A trip to Alaska is sounding awfully good right now! It is only June 1st, but it feels like July here in Eastern Washington. Whooeeee.
As the temperature rises, I get a craving for cold, bright desserts…and popsicles don’t count! When my favorite group of bloggers decided to put together a group of ice cream desserts, Baked Alaska was the first thing I thought of. You can make it with any flavor of ice cream or cake you desire, and you can make it a couple of days ahead, pop it back in the freezer, and then appear to produce it effortlessly after just a few minutes in the oven, impressing friends and family with your mad skills.
If you’ve read my blogs before, you’ll be familiar with this disclaimer: You’ll find my recipes for cake and ice cream below, but feel free to simplify things by using (gasp!) store bought ice cream and a cake mix. I understand – I do!
I made small, individual desserts the first time, to great enthusiasm here on the home front. Next I made a large dessert using a half gallon (though we all know – even if the
bastards at the ice cream companies think they’ve pulled one over on us – that they aren’t actually half gallons anymore) of store bought ice cream and it was perfect for the large dessert. My ice cream recipe yields a little less (I have a small, wimpy ice cream maker) so if you’re making the large dessert using my ice cream recipe, it will change the ice cream to cake ratio a bit, but it will still be beautiful.
For best results, start your Baked Alaska-licious a couple of days before you plan to serve it. It takes a while to freeze the ice cream into a bowl shape, and will be much easier to “frost” with meringue if the ice cream is rock hard.
I made a lemon-blueberry ice cream that was killer good, and used my Luscious Yellow Cake recipe for the base of the dessert. (It makes two large 9-inch round cakes, so you’ll want to cut the recipe in half or eat/freeze the other half.)
|Baked Alaska-licious!|| |
- 1 9-inch round yellow cake
- ICE CREAM:
- 3 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
- 1½ cup sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 8 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups superfine sugar (Baker's sugar)
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, stir together the berries, sugar, and lemon. Bring to a low boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.
- Add the cream, milk, and vanilla, stirring well. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- Make ice cream according to your machine's instructions. (If you have a small ice cream maker, you may need to make this in 2 batches.) While the ice cream is churning, prepare molds:
- To make single serving desserts, use a jumbo cupcake pan, lining 6 cavities with plastic wrap.
- To make a large dessert (using a double batch of ice cream (or a 1-3/4 quart container of store bought ice cream) line a medium bowl (about 8 inches across) with foil or plastic wrap, smoothing the liner as much as possible.
- Scoop churned ice cream into mold(s) and freeze until solid - at least 3 hours.
- MAKE MERINGUE:
- Using a squeaky clean bowl and beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form. With mixer on medium, slowly drizzle the sugar into the egg whites, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. Don't rush this! When all of the sugar has been added, turn up speed to medium high and beat until firm peaks form. The meringue needs to be firm; sloppy meringue will just slide off the ice cream. But don't go past firm peak stage or the egg whites might collapse.
- For single serving desserts, cut 3 circles of cake the same size as the jumbo cupcake cavities. Slice each horizontally to make four thinner rounds. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Turn 1 molded ice cream onto each cake round and peel off the plastic.
- For a large dessert, place the 9 inch cake onto a round of parchment on a baking sheet. Flip the ice cream out onto the cake and remove the plastic or foil. Cut away any excess cake around the bottom with a sharp knife.
- Spread meringue over dessert(s), covering completely, and swirl with a knife.
- Return to freezer until ready to serve, up to 2 days.
- Heat oven to 450 F.
- Place baked Alaska(s) in the oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes, turning once for even browning. Watch them closely - oven temperatures vary. You want the meringue to turn golden with dark brown peaks.
- Serve! Slide a large dessert (on its parchment round) onto a serving platter. Lift small desserts with a spatula and serve on dessert plates. The large dessert may need to sit for a few minutes to soften before serving, but the individual size desserts will be ready to go. Expect the meringue to be crusty on the outside and a little creamy on the inside.
I’ve given you a generous amount of meringue. Nothing is worse than trying to make pretty swirls in thinly spread meringue.
When baked, the meringue will be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. If you are concerned about eating or serving egg whites that aren’t thoroughly cooked, I recommend making a cooked Italian Meringue; there are lots of recipes for it on the Internet. It’s a little more work, but it will remove any worries about egg safety that you might have. I know where my eggs come from (my front yard…thank you, girls!) so I’m comfortable with regular meringue.
That’s it – a fancy dessert that is impressive but not that hard to make. Go wow ’em!
And don’t forget to check out the links below for some drool-worthy cold treats.
From Crumbs in My Mustachio: Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches
From Tampa Cake Girl: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Avalanche
From Moore or Less Cooking Blog: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
From Cooking From a Stay at Home Mom: Easy Chocolate Ice Cream
From Hun, What’s for Dinner: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Ice Cream Sandwiches