a dessert which contains of a cake base, in this case a totally yummy brown butter cake, this is topped with ice cream. Then the whole cake is spread with meringue, which serves as an insulator, when the cake is put in the oven.

For the ice-cream I made a Blueberry-Ricotta ice-cream. We were lucky the other day, when we took a hike to find a huge patch of wild blueberries. There were endless bushes of ripe and juicy berries, and in no time we had filled our basket. Those wild berries have a lot of flavor and made the ice-cream really stand out.

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”.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Apricot Jam and an Apricot-Almond Sheet Cake

Apricots are now the peak of their season in Europe. I especially like the apricots from France, because they are firm, and yet sweet and juicy, so they are perfect to put on a cake. They are also good for making jams, and I made a batch of apricot-vanilla jam last week. It's one of the most versatile jams for baking. It tastes great as a glaze on fruit tarts, danish pastries and as filling in cakes like a Sacher torte. I will be using my apricot-vanilla jam for glazing for my recipe today, and I recommend you to make some for yourself whenever you find some nice apricots.

Apricots also goes very well with almonds, since they have similar taste profiles. Sometimes apricot kernels are used to make persipan, which is a cheaper alternative to marzipan, which is made from almonds. This cake has both ground almonds in the dough, and slivered almonds on top. There is no need to put it in the fridge; it will keep well for a couple of days in a cool place.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Berry Lovely Cake for my first Blog Anniversary

Today my little blog is turning one year old. I can't believe how fast the last year passed. It's been very rewarding to share my photographs and baking with all of you. It is always encouraging to read all the nice comments and I really appreciate them.

I made a few updates to the site, I hope you all like it. For the future I hope to post more frequently with more pictures. Now, being back with my family in Germany I have a lot more people to bake for. They are already complaining about their expanding waistlines.

For this special anniversary I made, of course, a berry cake. It has a sponge base, a creamy white chocolate and mascarpone cream and is topped with lots of fresh mixed berries. The prefect summer cake.
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