Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mini baked Alaskas

Recently, I rewarded myself with a new kitchen gadget - the torch! I'm a little fire-phobic myself, so this new toy made me a little apprehensive, but all the freshly toasted meringues and crème brûlées that I get from it make the fire all worth it. Now I want to light everything in the kitchen on fire.

Baked Alaska has always been on my to-bake list, but it had always seemed so daunting. Without a kitchen torch, I would have to stick the whole thing, ice cream and all, into the oven, which didn't seem like it would end well. Now that I have a torch though, the process is much easier. 

I was determined to make all parts of this from scratch - even the ice cream. I don't own an ice cream maker, but I was able to find a relatively straightforward recipe that didn't require churning. It seemed too simple to be true - just mix cream, condensed milk, and pureed strawberries together, freeze, and out comes strawberry ice cream!

Piecing this all together was very easy too - cut out circles of sponge cake, stack a sphere of ice cream on top and freeze overnight. Then, when you are ready to serve, whip up some meringue, plop it on top, and light it up!

Easy but impressive - I can't wait to see what else I can whip up with this new torch!

Baked Alaska - makes 12 mini portions

Ice Cream - recipe adapted from Homemade Hooplah
  • 3 Tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  1. Hull and chop strawberries into small pieces. Set half of strawberries aside. Pureed the other half of the strawberries. 
  2. Mix condensed milk, pureed strawberries, cut strawberries, melted butter, and vanilla together. 
  3. Beat heavy cream in stand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. 
  4. Stir in fruit mixture into heavy cream.
  5. Cover and freeze overnight.
Cake - recipe adapted from Desert for Two
  • 2 Tbsp + 1½ tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp + 1½ tsp white sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp + 1½ tsp almond milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and cornstarch together. 
  3. Beat egg and sugar in stand mixer on high speed until light and fluffy (with soft peaks).
  4. Melt butter in microwave with milk and add in vanilla extract.
  5. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined.
  6. Stir in butter mixture.
  7. Divide batter between 12 lined cupcake tins (each tin will be halfway full). 
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until inserted fork comes out clean.
  9. Let cool and then carefully peel cupcake liners from cake. 
  10. Scoop a sphere of ice cream (see above recipe) and position on top of each round of cake. 
  11. Freeze at least a few hours or overnight.
Meringue - recipe adapted from Desert for Two
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  1. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form
  2. Add sugar and continue beating until meringue is light and fluffy (not stiff!)
  3. Spoon onto ice cream-cakes until ice cream is fully covered. 
  4. Torch the meringue until brown and serve immediately. 
  5. Enjoy!

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