Classic Baked Alaska
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 cups (500 ml) vanilla ice cream, softened 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) toasted pecans, chopped
- 4 cups (1 litre) cherry and chocolate ice cream (or other flavour), softened 20 minutes
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) vodka
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Line the bottom of a 20-cm (8-inch) springform pan with parchment paper. Do not butter sides.
- In a bowl, combine flour with 60 ml (¼ cup) of sugar. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat eggs, remaining sugar (60 ml / ¼ cup) and vanilla with an electric mixer until it triples in volume and falls into a ribbon from the beater, about 10 minutes.
- Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture, folding gently with a spatula or whisk.
- Spread batter into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife around cake to detach it from the pan. Unmould and let cool on a wire rack.
- Line a 2-litre (8-cup) metal bowl with an opening diameter of about 20-cm (8-inch) with plastic wrap.
- In another bowl, combine vanilla ice cream with pecans. Spread at the bottom of the prepared bowl. Cover with cherry and chocolate ice cream. Top with cake and press lightly. Fold plastic wrap over cake and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
- In a double boiler, whisk egg whites and sugar until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler and beat until meringue forms stiff peaks and is at room temperature.
- Unmould frozen ice cream cake and invert onto a plate. Remove plastic wrap. Cover with meringue.
- Pour vodka into a ladle and gently heat alcohol over the stove (see note). When liquid is hot, remove from heat and flambé with a long match or barbecue lighter. Gently pour onto meringue. Slice and serve.
You can substitute the flavour with the ice cream of your choice. You can also replace vodka with brandy or rum.
Choose a ladle with a coating that allows for this kind of manipulation over a flame, i.e. stainless steel or aluminum (not glass or plastic). If you have an induction cooktop, you cannot precede in this way, just warm alcohol in a small saucepan. If you find that there are not enough flames to burn your meringue, continue burning with a small culinary torch.