The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!
This is one of my favorite challenges ever--one of the tastiest, which is hard to say after so many years of delicious Daring Bakers projects. I decided to use ice cream sandwiches as my edible container: homemade apple cinnamon ice cream with maple mousse ripple sandwiched between pecan cinnamon cake.
I made sure there were big chunks of apple in the ice cream.
The cake was perfect--it stayed soft, but also became chewy, sort of like the edges of brownies (the best part!). The toasted pecans lent a nice crunch to the final sandwiches' texture.
The colors were very similar, but here's the mousse at the top of the ice cream in the ice cream maker before I rippled it in.
The thin cake layer before I cut it in half, trimmed it, and built the sandwich with it.
The sandwich components pressed into the pan and ready to be set in the freezer.
The giant sandwich, set and unmolded, ready for slicing.
Every part of this recipe was easy. The mousse recipe was the only required part of the challenge, and the rest was totally up to us. I love ice cream sandwiches, and I was easily drawn to this idea. From what I've seen so far, I'm the only person who made ice cream sandwiches, or ice cream at all.
Since I put most of this recipe together, I'll post it here, with credit to epicurious.com for the sandwich layer. I halved or otherwise divided the recipe as necessary so I didn't end up with dozens of ice cream sandwiches in the freezer--all of these recipes divide beautifully. =)
My game plan:
1. Make and chill ice cream base
2. Make and chill mousse
3. Cook and cool apples and prep/bake sandwich cake
4. Churn ice cream, add mousse towards end of churn, and cool sandwich cake
5. Freeze ice cream slightly, if necessary
6. Assemble and freeze sandwiches
7. Next day, cut sandwiches and daytime photo shoot
Basic Custard Ice Cream Base
Heating the milk before adding it to the egg mixture might seem like a needless step. Adding pre-heated milk reduces cooking time and starts to heat the eggs slowly and gently, which thickens the custard without risking cooked eggs.
Be careful not to add the milk while it's still to hot or you'll get scrambled eggs. Ideally, you should be able to comfortably hold your finger in the milk for 10 seconds.
1 1/2 cups dairy (whole milk, heavy cream, or a mix)
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Have a strainer in a bowl ready over an ice bath.
Bring the dairy to a simmer in a medium pot over medium-high heat--about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn't boil over. Remove from heat as soon as you see bubbles forming and let sit until it's cooled to room temperature--about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs, sugar, and pinch of salt into a thick paste. When the dairy has cooled, stream it in while stirring the egg mixture.
Once combined, return everything to the pan and cook over medium-low heat. Stir gently in an "S" shape, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.
The sauce is ready when it looks silky, has thickened so it coats the back of a wooden spoon, and has reached a temperature of about 170-degrees. Strain it into a bowl set over an ice water bath and stir in the vanilla.
When cooled, freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
as directed by the challenge hostess
1/2 cup (4 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 package (1/2 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
3/4 cups whipping cream (35% fat content)
1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.
1 medium apples
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Peel, core, and chop apple into small chunks.
Melt butter in a large saucepan.
Stir in apples and sugar and cook over medium-low to medium heat, stirring often.
Cook about 15 minutes or until apples are very soft.
Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Let apples cool completely.
Special equipment: 1 (15 1/2- by 10 1/2-inch) jelly roll pan
3/4 sticks (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature plus additional for greasing pan
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put oven racks in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Draw a large X with butter from corner to corner in each baking pan, then line bottom of each pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on each side, pressing to help parchment adhere to X.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
Pour batter into baking pan and spread into thin, even layer with offset spatula. Sprinkle with praline and bake until golden brown but still tender, about 10 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer with parchment to racks and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Line cleaned baking pan with fresh parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on each side. Invert sandwich layers onto work surface and carefully peel off and discard parchment, then trim edges.
Check out how the rest of my DB peers did, just click through here