Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baked Alaska is a dessert I've always wanted to try but postponed due to my previous failed attempts in ice cream making without a machine. To be honest, the texture of my banana ice cream was not far better this time, but the flavor turned out great. My meringue was (once again) quite spongy and overwhipped, but overall, everything came together wonderfully in enjoyable (to eat and make) dessert.
           Browned butter cake
         275gr (200gr work fine)       butter
         172gr                                   flour
         28gr                                     cocoa powder (or additional flour)
         5gr                                      baking powder
         3gr                                      salt
         110gr                                   brown sugar
         75gr (or 60gr)                       granulated sugar
         4                                          eggs
         55gr (optional)                     chopped walnuts
         35gr (optional)                     candied orange peel
         4Tbsp (optional)                 Grand Marnier (or some vanilla extract)

         Banana ice cream
         600ml                                  whole milk
         420ml                                  heavy cream
         120gr (6)                             egg yolks
         210gr                                  granulated sugar
         30gr                                    corn syrup
         240-300gr                            banana
         1/2                                     vanilla pod

         Chocolate granita
         150gr                                   chopped chocolate 70%
         535gr                                   water
         140gr                                   granulated sugar
         26gr                                     cocoa powder
         5gr                                       rum

         Banana sauce
         80gr                                     granulated sugar
         80gr                                     water
         40gr                                     brown sugar
         3Tbsp                                   lemon juice
         1/2                                      vanilla pod
         1 1/2                                    fine chopped bananas
         20gr                                      rum

         146gr                                    granulated sugar
         22gr                                     glucose or corn syrup
         34gr                                     water
         90gr (3)                                egg whites

The ''personallity'' of this chocolate cake is based on the browning of butter. However, if you prefer a healthier version don't hesitate to use the redused amount of butter without browning, or even to substitute it with margarine. In case you take the other way, place the butter in a 25cm skillet over medium heat and brown it until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns). Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes. Shift together flour, salt baking powder and cocoa, and in a food processor blend Grand Marnier with candied peel (if using) untill fine chopped. Beat butter with brown and granulated sugar in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until flaffy, and gradually add the eggs one at time, beating after each addition. Then fold in the walnuts with peel or vanilla and stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Spread the batter in buttered 24x27cm pan and bake in a preheated oven to 160C for 25min or less. Let cool and cut one 17cm-diametre and two 9cm-diametre circles.
     For the chocolate granita bring water, sugar and cocoa to a boil and pour the hot mixture over the chocolate, stiring until homogenous. You can add some fine chopped cocoa nibs if you like. Let the mixture cool completely and put in fridge until cold. Then add the rum and follow the instructions of your ice cream maker. Meanwhile, prepare the banana sauce by boiling all ingredients except rum for 4min. When ready, add the liquer and let cool. Prepare your pans by covering one charlotte form (or deep saucepan) and two big cups (or high 9cm-diametre rings) with plastic wrap. When granita is done, sread one layer of it in the bottom of each covered utensil and freeze.
 For the banana ice cream, warm milk, vanilla and cream in a saucepan and whip the egg yolks with sugar and glucose until slightly thickened. When milk has come to a boil, stir one-third of it in the yolk mixture and return to the heat. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches 82-85C and strain into a clean bowl over ice, to speed up the cooling. Refrigerate until completely cold and add 4Tbsp of banana sauce or more(optional). Pulp the fresh bananas and stir them too in the mixture. Thus, the ice cream is ready for your machine. When done, spread it on top of the chocolate layer and freeze until hard. Meanwhile, moisten the cake bases with the remaining banana sauce and assemble the baked Alaska by covering them with the prepared ice cream, after it has been frozen and unmolded. Keep the cakes in the freezer while making the meringue (according to the recipe ''Kirsch mousse torte'') and then spread it with a spatula or piping bag over the cold cakes. After each cake is done with covering, freeze it again to prevent melting. When it is completely cold, bring it out and burn the meringue on its surface with a torch. Garnish with sauce, if left, and it is ready to serve.


  1. Yours was one of the most beautiful Alaskas of this challenge. And I bet it was delicious too.

    Btw, your blog is gorgeous. Loved it


  2. The combination banana & meringue is one of my favorites, in the form of a Baked Alaska it must have turned out delicious! Beautiful piping, too!

  3. I remember seeing yours in the completed thread and thinking that it is absolutely beautiful. Well done, yours looks really wonderful (and that flavour combination is great too!) :D

  4. I agree with Maria Beatrix. really most beautifull one. love banana.

  5. Beautiful! And the flavors sound delicious :)

  6. The elements of your Baked Alaska sound super delicious! The layers are perfect,well done!

  7. First take of banana flavor in this challenge. And it turns out amazing. Every components seem to gel so well together. Thumbs up!

    Sawadee from bangkok,

  8. wow! your dessert is spectacular! I love the layering of the beautifully simple colors going on... it's classic, creative and elegant!

  9. Beauitful Baked Alaska! We love the flavour combination and think it is the best one from the challenge! Well done!