Petite Fours with vanilla ice cream

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”.

Petite fours! Yippie!!! I’ve always loved these elegant little cakes, and the brown butter pound cake sounded delicious. I was very happy to recieve this challenge!   My original idea was to make the brown butter pound cake, with David Liebovitz pumpkin ice cream because I so love pumpkins.  I made the ice cream and it was fantastic!!! It tasted like the best pumpkin pie ever.  But that turned in to a bad idea, because it was so delicious a friend and I devoured it.  So I went with the vanilla ice cream the DB recommended, slightly modified for what I could find in the store, and after an undenyable urge, I added 1/4 tsp cinnamon and the results are delicious!

Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 1 cup (250ml) 2% milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (165g) sugar
  • 3 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (500ml) light cream (5%)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams,  then let cool to room temperature

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 light cream.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cupof the 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  and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.

freeze in an ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it without a machine. See instructions from David Lebovitz:

Brown Butter Pound Cake

  • 19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” square pan.

Place the butter in a 10”  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 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 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.

Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)

  • 9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) 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.


To put the petite fours together, I took a leisurely three days so that I could make sure I had ample time to correct any errors.  On the first day I made the ice cream, on the 2nd day I made the cake, and froze the ice cream for the middle, and assembled the cake with the ice cream to freeze overnight, and the 3rd day I made the glaze, and assembled it all.   Everything was quite easy and straightforward with the assembly.  Except, when it came to cutting my cake in to the squares.  When you take it out of the freezer you have to trim off the ends, then cut in to squares.  My cake started seperating from the ice cream.  Then dipping them in to the chocolate completely failed for me.  It reminded me of christmas baking with my mom when she fussed over the peanut-butter snow balls in a flurry of curse words and a delicious “not good enough” pile.  So I just put them on my parchment paper, and my daughter and I had a drizzle party.  then we sprinkled them up and put them back in the freezer so the chocolate could set (atleast an hour)

It’ll be a wonderfully tasty welcome home present for my husband when he returns from calgary the day I finished them!


3 Responses to “Petite Fours with vanilla ice cream”

  1. Aparna Says:

    Your petit fours look very pretty. Don’t blame you for eating that ice-cream. 🙂

  2. Shelley C Says:

    I probably would have eaten all of the pumpkin ice cream too… thankfully it is almost pumpkin season, so I will absolutely have to give that a try! Your petit fours look and sound delicious – I am a big fan of vanilla ice cream, so that is always a great option in my book! 🙂 Great job on the challenge.

  3. Christina Says:

    I love pumpkin ice cream! But your cinnamon vanilla sounds great too 🙂

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