Courtesy of DB's Tavern

This Dessert Recipe for Baked Alaska Is Perfect for Coronavirus Quarantine

Keep yourself occupied with this impressive creation
Courtesy of DB's Tavern

If you’ve been spending more time at home and you’ve already poured your heart and soul into making bread, puppy chow and other easy dessert recipes from your childhood, then it’s time to take it up a notch. Next time you decide to bake, try challenging yourself by making a dessert famous for being served at some of the best restaurants across America: baked Alaska.

Easy Recipes That Take Less Than One Hour

While this is not one of the dishes you can whip up with pantry staples, it is worth trying if you have the time. The dessert consists of layers of cake and ice cream that are assembled before being covered in a dreamy whipped, rum-based meringue. For a more modern spin with an extra-rich base, follow follow this chef-worthy recipe for Bread Pudding Baked Alaska.

Baked Alaska first made its appearance with the name Alaska Florida at the New York-based restaurant Delmonico’s in 1867. It’s a dessert soaked in tradition and, although it’s difficult to prepare, it is guaranteed to wow anyone that tries it. While this recipe is a true time investment, taking over 10 hours to make, crafting your own toasted meringue is unbelievably impressive. But if you feel like it might be too complicated to tackle, perhaps try taking an online cooking class first to level up your skills.

Baked Alaska is a great dessert to make if you’re trying to pass the time, but it’s not for everyone. If you’d rather attempt making a different show-stopping dessert, these are the most difficult but impressive desserts you can make at home.

Bread Pudding Baked Alaska

Ingredients

For the bread pudding mix

1/2 firm Pullman loaf of brioche bread

8 eggs

1/2 quart cream

1 quarts milk

1/2 pound sugar

3 1/2 ounces light brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon clove

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

vanilla ice cream

For the Italian meringue

Use 1 pound of sugar for every 1/2 pound of egg whites

For the gingersnap cookie garnish

4 ounces softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup molasses

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ginger

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 teaspoons salt

For the warm chocolate sauce

3 1/2 cups water

1 cup light corn syrup

1 pound granulated sugar

6 ounces cocoa powder

1 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate

4 ounces butter

For plating the dessert

dash of desired alcohol

Directions

For the bread pudding mix

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

First cut  the bread into small cubes and set aside. The pudding comes out lighter if the bread is fresh so do not dry out cubes. 

Mix everything together, besides the bread cubes. Set the bread cubes in a full shallow hotel pan and pour mix over bread. Do not over soak the bread.

Bake the pudding in a 300 degree oven and set the hotel pan in a water bath.

Bake the pudding until it is souffled and bouncy. Let the pudding cool completely. When the pudding is cooked and cooled it should be a bit firmer than traditional pudding in order to be able to cut the forms. Once cooled, set in the fridge.

Once set, cut the pudding into rectangular blocks to desired size. Scoop out the center of the pudding as if to form a bathtub shape. Fill the cavity with scoops of desired brand of vanilla ice cream, smooth on top with an offset spatula and set in the freezer while meringue is prepared.

For the Italian meringue

Set egg whites in the Kitchen Aid bowl with the whisk attachment.

Put the sugar in a saucepan and add some water. Mix completely and begin to cook the sugar until it begins to boil vigorously. With a candy thermometer, cook the sugar to 240 degrees.

When the sugar reaches about 234 degrees, start whipping the egg whites until medium peaks and when the sugar reaches 240 degrees begin to pour sugar into whipping whites.

Continue whipping until the meringue is cool and has reached firm stiff peaks.

With a small offset spatula cover the bread pudding all around with the meringue and with a decorating pastry tip decorate the top with peaks of the meringue. Set back in the freezer. 

For the gingersnap cookie garnish

Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.

In a Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar till smooth, then add the eggs and molasses.

Mix till combined and the add dry ingredients.

Mix completely and set dough on a sheet and let set in the fridge.

When set, form cookies in balls and flatten slightly on a baking sheet.

Bake cookies for 16 minutes at 300 degrees. Let cool completely and chop up with a knife to create the crunchy crumble garnish

For the warm chocolate sauce

In a heavy bottomed saucepan add your water, corn syrup, granulated sugar and cocoa powder. Bring all ingredients to a boil and wisk while boiling for five minutes to thicken and cook out the raw cocoa powder. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Then add your chocolate and butter. Mix well till completely incorporated.

For plating the dessert

Take the baked Alaska from the freezer and torch meringue slightly to toast.

Place Alaska on a platter and garnish with the gingersnap crumbs.

Take a dash of desired alcohol such as cognac and ignite carefully and gently pour all over the Alaska. Let flame till alcohol burns off.

Pour some of the warm chocolate sauce over the top and serve some extra on the side.

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By this time the bread pudding will have softened a bit while the ice cream remains frozen. Cut and enjoy