Mom's Baked Alaska
My mother's 1950's recipe made a rectangular dessert, as was traditional when this cake became popular. It gave the cook a way to show off her new freezer capabilities, back when frozen foods and the newer home refrigerator-freezers were in their infancy.
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- 1 large
- slice of sponge or layer cake - 1 inch thick, and 1 inch larger all around than your block of ice cream.
- 1 qt
- brick style ice cream (neopolitan is traditional)
- egg whites
- 1 tsp
- 1/2 tsp
- cream of tartar
- 2/3 c
1Trim a 1-inch-thick piece of sponge or layer cake to be 1 inch larger on all sides than 1 quart of brick-style ice cream. If using 1/2 gallon ice cream, cut in half lengthwise and reserve other half for another use. (She used neopolitan for this cake.)
2Center the block of ice cream on the cake. Cover and freeze until very firm.
3At serving time, beat 5 egg whites with 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar till soft peaks form. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, beating till stiff peaks form. Transfer cake with ice cream to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread with the meringue mixture, sealing to edges of cake all around. Swirl to make peaks.
4Bake at 500° till golden, about 3 minutes. Slice and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
5To make the round cake in the picture:
Use a brownie mix in a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan. Cut out a round piece of the brownie to be 1 inch bigger all around than a medium mixing bowl. Wrap securely and store until ready to assemble. In the medium mixing bowl, spoon the softened neopolitan ice cream in layers - a layer of vanilla, then chocolate, then strawberry. Level off flat (this becomes the bottom of the ice cream mound). Use about 2/3 of a half-gallon of ice cream. Cover and freeze firm.
Beat 5 egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar, and sugar to a meringue exactly as in directions above.
To assemble: Preheat oven to 500°. Place brownie layer on a parchment-lined round pizza pan. Dip bowl of ice cream into warm water for a few seconds to loosen, then turn out onto the brownie layer and center it. Cover with the meringue by piping on with a star-tip applicator, and proceed as in step 4, above.