Thursday, March 01, 2007

Baked Alaska for Ben

February 10th was my big brother's 24th birthday. He used to live up in Alaska and he misses it a lot. I heard someone say that once you go to Alaska it is in your blood and you will never get over it. So on his birthday I wanted to make him something special. In one of my cooking magazines I saw a recipe for "Baked Alaska".

This yummy dessert was Thomas Jefferson's favorite. This meringue-crusted, ice cream baked in pastry was named "Baked Alaska" in 1869 to celebrate the purchase of Alaska. I was a little scared to make it because I had never made anything so "fancy". But my family loved it, and most importantly my brother loved it! (This picture is not from the recipe I made but it was the only one I could find.)

Here is the recipe:

Baked Alaska

  • 1 (16-ounce) frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices, with edges trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 pints ice cream or sherbet, softened (I used chocolate chip ice cream)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake: Line 1 1/2- quart bowl with plastic wrap, letting the ends of the wrap overhang bowl. Line bowl with even layer of cake slices, positioning slices with no spaces in between. Stir 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water until sugar dissolves, and brush mixture over cake slices. Fill bowl with ice cream and smooth surface. Top with remaining cake slices. Cover with overhanging wrap, weigh down top with plate, and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.

To serve: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Boil 1 cup of sugar with remaining 1/2 cup water until syrupy, about 4 minutes. With electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat to soft peaks. Slowly add sugar syrup and vanilla and beat until thick and cooled, about 6 minutes. Remove plastic and invert cake onto oven safe platter. Cover cake with meringue and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.


rachd said...

That sounds delicious. What a lucky brother Ben is to have a sister who loves him so much she will step out of her comfort zone to make him something to remind him of Alaska. :o)

mom said...

You can make it for my birthday too! It was sooo good! Love you!