A baked Alaska in frozen Minnesota. What better way to begin the New Year? When the weather gives you rock solid lemons out of the deep freeze, head right for the ice cream.
Here in Minneapolis, the current weather conditions mirror the name of the dish. Sub-zero wind chills and a fluffy thick blanket of snow set the mood. It is one big ice box out there. Today’s high temperature of 1 °F provided ideal household freezer conditions right in my very own back yard.
The baked Alaska felt right at home nestled in a foot of snow on top of my patio table. The cake had a seasonably chilly rest outdoors before going into a 500 °F oven. A quick blast of intense heat browns whirls of meringue. Singed at the fringe, the baked Alaska is ready for the indoor table.
Fun, Festive Food
Baked Alaska puts ice cream to good use with a festive look. To make a sharp contrast against the bright snow white meringue, I formed layers of dark chocolate cake, deep ruby red and springy pastel colored ice creams.
Baked Alaska also puts on a good show in taste. Ice cream is always a reliable crowd pleaser. Start with a base of feathery cake and coat everything with thick a cloud of marshmallow-like meringue.
What’s not to like? This dessert is a celebration worthy of a New Year’s feature presentation.
Baked Alaska a la Minnesota Recipe
Take the extra step to freeze the cake before piling on ice cream as was advised in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book that inspired this recipe. Also, instead of using an oven broiler, I would invest in a kitchen blow torch. That way I could work outside in the ideal ice cream comfort zone, sub-zero weather provides. I would just check with the manufacturer first about outdoor use and extreme temperature variations.
Baked Alaska a la Minnesota
Ingredients:1 chocolate cake, 9 inches round 5 large eggs 2/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla ½ teaspoon cream of tarter 2 pints, cherry ice cream, high quality
Place cake on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil. Cover cake with plastic wrap. Freeze cake for a few hours until firm.
Get set: Set eggs out to get to room temperature. Eggs are easier to separate when they are not right out of the fridge. Set your table and get everything ready to serve. Ice cream filled cakes melt fast and don’t look as nice when the ice cream gets runny. Preheat oven.
Carefully separate eggs individually working over a saucer. Place each egg white in a spotlessly clean mixing bowl as you go along. Do not get any yolk into the egg whites. Measure the sugar. Set granulated sugar, vanilla extract and cream of tartar by the mixing bowl. Set aside.
Remove frozen cake from the ice box. Working quickly, cover the cake with an even mound of ice cream. Place ice cream topped cake back into the freezer.
Whip egg whites granulated sugar, vanilla extract and cream of tartar until light but not dry. Take the cake out of the freezer and cover with whipped egg mixture. Form swirls and completely cover to the edge with no gaps.
Place in preheated 500 F oven. Broil for 3 minutes until meringue is set and browned. A kitchen blow torch would make this step easier.
Serve immediately and enjoy winter.