Cherry Pit Ice Cream Petits Fours

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.

For the second month in a row, the Daring Bakers were challenged with ice cream and cake, and I am not complaining one bit. (The only drawback is that these things are very tricky to photograph when the weather is hot, as it has been this week. And I’m not altogether facile with my camera. Which means I resort to photographing things like a carved soapstone fish on a plate as a stand-in to figure out the appropriate camera settings, while the sweet and meltable things rest comfortably in the freezer until the last possible moment. This will give the archaeologists something to wonder about when they unearth my photo collection a thousand years hence.)

I made the browned butter pound cake exactly according to the challenge recipe, and it was just lovely. I would now like to put browned butter in and on everything: desserts, pasta, vegetables, my morning coffee. I would also like to make the pound cake again and eat it by itself, or in my morning coffee.

I chose to flavor my ice cream with the much-neglected — and rather controversial, culinarily speaking — part of those sweet cherries that have been in glorious abundance this summer: the pits. If you want to know why they’re controversial, read Shuna’s post about that on Eggbeater. If you decide not to chance it, vanilla is also very nice. If, on the other hand, you decide throw caution to the wind in order to experience the exquisite delicate flavor made possible by the decidedly not delicate smashing of those hard nuggets with a hammer to release the magic within, you’ll also find the ice cream recipe on Eggbeater.

Some of the other Daring Bakers made baked Alaskas with their ice cream and cake, and some made petits fours. Some probably even made both. It’s all good.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    A great flavor idea! Do you know the spice (mahleb) that is made with ground cherry pits? I love it…

    Your Petits Fours are so pretty and perfect!



  2. says

    That’s great! –I’ve done a similar thing when I need to photograph ice cream. Your petits fours look delicious, and now I’m very curious about pounding open cherry pits.

  3. says

    Beautiful! My ice cream was a mess as I was trying to take pictures. And of course I had to eat both desserts I took photos of as they couldn’t be put back in the freezer. Your petits four are lovely!

  4. says

    Your Petit Fours look beautiful! I love cherries and have never heard of using the pit in a recipe. I learned something new today. Nice job on the challenge!

  5. says

    Your petit fours are beautifully glazed! I’ve also been looking at that cherry pit ice cream for ages. For me, the problem isn’t the health controversy, it’s the number of pits you need. I never have that many cherries lying around – maybe this is the push I need?

  6. says

    I’ve never heard of using the cherry pits before, and I had no idea they were controversial! The ice cream sounds delicious and your Petit Fours look wonderful!

  7. says

    Browned butter is always a nice addition to cake. Never tried anything with cherry pits for flavor, but they look beautiful and I bet they taste wonderful!

  8. says

    How bout a stew or something with meat, kidding!
    Just what I could use right now after all the garlic and savories, no dessert!
    Happy baking!

  9. says

    Beautiful job! Your petite fours look like something you could buy in a professional bakery window! I’ve never eaten a cherry pit before – only ever thrown them away or used them in those cherry pit heat packs. What do they taste like? And I totally agree with you on the browned butter and pound cake – they were marvelous!

  10. says


    I made a beetroot and seed cake using plum seed oil last weekend which has a strong almond aroma (benzaldehyde to science geek like myself) without a overpowering almond taste.

    Everyone who tried it was convinced the beetroot was cherry. It is interesting how aromas can change your taste expectations/perceptions.

    I will be using this ingredient in my baking again…its worth a try


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