Tania Cusack with a lovely and summery take on the classic dessert.
By Tania Cusack
Baked Alaska… Cake , Ice cream, Berries and Praline what could be better….. not much in my books. I made this the other day amongst a discussion of it’s origins. As usual every country steps up to claim the invention of such a delicious dish. In this case the French try to muscle in and so do the Chinese but of course we all know the real beginnings of the Baked Alaska were in America. The name ‘Baked Alaska’ was coined at Delmonico’s Restaurant by their chef Charles Ranhofer in 1876 to honor the recently acquired American territory. What do you know…….. invented in America!. It is sometimes called a Bomb Alaska, as a small puddle can be made in the top, liqeuer added and then it is set alight when brought to the table. I’m going with the unlit version.
All I know is it’s delicious. The meringue is browned either under a hot grill or in the oven and this layer on the outside protects the ice cream. It’s a great summer dessert. Make the inside ahead of time and the meringue when you serve them or if you like you can pipe freeze and brown when you wanrt to serve. Just let it sit out for 5-10 minutes before browning. I have added the recipe for cake and icecream but you could use store bought if you want. The golden syrup ice cream is easy and delicious and Ifirst used it here to go with Tarte Tartin
- 3 eggs (large)
- 125gm sugar (4.35oz)
- 50gm Flour (1.75 oz)
- 25gm unsweetened Cocoa (.88oz)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup golden syrup
- 1½ cups thickened cream (whipping cream)
- 4 egg whites
- 2 cups of caster ( granulated) sugar
- 2- 3 Frozen raspberries per Alaska
- Raspberries (1 cup), ½ cup sugar
- You will need moulds like chinese tea cups
- Beat the eggs until light and creamy then gradually add the sugar a bit at a time, till completely incorporated and light and fluffy.
- Meanwhile sift the flour,cocoa and baking powder. Fold gently into the eggs till just combined with a spatula.
- Spread onto a lined cookie sheet and bake for approx 20 minutes in 180 C degree oven (350F).
- Cool and cut into circles the size of the top rim of your mould.
- Beat the cream until just starting to hold shape. pour in the golden syrup with the motor running untiil all is incorporated and the cream is whipped and fluffy. Do not over beat.
- Freeze this mixture in a container with a lid over night.
- Take the icecream out of the freezer to soften for 10-20minutes.
- Have moulds and space in the freezer ready along with the frozen raspberries.
- Working quickly spoon the icecream into moulds pushing down to eliminate air pockets to a bit over halfway. Press two or three raspberries into the ice cream and top with a piece of cake ( as shown above) and freeze till needed.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean grease free bowl, till frothy and then gradually add sugar until the meringue is glossy and thick. Transfer to a piping bag or zip lock bag with the corner snipped off.
- Demould the bombs by dipping briefly into hot water and turning out. Pipe each one with meringue ( or just spread with a knife). Brown the completed Alaskas under a hot grill or with a brulee torch till golden
- Serve with Raspberry sauce and Praline
- Put the sugar and raspberries into a pot and simmer till melted.
- Put through a sieve and chill.
After completing Culinary School in Sydney, Tania travelled the world working as a Chef in restaurants, doing catering and cooking on road for a travel company in Europe and the US. Once back at home, the birth of her son meant a change, and during his small years, she enjoyed jobs in wholesale food, buying Artisan food products, testing and recipe writing as sales and educational tools. Tania is now back to what she loves, working as an in house Chef for a large retailer, conducting Cooking Classes and writing recipes for her blog.