Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Moral of the story: bring extra butane when torching a meringue topping.

Cardinal sin, right?

But yes, I ran out of butane during the laborious torching of the meringue topping of a cake! I had tentatively (by this, I mean that I was nervous and tentative while filling the torch, not "unsure of time" in filling the torch) refilled my creme brulee torch and hoped for the best. And clearly - it was not enough because I could only get about 1/3 cake "moderately" torched!

So apologies to the birthday girl!

So yes, it was a Baked Alaska - a cake base topped with ice cream and then entirely covered with meringue which is then quickly baked or torched to get that lovely (and tasty) brown finish! The base was a chocolate chip butter cake and then layered (in a dome) with strawberry, mint, and caramel swirl ice creams (all homemade) with a layer of chocolate wafers between the layers (not homemade). I regret not taking any pictures of the cross section, but to be honest - my slice was melting!

I think that's one of the biggest pros/cons of homemade ice cream - the nature of the recipe I use yields a soft ice cream. Not soft-serve tender, but definitely scoop-able right out of the freezer! As a result, it's always ready to serve but tends to puddle quickly, unless you eat it fast. This made the ice cream very easy to mold, but it also meant that I had to work extremely fast both in the molding and the torching of the meringue. I won't mention again to bring extra butane when torching a sizeable amount of meringue, unless you've got a really professional-grade torch! (not like my little home cook Typhoon one purchased for $10)

The cake was delicious - the base was a little frozen and made it a bit difficult to cut - note for potential bakers: make a dense but thin layer. The ice creams were a good choice and the mint was a delicious twist on an after-dinner treat.

I'm ramping up for holiday project (no cards this year) and I really only have this one last weekend to get everything together - watch out for sneak peeks!

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