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Blog Flog: Baked Alaska

You guys, I adore baked Alaska, and I’m not sure why it’s not made more often, so I am here to take any scariness out of the process. It’s one of the most fun, and most delicious, and most celebratory – not only because you get to torch it, which is perhaps the most satisfying culinary endeavour there is, but because it has just the right ratio of ice cream to cake (at least double), is topped with Italian meringue, and you can do just about anything you want with it, flavour-wise. I’ve happily shared a couple wedges at restaurants this week, which reminded me that it really isn’t that tricky to make at home, and is what one might in magazine and internet lingo be described as a show-stopper. (But… who wants to stop a show??) Just imagine, if you will, this baked Alaska with sparklers stuck all over it for a birthday. It looks stunning, and yet there’s no pressure to decorate a cake! Bonus!

Baked AlaskaBaked Alaska

The folks at Chapman’s (who are based in Ontario) asked if I’d come up with a recipe using their products, and because a) mango sorbet is W’s favourite, b) I appreciate all support that helps offset the cost of keeping this website designed, hosted and mostly functioning, and c) it gives me a legit excuse to make a baked Alaska on a regular Thursday, I sent Mike out for sorbet immediately.


Of course one of the great things about a baked Alaska is you can use literally any kind of ice cream you like – it doesn’t have to be sorbet, but I love the bright colourful layers. And it makes it easy to do lactose free (with sorbet and non-dairy milk in the cake – they even have a lactose free collection), or gluten-free if you make a gluten-free cake layer or brownie for the base, and of course you can accommodate all flavour preferences. A full-on chocolate experience could potentially incorporate chopped chocolate bars or peanut butter cups or layers of bashed pretzels between the ice cream layers, or you could scatter in some fresh or frozen berries or ripe mango, or go for more layers or no layers (just one 2L container of Chapman’s is the perfect amount – I love that they’re one of few brands that still sells ice cream in 2L containers), and swap out the cake base accordingly.

(My next baked Alaska will be something along the lines of chocolate peanut butter cup + mocha almond fudge on a chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookie or brownie base – really you could bake anything in a round cake pan and use it.)

To make it: line a bowl with plastic wrap and spoon in slightly softened ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet, pressing it up the sides if you want arch-shaped layers, or straight if you just want straight layers… I imagine you could get quite creative with this part. Top it (this will be the bottom) with a round of cake – or cookie, or brownie. Stick it in the freezer until you’re ready for it. (Don’t you love things that can be made ahead, particularly for a party?)

Once you have the process down, and have gotten over any fear of meringue-making or torching or broiling ice cream (if it’s frozen solid, it will take awhile to start to melt-I promise), there’s no end to the potential baked Alaska combinations. (And if you want to streamline things, pick up a pre-baked plain sponge cake layer at the store.) And if you’re looking for an excuse to splurge on a kitchen torch, this is it. (You can watch the torching of this over on my Instagram stories!)

Thanks again to Chapman’s – their Premium ice cream is one of few grocery store varieties I actually do buy – for making this post possible! Happy Friday!

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska
Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

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May 3, 2019

Ingredients

Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter

1 large egg

Filling:

1/2-1 L Chapman’s cherry sorbet

1-1 1/2 L Chapman’s mango sorbet

Meringue:

3 large egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Directions

1Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl (or measuring cup) stir the milk, canola oil and egg together with a fork. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Pour into a buttered or sprayed 8 or 9 inch cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch.

2Get a bowl with an 8 or 9 inch opening at the top (depending on the size of cake you’re working with) and line it with plastic wrap. Spoon some cherry sorbet into the bottom of the bowl and press it down, smoothing the top. Spoon some mango overtop, making sure there are no air pockets and smoothing the top. Top with the cooled cake, cover and freeze for several hours, until solidified.

3In the bowl of a double boiler (or a glass or stainless steel bowl that will fit over a saucepan of simmering water), whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set over an inch or two of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. If you want to broil the cake, preheat your broiler.

4Remove the frozen cake and ice cream from the freezer, unwrap it on a serving plate and cover with meringue. Brown the surface with a culinary blowtorch or run it under the broiler for a minute or two, just until golden on the surface. Serve immediately. Serves 8-12.

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3 comments on “Blog Flog: Baked Alaska

  1. Jeanie
    May 3, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Love Chapmans. Don’t think the ice cream would last in my freezer long enough to make this 🙂

  2. Sue D
    May 12, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Just yum.

  3. run 3
    May 21, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    I actually made the cake according to your recipe but I couldn’t do it, you were really skillful and wonderful

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