Baked Alaska

Total Time:
6 hr 29 min
Prep:
45 min
Inactive:
5 hr 40 min
Cook:
4 min

Yield:
12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the Ice Cream Cake:
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1 pint raspberry, passion fruit or other sorbet, softened
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 17 crushed wafers)
  • 1 loaf pound cake
  • For the Meringue:
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 6 large), at room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
Directions

Make the ice cream cake: Brush a 3-quart metal bowl with vegetable oil; line with plastic wrap. Fill the bowl with scoops of the sorbet, vanilla ice cream and half of the chocolate ice cream, alternating small and large scoops to create a mosaic of colors and shapes. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream; press down to close the gaps between scoops and even out the surface. Remove the plastic wrap, sprinkle the ice cream with the wafer crumbs and re-cover with the plastic wrap, pressing gently. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.

Remove the wrap and spread the remaining chocolate ice cream in an even layer on top of the crumbs. Cut the pound cake into 1/2-inch-thick slices; completely cover the ice cream with the slices, trimming as needed (you'll use about two-thirds of the cake). Cover with fresh plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Make the meringue: Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar on high speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then invert the cake onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If necessary, let the cake stand overturned until it slips out.) Remove the rest of the plastic wrap and cover the ice cream completely with the meringue, making the dome-shaped top slightly thicker than the sides. Form swirly peaks in the meringue using the back of a spoon. Freeze for at least 3 more hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Bake the cake until the meringue peaks are golden, about 4 minutes, or brown the meringue with a blowtorch. Let the cake soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Freeze any leftovers.

Photograph by Steve Giralt


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    I had a great result following this recipe and it was a huge hit at a Gold Rush theme party! I needed 7 eggs to make 1 cup of egg whites. Took lots of time to allow this to freeze (two days total but it was very easy to follow. I let the finished dessoert feeeze for 8 hours prior to baking in a fully preheated 500 degree oven. It worked beautifully...no torch required! Just keep your eye on it as it will brown very quickly
    I used a Raspberry sorbet, coffee,Rocky Road, along with Vanilla. The recipe was excellent. I was careful not to overmix the meringue but had difficulty getting it to peak. Perhaps I was using older eggs. Also, I made the mistake of setting the baked alaska on a broiler rack too close to the broiler, as I was rushing to get a birthday cake out on the table. 
    It is probably best to allow the ice cream to freeze for at least four hours, rather than the minimum of two hours.
    Ok, so I have been wanting to make this for almost a year and finally did it for a potluck this evening. I highly recommend to whoever wants to make this next- make sure you plan ahead. There's a lot of freezer time. I started this on Thursday since I knew I'd be busy most of the weekend. I did up until the cookie crumbs and then let it freeze over night. Friday morning I did the cake on the bottom and then let it freeze until this morning (Sunday morning). I made the meringue before I went to church and froze it until it was time to eat it tonight. Was going to torch it, but ended up with no butane in my torch. Oh well, it was still so tasty. The only problem I had was when I turned the cake out onto the plate, it split at the cookie layer- and it was in the middle of the cookie layer, not on either side of it. So, like my dear wise cake decorating teacher says, it's not how you mess up, it's how you cover up. I put the ice cream back on top of the bottom part and meringued it all over and it looked good as new. However, when I went to cut the alaska, it split again as I cut it. Not a terrible thing to have happen, but it made it hard to cut. Otherwise everyone loved it. I also highly recommend using the raspberry sorbet as it really makes the alaska pop. Great recipe!
    I just made this cake for my sister's sweet sixteen and everyone loved it! My only advice is to be sure not to over whip the egg whites because it gives the whole meringe an off texture. Other than that the cake was delicious and using a blow torch topped everything off.
    I made this for a pot luck at work. It was a hit and very easy to make.Use a blow torch instead of the oven.
    First time making Baked Alaska and it turned out wonderful and yummy. Had no problems at all making this. It's huge, so I would definitely save this for special occasions, unless you have a big family!
    it was fun and easy USE A BLOW TORCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have just recently started cooking since I moved out of the house and really wanted to make a birthday cake rather than buy one for my boyfriend and these seemed really yummy.
     

     
    It turned out GREAT!! super easy. followed the recipe to a T. only slightly bad thing was after putting it in the oven the meringue did start to slip off. wish I had a torch. but it was a quick fix. Really DO use the raspberry sorbet. it's a nice tartness to the sweet cake.
     

     
    It is HUGE!!!!
     

     
    SO GOOD!! Def. making this again.
     

     
    If I can do it anyone can!!
    Made the baked alaska. Did the ice cream part the day before. Made the meringue, "frosted" the ice cream. Froze for the three hours, when I went to brown in my 500? oven, after three minutes, the meringue had melted off the ice cream and into my oven. Now I am self cleaning and the whole house smells like burning marshmellow....We just ate the ice cream.
    This Baked Alaska recipe was easy for someone who has never made this before (meaning myself). I decided to use strawberry instead of a tart sorbet. I also used a spring pan for the baking part. I found this to be quite helpful, but I don't know if the parchment was needed when using a spring pan.
     

     
    Make sure you have lots of room in your freezer as this turns out to be about half a basketball in size. Even though it takes a lot of time for the finished product, it is well worth the wait and effort. I did step 1 and 2 the night before, then in the morning I did step 3 and 4. It was good to let it freeze for awhile after step 4 (they recommend 3 hours but I would say that should be the bare minimum).
     

     
    Overall, the people I served this to loved it and thought it looked very pretty. I would make this again for a special occasion.
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