Today marks one year for secondactkitchen.com. To celebrate the day, I thought it would be fun to make something special like Baked Alaska, a family favorite that I have been eating since childhood and making for almost as long.
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 so 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.
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.
BTW – in case you are wondering, yes, I eat Baked Alaska, even though I’m 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.
Here’s the recipe:
Baked Alaska (makes 12)
Step 1 : Cake Base
- 5 large eggs (separated into yolks and whites)
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 cup cake flour (sifted)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- large container of ice cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 9″x13″ sheet pan with parchment paper. Beat egg yolks with lemon juice until pale yellow and thickened. Slowly add 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
In the meantime, sift the cake flour and set it aside.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Add 1/4 of the beaten egg whites to the yolk and stir gently. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites, flour and salt into the yolks. Do not over mix.
Place batter in parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until done.
Set cake aside to cool. While the cake is cooling, cut a new parchment sheet into twelve 4″ squares. When the cake is completely cool, cut into 2 3/4″ rounds. Place one cake round on each parchment square.
Place one scoop of ice cream (approximately 1.5 oz. size scoop) in the center of each cake round. I often use coffee flavor, but you can use any flavor you’d like.
Place tray of cake bases with ice cream in freezer for several hours to re-freeze the ice cream.
Step 2: Italian Meringue
- 7 egg whites
- 9 oz. sugar
- 1.5 oz. white corn syrup
- 3 oz. water
You’ll also need a candy thermometer.
Place sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot on the stove and heat until boiling.
Continue to heat. When temperature of the sugar syrup gets close to 220 degrees F (use the candy thermometer) begin beating egg whites in mixer until soft peaks are formed.
When temperature of sugar syrup reaches approximately 240 degrees F, pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites while the mixer is on high.
Continue to beat on medium speed until meringue is cool.
Step 3: Pipe the Meringue
Prepare piping bags with tips.
Fill bags with meringue.
Once the piping bags are ready, remove tray of cakes from freezer. Working quickly, pipe meringue onto each dessert. Make sure the ice cream and cake are completely covered.
Return tray of completed desserts to freezer overnight.
Step 4: Chocolate Sauce
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/8 c. olive oil
- 1/2 c. milk (2%)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate with sugar and olive oil over low heat (or use a double boiler). Be careful to not let the chocolate burn.
Add milk and stir gently. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
To Serve the Baked Alaska
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Warm chocolate sauce gently on top of stove. Prepare plates with spoons on counter. Prepare fruit garnish if desired. When oven is hot, remove desserts from freezer and place on baking sheet on their parchment squares. Bake in 500 degree F oven for 2-3 minutes until meringue is slightly brown. Watch them carefully, they will quickly burn if left unattended. Place on plates and top with chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.
Approximate nutrition information per Baked Alaska (including chocolate sauce): 430 calories; 18 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 95 mg cholesterol; 140 mg sodium; 64 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram dietary fiber; 9 grams protein.
So, Second Act Kitchen is now officially one year old. Please celebrate with me by sharing this post, or other posts of mine you have enjoyed during this first year, and help me spread the word about secondactkitchen.com.