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February 1, 2010 / Sarah

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

Make cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, then line bottom with wax paper and butter paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Sarah / Feb 2 2010 8:49 am

    I tried to post this last night, but Worpress was acting up…. Very weird.

  2. Erin Jones / Feb 2 2010 9:38 pm

    Wow! AMAZING picture. I think this is my favorite yet!

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