Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baked Alaska

If you want to impress your dinner guests, we highly recommend this classic dessert.  It has a big WOW factor and is actually very simple to make.  Why's it called Baked Alaska you ask?  Well, a French chef at the famous Delmonico's Restaurant in New York created this cake to celebrate the United States purchase of Alaska from the Russians back in 1876.  How cool is that! ~ Audrey & Patti
This recipe makes eight mini Bake Alaska cakes.

Ice Cream, slightly softened
Italian Meringue, see recipe below 

Step 1
Line 8 small ramekins with plastic wrap.  Spoon soft ice cream into them and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes or just until the ice cream freezes hard.

Step 2
Use a cookie cutter the same size as your ramekins and cut out 8 cake disks.  Make sure your cake disks and ice cream disks are the same size and thickness.

Step 3
Make the Italian meringue.

Italian Meringue
1-1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt

Make a sugar syrup by combining water and sugar in small pot.  Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil until it reaches 235-240 degrees.  Use a candy thermometer for best results.   

While your sugar syrup is coming up to temperature, start beating your egg whites in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer.  Beat egg whites on low speed until foamy- about a minute.  Add cream of tartar and a pinch of salt.  This will stabilize your egg whites. Increase speed on mixer and beat until soft peaks form, a few minutes.  

Once your sugar syrup reaches 235-240 degrees, slowly pour it into your beaten egg whites. Be careful and pour slowly!  It's hot and you don't want to splash hot sugar syrup all over. Beat until mixture is stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.  It should smell and taste like warm marshmallows. 

Step 4
Arrange your cake and ice cream on small dessert plates.

Step 5
Frost with a thick layer of meringue. 

Step 6
Once they are completely covered with meringue, place back into the freezer until you are ready to serve them.

Step 7
When you're ready to impress your guests, take your meringue covered cakes out of the freezer and use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue.

Step 8
Sit back and enjoy the praise you will receive from your guests.
Not only will your Baked Alaska's look pretty, they will taste good too!

Note: Use any kind of ice cream and cake flavor combinations that suit your fancy.  However, we don't recommend pound cake.  It's too hard to eat 
when it's frozen.