Baked Alaska, The Dessert That Can See Russia From Its House

Hmmm… seems I didn’t post all weekend. As it turns out, I was having too much fun for such things as blogging! One such fun thing was having a few friends over on Saturday1 and I took the opportunity to attempt a Baked Alaska. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – hence it being on the 101 list – but it’s the kind of thing that you need people around when you are making it, what with the whole putting ice cream in the stove and all.

For the uninitiated, Baked Alaska is basically cake with a dome of ice cream on top, covered in meringue. The part that is mind-blowing is that it’s ice cream, but you have to put it in a super hot over to brown the meringue2,

So step #1 is to bake a cake. Step #2 is that you fill a bowl up with ice cream – I used chocolate and vanilla, but you can use whatever kind you want3 – like so:

Ice cream in a bowl - for Baked Alaska

And then put it in the freezer for several hours to freeze it solid4:

Ice cream in a bowl - for Baked Alaska

Step #3 is that right before you are ready to serve it, you preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, and whip up a batch of meringue5. When it’s all ready, put the bowl of ice cream on top of the cake to form a dome6, and cover in the meringue, like so:

Baked Alaska - pre-cooking

And, finally, cook it for 5 minutes to brown the meringue – I had to turn mine half way through, as it was browning on one side but not the other side. And viola! Baked Alaska:

Baked Alaska

I have to say that I was very pleased with how it turned out! The ice cream stayed solid – it was actually difficult to cut through, since it was still so frozen. Apparently the meringue acts as an insulator to keep the ice cream cold despite the 500 degree oven. So it looked great and it tasted great – everyone seemed to like it. And overall, it wasn’t that difficult to make. I highly recommend it if you are trying to impress people!

  1. Martha and Loren – I had lots of fun! I’m pretty sure you two are the only people who read my footnotes, so I feel like I can just talk to the two of you here. So, how’s life? How are the lab fish, Loren? Also, thanks for bringing all the yummy food! []
  2. Apparently some people use a blow torch to brown the meringue, but my apartment is sadly devoid of blow torches. []
  3. My friend, Kim, who is a food scientist who works in quality assurance was able to take a tiny taste of the ice cream and identify the brand, which is completely crazy to me! I’m not nearly so discerning. The best I can do is tell you if tastes “good” or “bad”. []
  4. I froze mine for ~24 hours, but only because 24 hours prior happened to be a good time do it. []
  5. From room temperature egg whiles, cream of tartar, sugar, & vanilla. []
  6. I had to sit the bowl in hot water to melt the edges just enough to get it to come free from the bowl. []