Friday, August 17, 2012

Baked Alaska

For my early birthday party, my mom and I decided to try our hands at making Baked Alaska.  You know, the cake/ice cream/meringue concoction.  It actually wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be - you just have to stay organized in the kitchen and plan your steps well.

First, we took a container (quart sized) of vanilla (or any other kind you like) ice cream and set it out to thaw.

Then we made a homemade brownie base.  Any recipe will do, but I recommend making your brownies from scratch because they will be more dense than a store bought mix and you need something strong to hold up the ice cream layer that will be going on top of it.  We used a triple chocolate brownie recipe - I think from Alton Brown. We were going to use a Pyrex but decided against it because it wasn't tall enough to build the other layers over top. Instead, we found a rectangular cheesecake mold which was about 4 inches tall.  Since it was spring-form, it was also easy to pop the cake out when we were done.

Get 2 or 3 containers of raspberries (or cut strawberries) and sprinkle them over the brownie, once it has cooled.

Take your semi-thawed ice cream (it should just be soft enough to cut with a knife).  Cut it into 1 inch thick slices and layer completely over the fruit and brownies.  You want them completely covered with ice cream so the meringue has something to adhere to.

Freeze this for 1-2 hours until it is solid.  Make the meringue (we used this recipe).  Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe it over the cake.  My mom wanted to spread it out, but it would also be quite dramatic to pipe a ton of little spikes over the top.

We used a broiler to get the browned top on this, but I think a brulee torch might have been more effective because the broiler also melted the ice cream so the bottom of the serving dish was sitting in ice cream soup.

The taste of this cake was spectacular.  Especially when served at the right temperature.  It fed a LOT of people, so if you have leftovers, cut pieces before freezing so you can just take them out individually, thaw, and serve.

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