New Year’s eve is coming soon and to celebrate the day, I thought it would be fun to make something special like Baked Alaska. This is a family favorite that I have been eating since childhood and making for almost 30 years.
Who invented Baked Alaska?
Alaska was purchased in 1867 from Russia for $7.2 million (a little over $100 million in 2016 dollars). To celebrate the acquisition of the new territory, Chef Charles Ranhofer at Delmonico’s steakhouse in New York City created this dessert. (March 30 1867)
When did I first eat this amazing dessert?
One of my first memories of eating Baked Alaska was at summer camp when I must have been about 10 years old. I still vividly remember the waitresses (counselors) parading through the mess hall with Baked Alaska for all of us to celebrate some special occasion I can no longer recall. What an introduction to this wonderful dessert!
My mother started a new tradition of making Baked Alaska at home as a special birthday treat soon after I regaled her with tales of what had happened at camp. This was certainly a tradition I endorsed. Back then she made it with regular meringue with unpasteurized eggs, not the Italian meringue I now use in my recipe. We didn’t worry as much about food safety in those days. I guess we didn’t know as much about the potential perils of eating raw unpasteurized eggs as we do today.
Start a day or two in advance so the cake and ice cream are fully frozen
To make this dish you need to start a day in advance (or more), and before you start make sure you have adequate space in your freezer for the individual desserts. Be forewarned, once you make this one time for your friends or family, they’ll never let you off the hook again. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself making it over and over again for birthdays, holidays and the occasional family treat.
Do I personally eat Baked Alaska?
In case you are wondering, yes, I eat Baked Alaska on special occasions, despite being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Some things in life are just too good to miss…savor every moment and I hope you always enjoy good food, good health, and good friends.
Happy New Year!!
Have a wonderful 2020!!