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The Dramatic, Theatrical Dessert to Serve Post-Holiday: Easy-To-Make Baked Alaska Recipe to Wow Your Guests

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Baked Alaska – photo courtesy Bernzomatic Blowtorches

If entertaining and dining is not only homegrown, seasonal, and delicious — but also a bit of theater – then, think about making Baked Alaska for your next dinner party.  

After all, you’ll need a bit of a sparkly topper after all the holiday desserts. 

This fire and ice dessert never fails to add drama; sure to elicit gasps of delight – and applause – from your guests.  

That this elegant dessert is oh-so-easy to make – is a behind the stage secret. Here’s how: 


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Baked Alaska Recipe

Prep: approximately 45 min

Cook: 4 min

Yield:12 servings

Ingredients

For the Ice Cream Cake:

Vegetable oil, for brushing

1 pint raspberry, passion fruit or other sorbet, softened. 

1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened 

1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened

1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 17 crushed wafers)

1 loaf pound cake

For the Meringue:

1 cup egg whites (about 6 large), at room temperature

Pinch of cream of tartar 

1 cup sugar

Directions

Make the ice cream cake: Brush a 3-quart metal bowl with vegetable oil; line with plastic wrap. Fill the bowl with scoops of the sorbet, vanilla ice cream and half of the chocolate ice cream, alternating small and large scoops to create a mosaic of colors and shapes. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream; press down to close the gaps between scoops and even out the surface. Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle the ice cream with the wafer crumbs and re-cover with the plastic wrap, pressing gently. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.

Remove the wrap and spread the remaining chocolate ice cream in an even layer on top of the crumbs. Cut the pound cake into 1/2-inch-thick slices; completely cover the ice cream with the slices, trimming as needed (you’ll use about two-thirds of the cake). Cover with fresh plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Make the meringue: Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar on high speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then invert the cake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If necessary, let the cake stand overturned until it slips out.) 

Remove the rest of the plastic wrap and cover the ice cream completely with the meringue, making the dome-shaped top slightly thicker than the sides. Form swirly peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon. Freeze for at least 3 more hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Bake the cake until the meringue peaks are golden, about 4 minutes, or brown the meringue with a blowtorch. Let the cake soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Freeze any leftovers.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Baked Alaska recipe (with permission Food Network Magazine)

* I make homemade ice cream — flavors are limited only by imagination.  Vanilla with fresh beans is my go-to fancy – but I’ve also made corn ice cream to rave reviews.  Try avocado (I experienced this delight while working the gardens at Hacienda Cusin in Ecuador!).  Or corn, or cardamom, cinnamon or… 

For upcoming Valentine’s Day or for Lunar New Year – try cherry, raspberry, or strawberry or Cotton Candy ice cream, or celebrate Lunar New Year’s homage to all things citrus with orange, kumquat or lemon, paired with Red Velvet Cake or go nutty with Almond cake. 

* Feel free to add more cream of tartar if you need to bring the meringue to stiffer peaks. 

To brown or “bake” the dessert without fretting that you’ll melt the ice cream, use a torch rather than baking in the oven — you’ll be able to more readily and evenly brown the dessert.  Bernzomatic Blowtorches are ideal — the best one for the job is the Bernzomatic TS4000, according to company reps. The Bernzomatic is a torch that you buy from a hardware store or online via Amazon or Home Depot.  Soon, you’ll find dozens of uses in the kitchen, including searing steaks, fish, crisping vegetables, crème brulee, and more.  

Here is my step by step prep for a glamorous Baked Alaska:

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I spread the homemade ice cream on top of the cake – directly onto the temperature-seasoned serving tray (from Frontgate Hot/Cold Serving Tray)

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Baked Alaska is the star of any tablescape

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Delicious and very special… 

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Baked Alaska: photo courtesy of Bernzomatic Blowtorches

You will feel like taking a bow after serving this glamorous dessert spectacular, filled with love and drama…

Happy New Year. 


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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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