Cake

Spumoni Baked Alaska

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It’s spiky, multi-colored and mysterious – who wouldn’t want to try this interpretation of Baked Alaska? Week 44: Spumoni Baked Alaska

 

The origins of the Baked Alaska is a little unclear, as are the agreed-upon decoration and design. What stay constant are the elements: fluffy cake, rich ice cream, and a coat of toasted Swiss meringue. The meringue can be crisped with a kitchen torch or baked in an oven to achieve the ideal level of toasty-ness.

 

My favorite historical tidbit is that it was called a “Norwegian Omelette” since whipped egg whites are used to insulate the ice cream. It reminds me a bit of fried ice cream – but instead of dough taking the heat, it’s a marshmellowy merignue.

 

My limited experience with them includes eating one as a child on a cruise to Alaska and hearing my dad’s story about making a massive one which when sliced could barely fit on the biggest dinner plates he could find. He apparently went classic and used an oven to toast his meringue – brave man. I prefer my itty-bitty flame thrower.

 

I went the mini route again with this bake because:

A. Mini things are super cute! It’s a fact.

B. They are much more shareable. There’s no way my roommates and I can eat a whole Baked Alaska while it’s in it’s prime!

C. They provide more of a cushion for error – if I mess on one, I can start fresh with the next one without wasting as many ingredients!

D. My dad’s story about the plates. Just wait til you hear him tell it.

 

 

First step: mold the ice cream! I happened to have bowls which had the exact diameter of my mini springform pans. Sometimes the stars align. *mini happy dance*

I had to soften the ice cream, pour it into the bowls and refreeze it in it’s new shape. The main issue, of course, is having enough freezer space. Let’s just say some ice cube trays lost some prime freezer real estate.

 

 

Before and after the Greek yogurt. I used dark chocolate cocoa powder; it’s my secret weapon. The flavor is instantly richer and more chocolately.

 

 

While they baked, I sliced “natural” maraschino cherries. Sadly, cherries are no longer in season. I decided to plow ahead with my spumoni flavor choice however, having already bought the pistachio ice cream. (I know I’m having a love affair with pistachio right now, but I can’t help it – they make everything taste so yum!) I don’t know about you, but classic maraschino cherries scare me. They unnaturally neon and smell a bit like sugary plastic. There was an adorable natural version of them at Safeway and I had to try it. They were definitely lacking in the brightness factor, but the flavor worked. I can’t wait to try this again when I can get fresh dark cherries at the farmers market!

 

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Mmm, chocolate. This recipe is definitely my new go-to chocolate cake recipe! So good.

 

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I was forced to behead them so there would be a flat surface for the ice cream molds. This created the happy problem of having extra cake trimmings to munch on. Oops.

 

 

They didn’t want to come out of their bowls, but look how perfectly they match the cakes! I couldn’t have planned that if I’d tried.

 

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Swiss meringue is cooked egg whites with sugar and salt. It has a lovely sheen to it and whips up into glorious snow drifts of topping.

 

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The key to decorating this cake was a super stiff meringue. This one worked well, but next time I might whip it for a little longer.

 

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I threw in some pink food coloring to give it some cherry highlights, and piped away.

 

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It looks a bit like a sea creature, doesn’t it? So cute.

 

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With fronds like these, who needs anemones?

 

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Happy munching!

 

Cake recipe from: https://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-chocolate-cupcakes/

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