The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
The only times I remember having Baked Alaska before was abroad a cruise ship on formal nights. I love the combination of soft melty ice cream and cake all covered in sweet marshmallowy meringue, so I was excited to finally make it at home. Unfortunately, my results did not live up to my expectations. Especially disappointing because I was serving it to guests.
I made the cake on a day that was crammed full with too many errands, a baby shower, a wedding reception and out-of-town guests. I doubled the cake recipe and baked it in a sheet cake pan so that I would have enough for eight servings. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the cake was finished baking and left my husband in charge of taking it out of the oven and in the end it was too dry.
The ice cream was a fabulous cherry chocolate ice cream recipe from Our Best Bies made with fresh, delicious cherries. It tasted wonderful right out of the ice cream freezer, but I think the assembly process of the Baked Alaska made it turn a bit icy.
The meringue wasn’t tasty either. It whipped up beautifully and looked so pretty swirled on my individual Baked Alaskas. We even improvised and used my husband’s soldering torch, which worked pretty well. But unfortunately the meringue was so salty that it was inedible.
Everyone was good sports about eating this dessert that I worked so hard on and looked delicious, but even after scrapping off the meringue, it really wasn’t worth the calories.
Other Daring Bakers loved this recipe, it just didn’t work for me. I need to do a redo and try some new flavors. Baked Alaska can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. You could easily bake up some brownies, cut them into individual servings, buy some fab ice cream, mold it, whip up some merinuge and toasted it for a very impressive and easy dessert. I may just do that soon.
Visit the Daring Kitchen Recipe Achieve for the recipes, instructions, step by step photographs and a fabulous slide show of all the amazing Daring Baker’s Baked Alaskas. Thanks Elissa for the push I needed to make Baked Alaska at home.