Friday, August 27, 2010

Daring Bakers - Baked Alaska


When I was at Uni, I used to love Northern Exposure - you know, the show about Dr Joel Fleischman, who much to his dismay, had to practice in Cicely, Alaska as a condition of his medical school scholarship. My friend Jen was so hooked on it that she refused to take phone calls while it was on (she was a med student, after all). I thought Fleischman was kinda cute, and that Maggie was mad not to just fall head over heels for him. I was so caught up with Fleischman that I didn't take much notice of the delightful John Corbett, who these days is much more my cup of tea (check him out in Sex and the City or The United States of Tara and you'll see why). I never did understand Ed, or why Marilyn had such a babyish voice - those are mysteries that will remain unsolved.


The Alaskan theme segues nicely into this month's Daring Bakers challenge:



The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of
17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.


I made the Baked Alaska - primarily because I am still rather time poor and I could make one huge Baked Alaska rather than numerous cute but fiddly petit fours. Besides, I've always wanted to make a Baked Alaska - it intrigues me how icecream can go into the oven and survive without melting into oblivion. The trick is to freeze it until it is very hard.



The browned butter pound cake smelled amazing and tasted good on its own the first day, but it was little hard and tasteless in the Baked Alaska, and didn't taste like much the next day. I also feel that I should have halved the cake for use as a base for the Baked Alaska, because you have to admit, it looks a little out of proportion here:





I made David Lebovitz's vanilla icecream as per Elissa's instructions - simply because I love it. Like I said last month, this is the best icecream I've ever tasted (even better than Baskin Robbins Toffee Praline, which is pretty damn fine).



I then piped meringue all over the hardened icecream/cake combination until it looked like a jester's hat, and baked it in the oven - and voila, we have a Baked Alaska that did not, to my relief, end up as a puddle on the floor of my oven.



Here is a peek inside:




Delicious, yeah? Unfortunately, that cake did not do it for me - but with all that yummy icecream and meringue, who cares?


Thanks to Elissa for hosting us this month. You can check out a veritable parade of Baked Alaskas and petit fours by visting
The Daring Kitchen.

27 comments:

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Gloria said...

Maravilloso! I think your Alaska dessert Look absolutely wonderful and delicious, nice dessert! gloria

Renata said...

Looks really yummy! You managed to get a nice golden meringue! Well done!

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love your alaska it's fantastic !! You remembered me it's time to post !!

Happy Cook said...

Wowo they look beautiful and so so perfect. Well done.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe my friend was also obsessed with Northern exposure too! I love Men In Trees myself which is based in Alaska. Lovely bombe!

SilverMoon Dragon said...

Wow! Yours looks so cool, all spiky!

I found the cake was nicer not frozen too, but the kids didn't seem to care!

procrastinatingbaker said...

I'm so with you on John Corbett. Up there with the best ice cream. Also with you on the cake but as you say, does it really matter when the rest is so good?! I haven't made the straight vanilla ice cream yet but from the sounds of it I should!

jillbert said...

It looks great! I like how you piped the meringue.

Northern Exposure was such a great show! It would be fun to watch that again.

Tracy said...

Yours looks gorgeous!!

Barbara Bakes said...

Now I'm wishing I'd made the Lebovitz ice cream. I didn't love the pound cake either, but I did love Northern Exposure too.

Aparna said...

Baked Alaska looks good. David Lebovitz's ice-creams are the best.
I covered mine with ganache so that kept the ice-cream in and the cake soft.

Jeanne said...

I love Northern Exposure too! The baked Alaska looks wonderful - perfectly toasted!

Leslie said...

Your baked Alaska is so beautiful...it looks like a crown! I went with the petit fours and it was a lot of fiddling!

I used to love watching Northern Exposure...the quirky humor was great.

Mary said...

It does look like a jester's crown! Very nicely done. I used Dorie's honey-peach ice cream, which was great, but I felt the same way about the cake in this dessert.

Jennifer said...

Your baked Alaska looks spectacular!!!!!

Cath said...

I do remember Northern Exposure - a bit quirky - and yes - Ed is still a mystery!
Great job with the Baked Alaska!

Brenda said...

It looks so good that it doesn't matter the cake wasn't delicious hahahaah! Fabulous job!!!

Johanna GGG said...

that baked alaska does look like the jester's hat - you weren't a batman and robin fan when they had the baked alaska were you (oops that is the joker) It looks gorgeous

I loved john corbett on Northern Exposure but I came to it later when it was repeated in the UK I think - it was a good quirky watch that many shows today could learn from

Emily said...

Gorgeous!! I'm sooo impressed! Nice work.

SteelCityFlan said...

I love Northern Exposure so much! Ed is hilarious, and Maurice, and, well, everyone...oh, and John Corbett is pretty damn fine *Drools*

Sorry the cake wasn't up to your standards, but the baked alaska still looks great - I've only ever seen them a lot smaller, but this one's size is impressive! :)

Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

How daring indeed to attempt this wonder - yours turned out beautifully! The icecream is such a lovely rich yellow too.

adele said...

I went through a childhood phase of being utterly fascinated with fried ice-cream, because of that hot-cold paradox. I knew better than to ask my mother about Baked Alaska, though (a baker she is not.) Glad to see it does work!

And brown butter pound cake? I must investigate...

Christina said...

Beautiful job!

The Caked Crusader said...

Wow that looks good! Am I wrong to also think it would make a stunning shape for a table lamp?

margot said...

That looks awesome! I hadn't thought of "Northern Exposure" in years - it was a great show.

Jacque said...

I loved Northern Exposure too, made me want to move to Alaska. Anyway, your baked version looks lovely. I agree that the cake didn't stand out much. Oh well, now we know :)