Mini Baked Alaska
- 1 store-bought sponge cake or pound cake
- 1 pint ice cream, your favorite flavor
- 1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 eggs)*
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 clean empty egg shell halves
- 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
- Icing spatula
- Ice cream scoop
- Pastry bag with a medium star tip
- A kitchen torch
Clear some room in the freezer to fit 4 dessert plates. Cut the cake into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut out four 3-inch disks and place them on the 4 dessert plates. Place 1 scoop of ice cream in the center of each cake disk and place them in the freezer. One at a time, remove the ice cream from the freezer and encase the ice cream in slices of cake. The cake covering the ice cream should fit together nicely, creating a dome. Place them back in the freezer for up to 2 days. To make the meringue, whip the egg whites until foamy, then add the sugar, and continue whipping until stiff and glossy. Spread it over the cake domes with an icing spatula, leaving a relatively smooth surface. Push an eggshell halfway into the top to act as a bowl, which will be filled with liqueur before serving. Do all 4 domes, returning them to the freezer as you finish them. Transfer the remaining meringue to your pastry bag. Pipe meringue decoratively on the domes. Heat the broiler to very hot (or fire up your kitchen torch) and broil until lightly browned all over. Return to the freezer for up to 2 days, until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, warm a little orange liqueur in the microwave and carefully pour it into the empty eggshells. Ignite the liquor and carry it to the table. After the flame dies down, lift the eggshell off the Alaska with 2 spoons and pour the liqueur over the dessert.
*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.
Propane Gas Torch Warning: Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat or flame, and should not be exposed to prolonged sunlight. Propane gas torches should only be used in well-ventilated areas. When lighting a propane gas torch, place the torch on a flat, steady surface, facing away from you. Light the match or lighter and then open the gas valve. Light the gas jet, and blow out the match. Always turn off the burner valve to "finger tight" when finished using the torch. Children should never use a propane gas torch without adult supervision.