Traditionally, Baked Alaska is made with a white cake as the bottom layer. The recipe is vintage, created by a restaurant to celebrate the purchase of the Alaskan Territory. Since that time, there have been many variations to the recipe. The amazing part about the Baked Alaska is that ice cream gets baked in order to brown the meringue on the outside of the dessert. It is a delight to cut through the layers of meringue, ice cream and in this case, brownie.
I liked using the brownie instead of cake because 1-who doesn't love brownie and ice cream together? 2-The brownie is more firm than cake to use as a base and comes out of the pan easily, and 3-a small batch of brownies makes the perfect size to fit without a ton of cake leftovers. (Then, I would be writing a post about what to do with leftover cake!)
For this recipe I did something new! I made Swiss Meringue, something I had never done before! It was so easy and the results were amazing! It was like a marshmallow cream without gelatin. I don't know why I had never tried it before, but I think I will be going back to this recipe again and again.
- In advance of the day that you want to make your Baked Alaska, prepare your ice cream by softening it and putting it into a plastic wrap lined round bowl to form it into a dome shape. Re-freeze it until quite firm. The plastic wrap will allow you to remove the ice cream from the bowl. I didn't do that step because at first I didn't know that I was making a Baked Alaska, so I had to heat the bottom of my bowl to remove the ice cream. It worked, but lining the bowl with plastic wrap would have been easier. Also, normally people make their Baked Alaska with an entire carton of ice cream so that the dome is larger than mine. But since we were using scraps, ours is more pie like.
- Bake your favorite brownie recipe in a round pan that will match the size of your ice cream dome. My ice cream was in a smallish Pyrex bowl, so I used a brownie mix that I had on hand and baked it in an 8" round cake pan. When I make a larger recipe than this one, I will use my favorite brownie recipe that you can find here.
- When cool, put your brownie circle on top of the bowl of ice cream and invert the ice cream on top of it. Replace into the freezer while you make the meringue.
- When the meringue is ready, peel the plastic off of the ice cream and cover the entire ice cream and cake with the meringue.
- Now, brown the meringue. You can do that in the oven at a 425 degree temperature for just a few minutes or do what I did and use your kitchen torch to brown it. (I love using the torch! There is a little pyromania in all of us!)
- Return the Baked Alaska to the freezer until you are ready to serve it. Hopefully in a couple of hours so that it will have time to be very frozen.
This recipe was much easier than I imagined it was going to be and got lots of oos and ahhs from the kids. I hope that you will give it a try!