Anna Olson combines lavender honey ice cream and cake covered with meringue for this beautifully classic baked Alaska. See below for Baked Alaska recipe ingredients and baking instructions.
Did you know that this old-fashioned dessert, which originated at New York City’s Delmonico’s restaurant to commemorate the purchase of Alaska in 1867?
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 cup (150 g) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (1.25 g) salt
2 Tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 cups (500 mL) half-and-half (10%) cream
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lavender blossoms ( or 1 Tbsp/15 mL dried)
4 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp (75 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
¼ cup (75 g) honey
3 large egg whites
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325 ºF (160 ºC). Line the bottom of a 12-x-17-inch baking pan (with a lip) with parchment paper.
2. Whip the eggs and sugar on high speed until they are almost white in colour, more than triple in volume and hold a ribbon when the beaters are lifted, about 5 minutes.
3. Sift the flour and salt and, still on medium speed, add them to the eggs and mix until combined. Spoon about a cup of the batter into a bowl, and stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Add this all back to the full batter and fold in on low speed or by hand until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread to ensure it is as level as possible and bake for about 25 minutes, until the centre of the cake springs back when gently pressed. Cool the cake completely in the pan.
1. For the ice cream, heat the 10% cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, along with the lavender blossoms and the scraped seeds and the vanilla pod until it just begins to come to a simmer. Remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture while whisking constantly, and add this back to the pot. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the cream (still over medium heat) until it coats the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes. Pour the crème anglaise through a strainer and cover the surface of it directly with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature and then chill completely. Prepare to freeze the ice cream when you are ready to assemble the baked Alaska.
2. When ready to assemble, whisk the whipping cream and honey into the chilled custard and pour into an ice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. This can take around 20 minutes, so while churning, prepare the cake.
3. Use a bowl that holds 10 cups (2 ½ L) by volume as your mold. Line the bowl with plastic wrap so that it hangs over the sides. Loosen the cake from sides of the pan, turn out onto a cutting board and peel away the parchment paper. Cut a circle of cake to fit in the bottom of the bowl, and cut strips of cake that fit in the bowl to fully line the bowl so that there are no visible gaps (but it doesn’t have to look perfect, since the entire cake will be covered with meringue). Once the ice cream is frozen but still soft, spoon it into the bowl, spreading to level it. Top the ice cream completely with remaining cake, wrap and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
1. The meringue should be prepared immediately before serving the Baked Alaska. Preheat the oven to 450 ºF (230 ºC).
2. Whisk the egg whites and the sugar in a metal bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepot filled with an inch (2.5 cm) of gently simmering water and whisk until the egg whites are warm to the touch. Use electric beaters or transfer the whites to a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment and whip until the meringue is glossy and holds a stiff peak when the beaters are lifted, about 4 minutes.
3. Pull the ice cream cake from the freezer and turn it out onto an inverted baking tray lined with parchment paper, removing the plastic wrap. Spread the meringue over the entire surface of the cake, swirling the meringue to create a pretty pattern. Bake the cake for 3-4 minutes, until it just begins to brown. Immediately transfer the cake to a serving plate, bring to the table and slice to serve with fresh raspberry coulis.
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now it's time for a spectacular dessert where creme anglaise is the star as part of the ice cream center of my Baked Alaska but before I can get to the ice cream I need to make a cake layer that goes on the outside of the Baked Alaska so I make a genoise sponge recipe for that what I have are six whole eggs in my mixer they're at room temperature and I'll add to that a cup of sugar and then beat these together on high speed until it's more than doubled in volume now for the dry ingredients 1 cup of all-purpose flour and just a quarter teaspoon of salt I'll sift those together and then with a mixer on a lower speed I'll just add it in let the mixer do all the work for you there we go to add a little richness I will add some butter but before I do that I want to spoon out a little batter into a mixing bowl here we go let me grab my two tablespoons of melted butter and I'm going to add it to this little bit of batter let me add a teaspoon of vanilla to this at the same time in this way I blend the butter into this small bit of batter and it works itself into the large batch of batter easier and without sinking to the bottom there we go super simple quick little mix just to blend it all together and it's ready for my pan now I need a thin sponge cake so I'm using a 12 by 17 baking pan and the batter goes right on top of the paper I'll use my offset spatula and spread the batter to every corner and make sure it's nice and level there we go and this is all set for the oven I've preheated it to 325 and the sponge cake takes about 25 minutes to bake it'll turn a nice golden brown evenly across the surface of the cake Oh beautiful now to check the doneness of your sponge cake you just press the top of it if it springs back then you know it's done I'll set this aside to cool and when it's cooled it's ready to use I'll set this aside for now because it's time to make the creme anglaise I have two cups of ten percent cream I've added the seeds from one vanilla bean I'm also going to infuse the flavor from a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers I've got four egg yolks and I'll add to that a third of a cup of sugar Oh immediately as the cream warms up you can smell that lavender and then add this back plus of course switch to my wooden spoon and I'll cook this until thickened and there we go the custard coats the back of the spoon so off the heat it comes and now the lavender blossoms have done their purpose so you want to strain them out you do want to prepare this a day ahead that way it has time to fully chill in the fridge before you spin it into ice cream and I have a chilled anglaise and of course what would I scream be without more cream so now I add cold whipping cream a full cup and I do need some sweetness so in addition to the third of a cup of sugar that I cooked into the custard I'm adding a quarter cup of honey I'll whisk this all together I'll grab my ice-cream unit from the freezer and with the ice cream maker spinning I'll add the ice-cream base and it can take anywhere from 15 to up to 30 minutes to freeze so while my honey lavender ice cream is freezing I can get the cake ready so what I use is a nice round Bowl you want it to hold about two and a half liters line it with plastic wrap and now I cut the cake to fit into the bowl loosen my cake from the edges peel away the parchment and then I start with a round disc of cake at the bottom and I build up from there then I cut this into thirds lengthwise now where I see these gaps I just cut little triangles of the cake and slip them right and there we go it's important that you don't see any gaping holes because you don't want the ice cream to leak through there we go and I scoop the ice cream right into the cake and now I have the perfect amount of space here to fit in the last of my cake I like finishing a puzzle here well right now this is ready for the freezer you do want to give it a few hours to really firm up because the finishing touch is slathering French meringue over top of this and torching it that's the Baked Alaska hot versus cold so the style of meringue I find works best is a French meringue so I take my three egg whites and three quarters of a cup of sugar and I warm it by whisking it over a water back and I'll pop over to the stove where I have a pot with an inch of water that's just gently simmering I'm just looking for the sugar to dissolve a little bit alright so in they go into my mixer and you want to let this go on high speed until it holds a stiff peak this does take about four minutes add a little flavor just a splash of vanilla now for the best part slathering this on top of the Baked Alaska get ready for presentation time right out of the bowl and I start at the top and work my way down just coaxing the meringue to cover all of the cake okay let me do a few peaks here you've got two options to bake your Alaska you can put it in a really hot oven 450 degrees and it takes about four minutes or your other option nice butane kitchen torch just like toasting marshmallow give it a nice even browning and there we go so this is ready to be presented and to serve Wow how grand is that I love an ice cream dessert served with a sauce that a little raspberry coulis nice little pop of color what an absolutely glorious dessert warm meringue on the outside that sponge cake and honey lavender ice cream and it all starts with creme anglaise