by Dennis Weaver
It's one thing to make baked Alaska for six people. It's another to make baked Alaska for 106.
A baked Alaska is a scrumptious dessert made in three parts. The base is a layer of cake, usually chocolate. Then there is layer of ice cream. The dessert is then covered with meringue and baked in a hot oven just long enough to brown the meringue. The meringue insulates the ice cream to keep it from melting.
We were committed to serving baked Alaska in our store all day long. But baked Alaska doesn't keep well once baked so making a batch in the morning and another in the afternoon wasn't going to work. We needed to make smaller. Furthermore, we wanted to use a brownie base, not the traditional cake base, and we wanted to serve individual desserts, not slices of one dessert.
In this article, we'll first show you how to make a traditional baked Alaska using either a cake or brownie base and then individual baked Alaska desserts.
Since a baked Alaska is an ice cream dessert that is baked, it intrigues people. It's beautiful and impressive and it's simple to make.
Traditional Baked Alaska
The baked Alaska at the top is made with a layer of cake for a base not with brownie as described in the recipe. If you prefer, you can use a sheet cake about 1 1/2 inches thick and cut to size.
For our project, we used a layer of brownie using our Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cookie Mix. We could also have used any of our blondie mixes such as Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies and Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondie Mix.
Baker's note: We made a cherry chocolate amaretto baked Alaska that was a real hit. It was made with a brownie base, cherry jubilee ice cream, and a meringue with amaretto flavor added.
For a successful baked Alaska, start with rock hard ice cream and don't get it too big. If your baked Alaska large, it's unwieldy and hard to slice and serve. For a party, it's better to build several small desserts than one large. Remember that you'll add about an inch of meringue on all sides to your cake and ice cream interior.
5 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavor
3/4 cup granulated sugar
several drops Food Color (optional)
1 4 x 6-inch brownie
1 brick of ice cream approx. 3" x 5" x 4"
Baker's note You will need to get your brownie or sheet cake out of the pan without it breaking. Lining the pan with parchment paper and then lifting the brownie or cake from the pan by grasping the edges of the parchment paper is the easiest way to do so. If you need to trim the top of the cake to create an even, flat layer, you can do so with a serrated knife held horizontally.
Our goal was to make individual desserts, to make the components ahead of time, and then assemble and prepare them in small batches.
To do likewise, follow these steps:
We used an Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cookie Mix and baked the brownies in paper liners in a standard muffin tin. (We could also have used any of our blondie mixes such as Raspberry White Chocolate Blondie Mix and Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondie Mix. One mix made 18 brownies. To make fewer desserts, save some of the brownies and reduce the amount of meringue in the recipe.
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cookie Mix or equal
10 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons Marsden & Bathe French Vanilla--2 ounces or other flavor
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
several drops of Summer Food Color Set: Red Red, Soft Pink, Lemon Yellow, Leaf Green, & Sky Blue (optional)
a 1.75 quart brick of ice cream to make 18 large scoops
If you can whip an egg white, you can make these classy little desserts. They are quick and they are scrumptious.
Graham crackers or chocolate cookies broken into chunks.
2 egg large whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dennis Weaver is the president of The Prepared Pantry, a full line kitchen store in Rigby, Idaho. The Prepared Pantry sells kitchen tools, gourmet foods, and baking ingredients including hundreds of hard-to-find ingredients.