Black and White Baked Alaska

Back home in Toronto, we were still avoiding wheat, so when we had guests coming over, I needed a dessert made without flour. Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi has a number of recipes that fit the bill, but the one that caught my eye was a retro classic, a baked Alaska.

When I say classic, I don’t mean classic for me, as I didn’t grow up eating it. I mean that it’s a dessert that can be traced back 200 years according to a fascinating article from NPR. The recipe has three components. First up is baking the brownie-like base. It’s made from melted dark chocolate, butter, sugar, cocoa, egg yolks, and whipped egg whites.

Black and White Baked Alaska (before meringue)

Once that layer has cooled, you spread a pint (or two!) of softened ice cream over the base. We used Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Back it went into the freezer.

Black and White Baked Alaska (unbaked)

Before our guests arrived, I had time to make the topping. This is a simple Swiss meringue (where the egg whites and sugar are heated over a double boiler). I used a closed star tip to make a design, ensuring that all of the ice cream was covered in an insulating blanket.

Black and White Baked Alaska

Once everyone was finished dinner, I popped back into the kitchen to preheat the oven, and took the unbaked Alaska out. To get a nice brown colour, I needed the full 5 minutes at 500°F.

Black and White Baked Alaska

Black and White Baked Alaska

This cake was very well received. I loved how chocolatey the bottom chewy layer was, and how the cold ice cream and soft meringue provided a contrast in every forkful. Perhaps this retro dessert will make an appearance at Pesach 2018.

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