Baked Alaska

Adapted via Bon Appétit
Serves: 12 to 14

For the Cake:
♦ Nonstick vegetable oil spray
♦ 4 large eggs
♦ 1/2 cup sugar
♦ 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
♦  3/4 cup sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
♦ 1 tbsp poppy seeds
♦ 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

For the Filling (scroll to bottom for suggestions):
♦ 2 pints favorite sorbet, softened
♦ 1 quart favorite ice cream, softened

For the Meringue:
♦ 6 large egg whites
♦  3/4 cup sugar
♦ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
♦ 2 egg shell halves

For flambé, optional
♦ 2 egg shell halves
♦ 2 tbsp Grand Marnier

Bake the cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick spray. Whisk eggs, sugar, and vanilla in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water); whisk constantly just until mixture is warm, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until very thick and ribbons form when beaters are lifted, about 7 minutes. Add flour in 3 additions, gently folding just to combine after each. Fold in poppy seeds, then quickly fold in butter in 2 additions (do not overfold). Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Remove pan sides.

Make the filling: Line 4-quart 10-inch-diameter bowl with plastic wrap, leaving 8-inch overhang. Spread sorbet in even layer over bottom (not sides) of bowl; allow to freeze for 15 minutes. Next, spread ice cream over sorbet. Place cake atop ice cream, pressing slightly to compact. Cover with plastic wrap overhang; freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

Prepare the meringue: Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; beat until thick and glossy. Beat in vanilla.

Frost the cake: Unfold plastic wrap from over cake at top of bowl. Invert dessert onto 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom; remove plastic wrap. Working quickly, spread meringue over dessert, swirling to form peaks and covering completely. Freeze at least 45 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead; keep frozen.)

When ready to serve, use one of the below methods.

  • For broiler method: Preheat oven to 500°F. Place dessert on its tart pan bottom on heavy large baking sheet. Bake just until meringue is light golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter. Serve immediately.
  • For flambé method: Fill each egg shell half with 1 tbsp of Grand Marnier – set egg shells on top of the cake. Using a lighter (or long match) set the liquor on fire. Using a long spoon, carefully spoon the flaming liquor over the side of the cake. Serve immediately.

Filling Suggestions:
– Strawberry Sorbet with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
– Peach Gelato with Butter Pecan Ice Cream
– Peppermint Sorbet with Chocolate Ice Cream
– Pumpkin Gelato with Caramel Ice Cream


To read more about this cake and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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