Friday, August 27, 2010

Chestnut Dark Chocolate Frozen Petit Fours

I have to admit I was skeptical about this cake, because I generally don't like frozen butter cakes - even brown butter cakes. But Aaron declared this a gazillion thumbs up and I got to use my chestnut cream from France.

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”.

Of course I didn't follow all those recipes. I did make the brown butter cake, adapted to include chestnut. I really enjoyed the cake at room temperature, but as I feared, it firmed up too much with freezing. I guess I am just a sponge cake girl when it comes to frozen desserts.

The sorbet however...mmm... I am in love with this sorbet and have adapted it to suit all sorts of cravings. Chocolate mint - check, chocolate passionfruit - check, and yes plain chocolate. Just use a good cocoa powder and chocolate, because it is a chocolate bomb perfect for your chocoholic. None of that silly cream to get in the way of chocolately goodness...


Brown Butter Pound Cake
  • 19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
  • 150 g GF flour
  • 50 g chestnut flour
  • 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

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.
2. 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.
3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. 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.
5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
6. 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.
7. 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 chestnut sorbet

Adapted from David Lebovitz

  • 2 1/4 cups (555 ml) water
  • 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces (170 g) 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chestnut cream 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Use a LARGE saucepan (or you will be sorry), whisk together 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) of the water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk, for 45 seconds.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s melted, then stir in the vanilla extract, chestnut cream and the remaining 3/4 cup (180 ml) water. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for 15 seconds. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.
Chestnut Chocolate Glaze
  • 5 T cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chestnut cream
    water to thin as needed

  1. Bring cocoa powder and chestnut cream to simmer in saucepan. If needed thin with a bit of water if needed. I used a few Tablespoons. Allow to cool to room temperature before glazing. At room temp it should flow easily but coat the petit fours without running off too fast. About the consistency of Hershey's chocolate sauce.

Assembly Instructions – Ice Cream Petit Fours
1. Line a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups (450ml to 500ml) ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.
2. Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.
3. Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.
4. Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)
5. While the glaze cools, trim ¾” (2cm) off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5” (19cm) ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5”x1.5” (4cmx4cm).


  1. Great job on this months challenge, and I love your blog - glad to have found it.

  2. Great job with those petit fours, and chestnut sounds like the perfect flavor compliment to the brown butter cake and chocolate. Beautiful job on the challenge.

  3. yummy flavor combination! Your petit fours are adorable!

  4. The chestnut and brown butter combination sounds divine, and your petit fours are very pretty!

  5. Wow...these look great! I think I like the way your cake looks better than the "normal" cake. :-)

  6. Your petit fours look great! I saw a lot of people had trouble making it but yours look fantastic!