I was asked to make and ice cream cake for a tenth birthday for last weekend. I knew instantly what I wanted to do:
This is a baked alaska. I swear to you, this is sooo easy- truly one of those you-don't-have-to-be-a-pastry-chef-to-impress-everyone-desserts. There's not even a recipe, but here's the instructions.
How to make a baked alaska:
1. For the cake base every recipe is different. Choose whatever cake you or the person you're making the cake for loves best. For the cake I made, I chose a brownie base. Whatever you choose, bake it in a 8" cake pan.
2. Find about a 2 1/2 quart glass bowl with an 8" rim (tres important!), and line it with plastic wrap, leaving about 2 inches of the plastic wrap to hang over the bowl.
3. Choose 3 pints of your favorite ice cream. My birthday boy chose mint chocolate chip, strawberry, and french vanilla ("Not the kind with the beans," he said, "Just the vanilla flavor.") Let them soften on the counter until spreadable. Begin layering each pint in the bowl, letting each layer freeze thoroughly before putting on the next one.
4. Remove cake (or brownies) from cake pan. Carefully line the cake up on the top layer of the ice cream and wrap the plastic wrap around the cake. Freeze for at least four hours.
5. To remove ice cream from the bowl, place bowl in warm water for about ten seconds (careful not to get water in the cake). Invert bowl onto cake plate and if you need to gently shake or tap to remove the creation.
6. Make meringue using 1 cup egg whites (about 8), 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Whip in a stand mixer for 4-5 minutes until it forms medium-stiff peaks.
7. Spread meringue over ice cream, creating waves and peaks all over.
8. THE BEST PART- I would suggest you all get a kitchen torch so you can do this: take your torch and begin to lightly move the fire around the cake (keeping the actual flame 1 1/2-2 inches away from cake), to toast the meringue. It's a beautiful finishing touch.
And there you have it!