Cake, ice cream and toasted meringue sounds like a good time to me! This classic combination is the basis for baked Alaska, a dish I’ve modified in this fun recipe to make in individual cupcake servings. You can use your favorite vanilla cupcakes (minus the frosting) and ice cream flavors. Each dessert is then beautifully decorated with a toasted Swiss meringue.
a pastry bag fitted with a medium round piping tip; a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a heatproof stand mixer’s bowl above the water, but not touching the water.
Whisk the egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt in the stand mixer bowl. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue to whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly frothy, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until the meringue is cool and can hold very stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round piping tip.
Meanwhile, using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, punch out the center of the chilled cupcakes. Make sure to keep the bottom of the cupcake intact, removing only the middle. Reserve the cake rounds you punch out.
Fill the cupcake cavities with ice cream. Cover the ice cream with the reserved cake rounds. Place the cupcakes in the freezer.
Pipe teardrops of meringue all over the cupcakes. Freeze the cupcakes for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Place the cupcakes on a baking sheet. Place on the middle rack and bake until the meringue is browned and toasted, 5 to 6 minutes.
Decorate the cupcakes with the flower petals; serve within about 5 minutes.
Choose an ice cream flavor such as matcha, ube (purple yam), chocolate or strawberry that will be a contrast to the vanilla cake.