Baked Alaska

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By Chef Ed Dychauco

Pots and Pans

Thursday, July 17, 2014


ANOTHER ice cream dessert coming up!

Making a big comeback recently is one of the more popular and decadent dessert of days gone by.

Nobody could really pinpoint where this all started or how it came to be.
Some say it was a French creation, although it was also said to be Chinese, some say it started in the United States.

With its baked outer shell and frozen interior, this one of a kind and unique dessert ice cream cake was said to be served by a French Chef at Delmonico’s, one of the world’s very famous New York City restaurants in the mid-1800’s.

It was made in commemoration of the United States of America’s purchase of Alaska from Russia, hence the name Baked Alaska.

Made with layer or layers of cakes and/or cookie crumbs and ice cream (some uses more than one flavor of ice cream for a splash of color and flavor), this is then covered with a layer of meringue and baked in high heat for that “burnt” design.

However, modern “culinarians” would use a torch instead to burn the “shell” which makes it faster and a lot easier.

Bombe Alaska, on the other hand is just like Baked Alaska.

The difference lies in the usage of an alcohol-based liquid (like rum or whisky and a syrup) poured or splashed into the shell and lighted or flambéed which definitely make this dessert amazingly fabulous!

Let us start with the cake layer. Depending on what you like, the cakes used in this sinful dessert can be anything ranging from chocolate to vanilla, to coffee or any fruit-flavored cakes.

Firm, compact cakes is preferred, but any light sponge or chiffon cakes will do the trick, too.

The cakes can be spiked with some alcohol or flavoring for a deeper flavor and taste.
Cookie crumbs can be Graham, butter cookies, coconut cookies, chocolate, vanilla and the list goes on.

Of course, cookie crumbs can be optional but it does add some crunch and\ excitement when incorporated into the dessert.

Ice cream! Now, I guess this needs no further explanation but all-time favorite for this sweet course is either: vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.

Or even a combination of all three which is also known as Neopolitan ice cream.

It is like having all flavors in one!

An assortment of ice cream can be layered, mixed or blended for a different and sensational dessert.

Of course, nuts and fruits (fresh or dried) can also be incorporated as one desires.

The cake and the ice cream can also be layered alternately then covered with meringue.

Normally, this appealing dessert is made to look like a dome, although I don’t see anything wrong when done in a round, square or rectangular shape.

But of course, the dome shape would definitely be spectacular, right?
Ingredients would include the following:

Ice cream

Cake slices
Cookie crumbs
Nuts and fruits or chocolate chips
1 cup egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla or lemon flavoring

Line a pan or container with plastic or aluminum foil.
Spread ice cream, pack firmly and freeze well.
Nuts, fruits & chocolate chips can be incorporated into the ice cream or layered, as well as the cookie crumbs.
Top the layer or layers of ice cream with cookie crumbs or cake.
Cover with a layer of plastic and freeze again.
Transfer or invert into a parchment paper –lined baking sheet and cover with meringue.

Meringue:

Beat egg whites till peaks are formed, add sugar gradually and continue beating till stiff.
Add the vanilla or lemon flavoring.
Transfer meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
Piping it with a large star tip makes it look more appealing.
Bake in 425 degrees until the meringue is light brown.
Alternatively, a culinary torch can be used.
Serve immediately.
Note: a warm knife is best to slice the dessert.

[E-mail: potsnpans1976@yahoo.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 17, 2014.

Lifestyle

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