Very Easy Baked Alaska

10
Total Time
12 min
Prep
7 min
Cook
5 min
Serves
8
Difficulty
Easy
This impressive and surprisingly easy-to-prepare dessert has been enjoyed for over 200 years.

Ingredients

prepared angel food cake

4 piece(s), 1/12 package(s), (3⁄4-inch-thick) each

orange-flavored liqueur

2 fl oz, or other fruit-flavored liqueur or orange juice

fat-free vanilla ice cream

4 cup(s), or flavor of choice

egg white(s)

4 large, at room temperature

table salt

tsp

sugar

½ cup(s)

vanilla extract

½ tsp

Instructions

  1. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 1 round from each slice of cake. Place the rounds on a plate and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Place the cake rounds on a baking sheet about 3 inches apart and brush with the liqueur. Top each cake round with 1 large scoop (about 1 cup) of the ice cream. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until completely frozen, at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  2. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 475°F.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Quickly spread a generous cup of the meringue over each ice-cream cake. With a rubber spatula, create smooth domed tops, making sure the meringue completely covers the ice cream and cake. With the back of a small spoon, form swirls in the meringue starting at the tops of the domes. Immediately place in the oven and bake until the meringues are lightly browned, 4 – 5 minutes. Using a pancake spatula, transfer the desserts to a cutting board and cut in half. Transfer to each of 8 plates and serve at once. Yields 1⁄2 of one Baked Alaska per serving.

Notes

Thomas Jefferson served it at the White House; his early version consisted of ice cream encased in a hot pastry crust. Baked Alaska really came into its own, however, when served at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City in 1876, to celebrate the purchase of the territory of Alaska.

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