A few days ago I thought a Baked Alaska was a fish dish. When I texted my friend Maddie Deer that I had made one she replied, “Nice! That sounds like a fancy adult meal.”
Well, it’s a cake.
It all started with the Great British Baking Show. I was home for the weekend, and it was the one thing my brother and I could agree to watch. And I was hooked. It is an amazing show and I highly recommend!
My father came in to watch too, and when I said that I could make anything they could, he promptly challenged me to make the Baked Alaska of that episode. There was no way I wasn’t accepting that challenge! He thought it would be incredibly difficult based on the show, but its amazing what more time will do in any baking excursion.
So what is a Baked Alaska you ask? It’s basically a layer of cake topped with a layer of ice cream, covered in meringue, and then baked in the oven at a super high temperature to brown the meringue while not melting the ice cream! Apparently the meringue is suppose to insulate the cake and keep the meringue from melting.
And so I did it. I made my own ice cream from an original recipe, a pound cake, and my first ever meringue, and it turned out beautifully! I chose an orange flavor theme because that’s what was in the house during our snowmageddon, and so I developed the following recipe with the surprising discovery that the oranges I had were blood oranges.
- ⅔ cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- Heat all on stove at low heat to dissolve sugar until cream ring forms in mixture. Cover and cool.
- Pour cooled mixture into ice cream maker; it fit just right in mine.
- Run for approximately 20 minutes or until thickened.
- For the Baked Alaska, pour into a metal bowl lined in olive oil and plastic wrap, (see below assembly instructions), and cover with wrap and freeze.
You could use more cream and milk instead of half and half, but I ran out of cream. You can also use any type of milk here, I just had skim on hand.
I chose a pound cake because I was worried about the cake collapsing under the ice cream, however, I don’t think that is a necessary worry. Frozen pound cake is very difficult to cut, so I would do a sponge cake next time. However, the pound cake was delicious, so I’ll definitely make it again on its own.
I used this recipe from Jem of the South and highly recommend!
The only changes I made were to the flavoring. Instead of vanilla extract I used 2 teaspoons almond extract and 3-4 tablespoons grated orange peel.
It took a little over an hour to cook in a regular cake tin, and it only rose about 2 cm.
- 6 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- Whisk 6 egg whites in an electric mixer with cream of tartar for about 2 minutes at a medium pace. It should be frothy.
- Whisk at medium-high speed and slowly add sugar, letting small amount completely incorporate before adding more.
- Whisk at same speed for 8-10 minutes
- You will know its done when you raise the electric mixer and the mixture forms a stiff peak at the end of the mixer that doesn’t wilt
If its flat my best advice is to keep mixing, mine seemed to never thicken until it did.
- Find a metal bowl that would fit on top of your cake. Brush with olive oil and cover the inside loosely with plastic wrap so you will be able to remove your ice cream.
- Pour your own, or scoop store bought ice cream into bowl over plastic wrap to desired layer height.
- Cover with plastic wrap and push into flat layer without air bubbles.
- Freeze ice cream overnight. (You could probably get away with a few hours)
- Bake Cake ( or buy it)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees
- Make Meringue
- Pull frozen ice cream layer from bowl and invert to lay flat side on top of cooled cake layer.
- Cover cake and ice cream with meringue using a spatula and use tip to make swirls if desired.
- Freeze entire cake for some time if you wish to be extra safe, if not bake for about 4 min at 500 degrees, or until meringue is browned.
- Done! Impress your friends with your creation!
Overall, it was fun and I’m incredibly proud. The ice cream was by far the best part about it though and I’ll be keeping that recipe to eat alone. Let me know if you try to make your own Baked Alaska!