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.
1 largeslice of sponge or layer cake - 1 inch thick, and 1 inch larger all around than your block of ice cream.
1 qtbrick style ice cream (neopolitan is traditional)
1/2 tspcream of tartar
How to Make Mom's Baked Alaska
- Trim 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.)
- Center the block of ice cream on the cake. Cover and freeze until very firm.
- At 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.
- Bake at 500° till golden, about 3 minutes. Slice and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
- To 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.