When temperatures reached an all-time high of 40°C+, all I could think of was ice cream. And no matter what time of year in the Philippines, it is always a good time for ice cream.
I remembered Baked Alaska, the queen of ice cream desserts. I do not see it being served in restaurants here anymore. I had it once on a cruise ship.
Baked Alaska can be mistaken for an ordinary ice cream cake were it not for the halo of flames when it is served. One can choose to omit the flaming, but flaming makes it truly Baked Alaska, an extravagant piece of dessert that makes for a perfect ending to a special occasion.
It is easy to make. But in this weather, it has to be frozen before covering it with meringue. After covering with meringue, freeze overnight and broil in high temperature for 2-3 minutes until the meringue browns slightly.
Baked Alaska can be molded in different shapes using pans, bowls and molds. For the round shape, the easiest is a springform pan. For the bombe shape, I use a mixing bowl. For rectangular and loaf shapes, I use a rectangular or loaf pan.
It can even be made into individual servings using metal soup bowls. The possibilities are endless—different ice cream flavors, with chocolate sauce.
The recipe I used here is a sponge cake, but you can make butter or chocolate cake or use store-bought lady fingers. You can even use sliced pineapples instead of a cake.
How to flambé Baked Alaska? Heat 2 Tbsp rum. Ignite it and pour over the Baked Alaska. Flame will eventually burn out.
Another less scary method of flaming it is soaking cotton balls in rum and putting it on an empty eggshell. Place on the top center of the dessert. Ignite it.
The ice cream inside is thawed a bit and some would drip down, blending with the rum. That melted part laced with rum is just so darn good.
⅔ c sugar
1⅛ c cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 flavors ice cream
⅓ c egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
⅔ c sugar
Line 7” x 10” rectangle pan with wax paper. Sift the cake flour and baking powder.
Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and light-colored. Fold in flour mixture manually. Add the melted butter.
Pour into the pan and bake at 300°F for 15 minutes or until done.
Remove the wax paper and put the cake back into the pan. When cool, spread the slightly softened ice cream layer by layer. Cover with wax paper and put in the freezer overnight.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Add sugar and continue beating until glossy and stiff. Take out the frozen ice cream and cake from the pan and frost with the meringue all over.
Set the oven at the broil’s highest degree. Put the cake inside the oven and let the meringue brown a bit, about 1-2 minutes. Flame it and serve right away.
Serves 12. —CONTRIBUTED INQ
The author, barangay captain of Dasmariñas Village in Makati City, is the creative force behind Pink Mixer Bakery, which has been included four years straight in the “Inquirer Lifestyle Best Desserts” guide. She has written two cookbooks, “Fresh Off the Boat from Fujian,” a modern Chinese Filipino cookbook, and “ABCs of Cooking for Kids,” both available on Shopee.
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