A simple chocolate cupcake, stuffed with top quality (Village) chocolate icecream, drizzled with baileys and smothered in soft meringue before being grilled. A classic 1970’s dessert, the Baked Alaska is nowadays rarely enjoyed (other than on Baked Alaska Day in the US on Feb 1).
The meringue acts as an insulator, allowing the entire icecream cake to enter a 500˚F oven while remaining brilliantly frozen. An alternative method of browning the meringue is by drizzling it with whiskey and flambéeing it, aka a Bombe Alaska.
I found holding it close to the preheated grill ideal, turning it as each side browns up nicely. The meringue remains fluffy, the icecream frozen and the cake just softing in between. Give yourself enough time to prepare these – the cupcakes filled with icecream need to be completely frozen before beginning with the meringue.
Individual Chocolate Baked Alaskas
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay
Makes 8 – 12
4 large egg whites (at room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence
12 chocolate cupcakes (recipe below)
250ml quality chocolate icecream
baileys (or other liqueur)
For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a clean, large bowl until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Slowly whisk in the sugar, whisking well between each addition. Continue to whisk, adding in the cream of tartar and vanilla, until glossy and very stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
Slice the top off each cupcake and gently scoop the centres out of the cupcakes using a sharp paring knife. Reserve the lid and discard the removed centre. Pour a little baileys into each cupcake, followed by a scoop of icecream and replace lid. Place in freezer for a 2-3 hours (or overnight) until frozen.
Preheat grill to 500˚F. Spread meringue over each cupcake, ensuring all sides are completely covered with a thick layer. Place on baking pan. Hold under grill for 4 – 5 minutes until meringue begins to brown.
Recipe from Edmonds Cookbook
Makes 10 large cupcakes
125 g butter (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain baking flour
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup milk
Cream butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together and fold into creamed mixture. Stir in milk.
Using a cookie scoop, divide mixture between holes in a greased muffin tin. Bake at 190°C for 15 minutes or until cakes spring bake when lightly touched. Let cool completely.