Serves: Makes one 9-inch cake
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- Butter (for coating cake pan)
Ingredients for the meringue:
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1-½ cups vanilla ice cream
- 1-½ cups chocolate ice cream
- 3 tablespoons of rum (optional for flambé)
- ¾ cups sugar syrup
- Mixing bowl
- Pastry brush
- Round cake pan (9" W x 3" D)
- Knife (serrated)
- Pastry bag
- Piping tip (star)
- Pastry baking tray
- Stand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- Chef’s torch (optional)
Procedures:Layers of soft sponge cake filled with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and coated in caramelized meringue, Baked Alaska is a blend of hot and cold delights. While you can resort to store-bought sponge cake and ice cream, the meringue should be homemade for the best results.
Baked Alaska is made from ice cream and meringue. It is therefore essential to have a freezer, an oven with a broiler, or a torch. You will also need an oven-safe presentation plate and a deep cake pan.
- Preparation time: 1 hour
- Cooking: 25 minutes
- Cooling: 30 minutes
- Total preparation time: 1:55
Preparing the sponge cake
Preheat the oven to 355°F/180°C.
Use a pastry brush to butter the inside of a cake pan. You can also butter the pan using a paper towel soaked in softened butter.
Pour flour into the mold and line the bottom and edges with flour. Discard any excess flour.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together. Place the bowl over a pot of hot water, making sure the bottom does not touch the water and whisk continuously. The steam will lightly cook the eggs and help them reach the desired “en ruban” or “ribbon” consistency.
Sift the flour into the egg mixture with a sieve and incorporate it gently with a rubber spatula. Stir until the flour is incorporated to stop the foam from sinking. Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 355°F/180°C for 25 minutes.
Cutting and assembling the sponge cake
Check to see if the sponge cake is fully baked by inserting the point of a knife. If the blade comes out dry, it means it is ready.
Remove the sponge cake from the oven, unmold immediately and allow to cool on a plate. When the cake has cooled, use a sharp knife to cut it into 3 layers of equal thickness. Place the bottom layer on a baking tray and soak the sponge cake in rum-flavored syrup. Work quickly to prevent the ice cream from melting.
Cut the vanilla ice cream into pieces about ½-inch thick and place them on top of the sponge cake. Place the main layer of sponge cake on top of the vanilla ice cream. Soak it in the rum-flavored syrup.
Cut the chocolate ice cream into pieces of about ½-inch thick and place them on top of the sponge cake. Cover with the last layer of sponge cake and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
Preparing the meringue:
Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt. Beat the whites until peaks form. When the whites begin to set, gradually add the sugar. When the mixture is glossy and firm, stop the mixer.
Laying the meringue :
Set the oven to broil. Cut the tip of the pastry bag and insert a piping tip, attaching it well.
Remove the sponge cake from the freezer and use a spatula to trim the pieces of ice cream that overlap. Spread the meringue over the entire surface of the cake, smoothing it out with a spatula.
Place the dessert on an oven-safe presentation plate. Pour the meringue into the pastry bag and decorate the dessert as desired. Bake for 3 minutes under the broiler.
Remove the cake from the oven when the meringue is well caramelized. You can also caramelize the dessert with a chef’s torch or flambé with rum.