How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Make Baked Alaska - DID-IT

Pin It Baked Alaska is a simple dessert compared to some of the flaming ones we talked about in an earlier blog posting.  It consists of a layer of cake (I used a brownie), and a layer of ice cream, all covered with meringue, then browned under a broiler or with a torch so it resembles the mountains of Alaska - I guess.

My first attempt was a yummy failure!  I mixed the ice cream with Grande Marnier for a little extra kick, then put it into the mold and into the freezer, the next day when I went to unmold my frozen concoction, I realized that alcohol doesn't freeze!!!  I had a soft mushy scoop of incredibly good ice cream which I served over the brownie with whipped cream and my guests were none the wiser that their dessert was a failure!!

For my second attempt, I left out the alcohol.  I cut a round brownie with a biscuit cutter, and placed it on a dessert plate.  Earlier, I had softened the ice cream and pressed it into a half-round mold and returned it to the freezer.  When my guests were ready for dessert,  I removed the ice cream from the mold and placed it on top of the brownie.  I had a nice bowl of egg white meringue all ready to go, and spread it over the ice cream/brownie stack sealing the edges to the ovenproof plate and making fun peaks on the top of the mound of meringue.  Then I popped it under the broiler for a short minute until the meringue was dry and the peaks were nicely browned and getting dark on the tips.  The ice cream was barely starting to melt at that point, which is just right!  I've seen people use a propane torch to brown the meringue, but I'm much too chicken to try it!

Serve it quickly so the combination of hot meringue and cold ice cream is still there.  It's fun to make and really fast and easy, but so impressive!!!  You can make one big one, or individual servings.  The only problem with the individual servings is that the smaller volume tends to melt faster than a single, large one.