Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday. She has loved Alaska since she was in second grade. When she was in fourth grade, she asked for a Baked Alaska and it has been her birthday tradition each year since.
This year she asked if I could make one for each friend coming for dinner. Well, I’m never one to back down from a baking challenge so of course I said yes.
I was a bit intimidated by the meringue at first, to be honest. This is an impressive dessert that sounds much more difficult than it actually is.
- 2 Prebaked 10" cake rounds
- 20 small (3.5" glass bowls)
- Plastic wrap
- 2 gallons of ice cream
- For Meringue:
- 1 cup egg whites (about 6 large), at room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- Lightly brush bowls with vegetable oil and line with plastic wrap.
- fill with softened ice cream of your choice.
- Place bowls in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- Cut pre baked 10" round caked in half horizontally to create 1 to ½ inch layers.
- Using a cookie cutter (or in my case a glass) about the same diameter as the bowls.
- Place the cake rounds on top of the bowls and return to the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight if you have the time.
- Make the meringue: In a stand mixer, whip the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high until foamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and beat in the sugar until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Invert the cake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Remove the plastic wrap and cover the ice cream completely with ½ to 1 inch meringue.
- Form swirly peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon.
- At this point you may return to the freezer or immediately brown the meringue.
- To Brown the Meringue: Bake the cake until the meringue peaks are golden, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve immediately or return to the freezer.
- They will keep for 2-3 days.
Lay out the bowls. I used 4 oz Duralex bowls that are 3.5 inch in diameter.
Line with plastic wrap and put a scant scoop of ice cream in the bowl.
Make in indention with your ice cream scoop for the next flavor if desired.
Add the second flavor and return to the freezer.
I used 10″ rounds to bake cake from my favorite mix. Then I cut them into halves so they were about 1/2″ thick. Two 10″ rounds made four 1/2″ layers. I used a glass about the same size as the bowls to cut the cake into rounds. You could even use store bought pound cake for this step!
I then placed them on the bowls of ice cream and returned to the freezer.
After freezing for at least 2 hours, make the meringue using a stand mixer. (I love my Kitchenaid Pro Line 7 qt. It’s great for making big batches of anything and a lot of meringue!) Then remove the ice cream from the bowls by inverting and using the plastic wrap to pull it out of the bowls. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover each mound with 1/2 inch of meringue working on 4 at a time. Return them to the freezer until you are ready to brown them.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and brown for 3 minutes or until beginning to become golden brown. But don’t leave in too long your you’ll have what we call “global warming.” (wink, wink)
Voila! Your finished desserts. Perfect for a birthday or other special occasion.
Let me know when you try this. I promise it’s fun and easy.
Happy birthday to my “Lollypop!” You bring us great joy and I am blessed to be your mom.
Special thank you to my friend Amy who suggested the small bowls and where to find them…I was trying to figure out how to use a cupcake tin! That would have been an epic fail!
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