BAKED ALASKA - Daring Baker's Challenge - August 2010


Even though Baked Alaska is not a new name to me, I had never tried it until now. This was the perfect opportunity to learn 3 things: browning butter, which surprised me a lot with its delicious smell, using a blow torch, which I found very useful and fun, and making the Baked Alaska itself, from scratch! Loved this challenge! Thank you Elissa!!!

I would also like to thank Leandra for shooting while I was "creating" with meringue and the torch. Otherwise, it would have been impossible to register these moments. Can you see the meringue still flaming? 

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

STRACCIATELLA  (Vanilla Ice Cream with Italian Style Chocolate Chips)
(Adapted from David Lebovitz)

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
140g (5 oz.) melted dark chocolate.

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for an hour. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, then let cool to room temperature.)

2. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2 litre) bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.

3. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into a custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.

4. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon [5ml] if you are using a vanilla bean; 3 teaspoons [15ml] if you are not using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.

5. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker. At the end of the process, with the machine still turned on, add the melted chocolate using a pastry bag with a thin tip. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it without a machine. See instructions from David Lebovitz

6. If you are making individual Alaskas, divide the ice cream into individual cups before the final freezing stage. This is how I improvised:


19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See “Note” section for cake flour substitution)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.

2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter 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.

3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.

5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


3 egg whites  
180 g sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan, stir water and sugar. Cook over medium heat (no more stirring) until it reaches 120 ºC. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the syrup in a stream, beat in low speed. Continue beating in high speed until cooled. Use immediately. 


Cut circles of cake and then cut them in half to make them thinner. Unwrap the ice cream "cups" and invert them on top of the cake circles. Pipe the meringue completely covering the ice cream and the cake. Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. Or, bake the meringue-topped Baked Alaskas on a rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F/260°C oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.


If you would like to see the amazing results of the other Daring Bakers, please visit  "THE DARING KITCHEN" 


  1. Wow that looks so good. You can see the rich creamyness in the icecream, and the crumbly depth of the cake. I want to make this again now.

  2. Oh, that picture where your meringue is still flaming is AMAZING! Love your improvisation - much better idea than mine, with the paper cups and cupcake wrappers - very clever. I'm inspired to have another go at making Baked Alaska and photographing the process of torching the meringue. Great job! =)

  3. looks good Renata! I like how you always make variations of designs on your desserts. My favourite is definitely the one with spikes! :)

  4. Looks yummy - I love all the variations on piping :) It's great to have an English version, thank you!

  5. Wow, Renata, your Baked Alaska look very elegant, classy! What a great job - well done! xxx

  6. Your Baked Alaska looks so pretty, and I love the idea that a friend was with you when you did the blow torching! Thanks for the comment on my blog.

  7. Love the pics! I must say I am intrigued as to the whole overall taste of the Baked Alaska. Might need to invest in a blow torch and give it a go! They look fabulous.

  8. Amei... provei... gostei e quero mais..
    Realmente o que mais me encantou foi a apresentação... linda!....
    Muito charme e elegancia... quanto ao sabor, eu diria, diferente... o sorvete, suave, o bolo... hummmm consegui sentir um sabor diferenciado bem parecido com ervas, embora não tenha... Bom, gostei, ponto e pronto.Rita

  9. Your Baked Alaska looks absolutely gorgeous, Renata. Can see you had loads of fun. :)

  10. Stunning Baked Alaskas, Renata! I love the designs and the blowtorch highlights the swirls and patterns so beautifully. I must buy one. The photo of the flaming Baked Alaska is fantastic. :)

  11. wow! My favourite is the one that looks like a tall tower with the twist on the top - spectacular. Closely followed by the spikes. Very nice piping!

  12. Wow - such amazing, impressive and beautiful work you do. I love your photos, too - so amazing to watch the process (and the fire!). Amazing job on the challenge. As always.

  13. Wow such amzing pictures and the piping is simply beautiful renata... great job. By the way the banana dessert which I made yesterday came out so good and that was my birthday treat for all at my place... Yumm!!!

  14. Stracciatella was an inspired choice Renata and I loved the look of the torched spikes. :D

  15. They both look beautiful - I think the torch gives it a better look than the broiler. The foreign language language makes it so much more elegant too :)

  16. Gorgeous piping with your meringue! I tried to read this in Portuguese and was about to comment there when I saw the English version. Great ice cream flavour--mmm.

  17. How inspired and how beautiful Renata. Stracciatella has been on my list for long, and I love how you incorporated it. Thanks to for sharing how you did the individual ice cream cups... novel indeed! Awesome Alaskas!

  18. I love the pic were there is still a bit fire on :-) Love the way you have assembled them. Looks beautiful .

  19. Renata, nice work. I love the different designs on the meringues. I wish I had a blowtorch, too. :)

  20. Great work renata, love all the shapes you made. I like the tall stripey one :) Need to get myself a blowtorch, looks like you had fun!

  21. Oh I love yr details and the variations on piping!GR8 job

  22. Renata, suas Alascas estão liiindas de comer.
    Um charme o detalhe do merengue em chamas. Pena que vc mora tão longe, senão ia te fazer uma visita. Só p/ filar a sobremesa. Rs.
    Como já disse, quero um maçarico!
    Voce, mais uma vez, está de parabens!

  23. Love your creamy Stracciatella icecream! Great idea to have someone doing to photography while you torch. I found the last minute baking, cutting, melting icecream (or fear of) and trying to get a decent photo difficult! You did a great job! YUM!

  24. Oooh lovely! I wanted to make stracciatella (my son's favorite) but had neither the time nor the freezer space! You seem to be the only Daring Baker that played around with the meringue and I love all your little designs! Perfect!

  25. Lindo o seu Baked Alaska! Parabéns! E parece muito gostoso tbm! Perfeito no calor! Acho que vou tentar fazer no verão! Tbm tô precisando de uma desculpinha pra comprar um maçarico rsrsrsrsrrsrsrsrsr

  26. You baked alaksa is absolutely gorgeous, makes me wish we had lickable screens on our laptop!!
    Thank you for your comment on my site - its much appreciated, and I agree brown butter is the best thing ever!!

  27. Your challenges are always so beautiful! So much effort! Thanks for stopping by my site - looking forward to seeing what you produce next month! x

  28. Love the photo of the flaming meringue. I wish I had assembled mine without freezing the cake first.

  29. Wow. Your individual Bombe Alaskas look amazing! What a great idea to place the icecream on the cakes at the last minute. Slicing frozen cake was not easy. Thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog.

  30. Beautiful Baked Alaska - and looks delicious, too!


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