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Friday, February 1, 2019

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska is a dessert made up of ice cream, sponge cake and meringue. The dessert is baked only long enough for the meringue to brown. This dessert has also been called the Norwegian omelet. This dessert is normally served after dinner in a pie plate and at times will be flambeed when served.

A bit about the history of the Baked Alaska:
1867 with a debate over the potential purchase of Alaska from Russia. The purchase price offered $7 million. In 1868 Alaska would become part of the United States as a territory at first. Many thought the purchase of Alaska was a bad joke ,,, a giant mistake. The purchase became known as "Seward's Folly" named after the Secretary of State William Seward who agreed with the purchase price.

Meanwhile,, in New York City was a chef Charles Ranhofer at the famous Delmonico's Restaurant. He made a game of naming new and renaming old dishes after famous people and events. He took in stride the controversy over the purchase of the frozen north and a Baked Alaska seemed to fit the bill. While this was a great hit it was not the only time that the baked Alaska was used to share a point of view.

The famous Ben & Jerry's would use the Baked Alaska dessert to protest against the drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The "Lick Global Warming" campaign was led off with a 1,140 lb baked Alaska that was 4 feet tall and 4 feet round. It was made up of 3,600 four oz. scoops of Ben & Jerry fossil fuel ice cream.

Individual Chocolate Strawberry Baked Alaskas

4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 whole large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Strawberry Ice Cream, slightly softened
8 large egg whites
Special equipment: 6 (8-oz) shallow ceramic or glass gratin dishes

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, then line bottom with wax paper and butter paper.
Melt chocolate and butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring, until smooth. Remove bowl from pan and whisk 3/4 cup sugar into chocolate mixture. Whisk in whole eggs and salt, then sift cocoa over and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into baking pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
Cut cake into 6 equal pieces, then arrange 1 piece in each gratin dish, trimming to fit. Top each piece of cake with a large scoop of ice cream (about 1/2 cup), then freeze, covered, just until ice cream is hard, about 25 minutes (do not let ice cream become rock hard).

Make meringue just before serving:
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed, and continue beating until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 12 minutes with a handheld.
Remove gratin dishes from freezer and mound meringue over ice cream and cake, spreading to edge of gratin dish. Bake on a baking sheet in middle of oven until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
I cut the entire recipe in thirds since this doesn’t seem like a dessert that can be completely made ahead.  Plus, you’re going to laugh, I completely forgot to melt the butter with the chocolate and I had everything put together in the pan before I realized what I had done.  So, the melted butter got mixed in at the end.  Surprisingly, it turned out just fine.

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  1. Yummy, Thank you for sharing! I have not made one of these in years...I think I will try to make one this weekend. Happy Weekend, Kippi #kippiathome

  2. This looks so good! As much as I bake, I've actually never made a baked alaska before!


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