Brown Sugar Baked Alaska with Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream, Flaming Frangelico-Rum Sauce, and Candied Hazelnuts

Total Time:
6 hr 5 min
Prep:
1 hr
Inactive:
4 hr 30 min
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Level:
Advanced

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream, recipe follows, or good quality, store-bought chocolate ice cream, softened
  • Chocolate Cake, recipe follows
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
  • 4 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur or dark rum (recommended: Frangelico)
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream:
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur (recommended: Frangelico)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Cake:
  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and bake until the skins are cracked and the nuts are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place the nuts in a towel and rub them to remove the skins. Let cool.

Line a 1 1/2-quart 9-inch metal bowl with plastic wrap, leaving an 8-inch overhang. Spoon the softened ice cream into the bowl, spreading evenly. Fit the cake over the ice cream, pressing to adhere, and wrap with the overhanging plastic. Freeze until the ice cream is hardened, at least 4 hours.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl fitted with an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Beating, gradually add the sugar, beating until the whites become stiff and a glossy meringue forms, about 5 minutes.

Uncover the cake and invert onto a metal or ovenproof platter, or a 9 or 10-inch diameter tart bottom. Working quickly, spread the meringue over the cake and out to the edges to seal. Freeze uncovered for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Using a kitchen blowtorch, brown the meringue evenly on all sides. Arrange on a platter.

Combine the caramel sauce and hazelnuts in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat.

Once the sauce starts to bubble, remove the pan from the heat and add the hazelnut liqueur. Return the pan to the heat and carefully tilt the edge of the pan toward the flame to ignite the liqueur. (Alternatively, light the mixture off the heat using a match and return to medium heat.) Once the flame dies out, swirl the cold butter into the sauce. Remove from the heat.

Drizzle the sauce over the top of the Baked Alaska and serve immediately.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and bake until the skins are cracked and the nuts are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place the nuts in a towel and rub them to remove the skins. Let cool and roughly chop.

Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a medium heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the hazelnuts,

Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until frothy and lemon colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, hazelnuts, hazelnut liqueur, and vanilla and stir until the chocolate is melted. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface of the mixture to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Yield: about 1 quart

Chocolate Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch cake pan, knocking out the excess flour, and set aside.

Place the cocoa in a medium bowl and slowly add the hot water, whisking to dissolve. Set aside.

Sift together the sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl, and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and fold in the cocoa. Stir just until all the ingredients are combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until set in the center, about 20 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake, 8 servings

Caramel Sauce:

Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a medium, heavy saucepan. Place over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Carefully add the cream or it may splatter, whisk to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool before using.

Yield: about 3/4 cup

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