BM # 82: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : USA
Recipe: Baked Alaska
I have been away for a while, but I am making a reappearance with a wonderful dessert on my side. Baked Alaska. The story goes that the cake was apparently invented to celebrate the US acquisition of the state of Alaska from Russia. It’s a wonderful dessert – you don’t get just a cake, you get multiple layers of ice cream as well not to mention the meringue on top. The meringue layer secures the ice cream from melting even when the cake goes into the oven for a few minutes or stays under a blow torch to get that brown toasted look.
Baked Alaska looks extremely complicated but in reality it’s very easy to put together. There is a lot of wait time for the layers to freeze but the cake itself is very easy to prepare. The flavor options are endless especially if you are using readymade ice cream. I have used two flavors but you needn’t stop at two. I love brownies with ice cream, so I prepared mine with brownies instead of a cake.
Take a bowl that has the same diameter as your cake base(9″ here) and cover it with cling wrap. Add your first layer of ice cream. Smoothen it out and add your second layer. I would have roughly used about 8 cups of ice cream in total.
Top it with your cake layer. Cover the top also with cling wrap and freeze until it’s set firm, at least 3 hours. The ice cream should be frozen solid before adding the meringue.
Beat 4 egg whites in a stand mixer until it forms soft peaks . Turn off the mixer. Combine 1 cup sugar with 1/3 cup water in a thick bottomed pan and bring it to a boil at medium heat until it registers 240F in a candy thermometer. We are looking at softball stage. Take off the heat.
Begin beating the eggs again and slowly drizzle all the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Make sure it doesn’t fall directly on the beater so that it doesn’t splatter all around. Keep beating the eggwhites.
Beat the eggwhites until it’s glossy and stiff and the bowl is cool to touch. About 5 minutes or so. Take out the cake from the freezer.
Cover the cake completely with meringue leaving no gaps in between. I made rosettes all over. Freeze the cake back again until it’s time to serve. At the time of serving you can use a blow torch to brown the meringue a bit or keep it under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the meringue turns brown.