National Baked Alaska Day
If you had asked me a week ago what Baked Alaska was, I probably would have guessed that it was some baked salmon dish. Boy would I have been wrong. Who could have guessed that this was a dessert?! I’m using the strawberry ice cream I made a couple of weeks ago (there’s still a lot left – I’m not much of an ice cream person.)
Individual Chocolate Strawberry Baked Alaskas
Adapted from Gourmet
4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 whole large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Strawberry Ice Cream, slightly softened
8 large egg whites
Special equipment: 6 (8-oz) shallow ceramic or glass gratin dishes
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, then line bottom with wax paper and butter paper.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring, until smooth. Remove bowl from pan and whisk 3/4 cup sugar into chocolate mixture. Whisk in whole eggs and salt, then sift cocoa over and whisk until just combined.
- Pour batter into baking pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
- Cut cake into 6 equal pieces, then arrange 1 piece in each gratin dish, trimming to fit. Top each piece of cake with a large scoop of ice cream (about 1/2 cup), then freeze, covered, just until ice cream is hard, about 25 minutes (do not let ice cream become rock hard).
Make meringue just before serving:
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed, and continue beating until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 12 minutes with a handheld.
- Remove gratin dishes from freezer and mound meringue over ice cream and cake, spreading to edge of gratin dish. Bake on a baking sheet in middle of oven until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
I cut the entire recipe in thirds since this doesn’t seem like a dessert that can be completely made ahead. Plus, you’re going to laugh, I completely forgot to melt the butter with the chocolate and I had everything put together in the pan before I realized what I had done. So, the melted butter got mixed in at the end. Surprisingly, it turned out just fine.