Back in the 70's Baked Alaska was all the rage. It must have been THE dessert because I'm pretty sure I remember seeing it on TV and in magazines. I can definitely remember Baked Alaska getting my attention as a kid. The funny name, the glorious mound of meringue with different types of ice cream inside. It looked heavenly to me as a kid and it looks heavenly to me now! However, I never ate Baked Alaska or made Baked Alaska until today, 45 years too late in my opinion!
I'm not afraid to say that I'm a little miffed at myself for waiting so long, too long to try this glorious and heavenly dessert!
There are endless versions of Baked Alaska. I think the version of my youth was made with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream, classic Neapolitan flavors. Ina's version is made with raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream.
I will warn you...this recipe took up most of my Sunday. It is time consuming and makes A LOT of very messy and rather sticky dishes, but it is extremely special and we definitely need to treat ourselves right now! Totally worth it!
What you see above and below is my very first attempt at Baked Alaska. Ideally, I'd like my meringue to get a little more color and have some crispy tips, but I noticed that ice cream was melting on the sheet pan so I pulled it out. Once I cut into it I noticed that the ice cream was still perfectly solid inside SO, I'm going to go a little longer the next time. Trust me, I will be making this recipe over and over again until I get it just right!
In summary, I don't know what you see when you picture heaven, but I'm pretty
sure I see a combo of raspberry sorbet with vanilla ice cream, sitting
atop a piece of pound cake, then topped with a fluffy marshmallowy Swiss
meringue that goes crisp and golden on the outside while still being a
little fluffy and cloud-like on the inside, all sitting atop a fresh homemade raspberry
Me from a mountaintop: BAKED ALASKA IS AMAZING! MAKE THIS VERSION OR ANY OTHER VERSION DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!
Raspberry Baked Alaska
Adapted from Cook Like A Pro
by Ina Garten
For the Ice Cream and Cake
1 (1-pound) store-bought pound cake
1 pint good raspberry sorbet, such as Ciao Bella
1 pint good vanilla ice cream, such as Haagen-Dazs
For the Swiss Meringue
8 extra large egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Raspberry Sauce
1 (6-ounce) package fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam, such as Tiptree
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur
For the Cake and Ice Cream: Slice the cake into six 1/2" thick slices. Cut six (2-1/2") circles - one from each slice - with an unfluted round cookie cutter, discarding the scraps. (You can also use a small knife.) Place the cake rounds 2inches apart on a flat dish that will fit in your freezer.
Soften the sorbet and the ice cream just enough to be able to scoop them with a standard 2-1/4" diameter icecream scoop (15 to 30 seconds in the microwave works). Fill half the scoop with raspberry sorbet and the rest of the scoop with vanilla ice cream and place an ice cream ball, flat side down, in the middle of each cake round. Freeze for at least30 minutes, until the ice cream is very hard.
For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. To make the Swiss meringue, place the egg whites and sugar in a heat proof glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture almost constantly, until it reaches 120 degrees on a candy thermometer and the sugar has dissolved (see tip). Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt and beat on medium speed for one minute, then on high speed for 5 minutes, until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks.
Transfer the cake rounds and ice cream to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Working quickly, spread the meringue with a spoon or small spatula, making lots of peaks all over with the back of the spoon. (You can also use a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip and pipe the meringue thickly around each ball of ice cream and cake.) Be sure all of the ice cream is covered with meringue. Bake for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, until the edges of the meringues are browned, turning the pan once to brown evenly. Transfer to dessert plates, drizzle fresh raspberry sauce around each baked Alaska, and serve immediately.
For the Fresh Raspberry Sauce: Place the raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and the framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Pour into a container and chill. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week.