Mini Baked Alaska – Mini disks of chocolate cake are topped with ice cream, covered with meringue and then baked until perfectly browned on the outside.
Per a special request, I made Mini Baked Alaska this week. And what a great choice that was. The only other time I ate Baked Alaska was on a cruise and, besides the presentation it was nothing special; the cake was dry, the meringue flavorless.
But this recipe was one for the books; a rich, chocolate cake base that kept its texture even after being frozen overnight that paired perfectly with the delicious strawberry ice cream. I ate the whole thing in less than 5 minutes (not unusual for me, though). But enough talk…check it out!
This recipe wasn’t too difficult, just lengthy. If you want to use your own cake recipe or even use a box mix (gasp!), you could cut out 60-90 minutes. And if you’re feeling SUPER ambitious, you can even make your own ice cream! I haven’t bought that attachment for my mixer yet so that wasn’t something I was able to do, but I definitely encourage it if you have the tools (and the time)!
|Photography courtesy of R. D. Wilson|
|The finished cake! Even though it looks and tastes more like a brownie…|
The things that really worried me about this recipe were:
1.What if the ice cream melts? I mean, baking an ice cream cake?! Ridiculous
But it wasn’t bad! The oven is at reeeeeally high temperature (500 degrees) and the Alaska is only in there for 3 minutes max. But you HAVE to make sure the ice cream is completely frozen before you bake it. I read tons of disaster reviews online where people didn’t wait long enough. Trust me, you do not want to be that person. If you don’t have a single patient bone in your body (like me) you’re gonna wanna grow one for this recipe. Don’t risk it!
2. 500 degrees?! I didn’t know an oven went that high! What if the meringue burns?
Let me tell you…I didn’t take my eyes off that Alaska for one single second while it baked; the recipe said it only took 3 minutes to brown so I knew that if I walked away, it would brown more than I’d like and even…burn (double gasp!). So keep an eye on it and move it around the oven if it’s browning unevenly.
3. What if it doesn’t taste good?!
Just kidding! I’d never think such a thing. Confidence in baking is key. There will be times where you’ll doubt your skills (as I have many times) but you gotta trust that you know enough to make it through anything and learn from your mistakes. A good, well-written recipe doesn’t hurt, either. Pick a recipe you trust and just go with it. I believe in you!
Mini Baked Alaska
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 3/4 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 6 ounces butter unsalted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar divided
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper in a 9x9 baking pan. The parchment paper will make it sooo much easier to get the cake out of the pan. I promise you.
- Melt butter and chocolate (minus the cocoa powder) in a saucepan on low. This takes longer than you think. But resist the urge to turn up the temperature or putting it in the microwave; you could burn the chocolate. And there’s no coming back from that, people.
- While the chocolate is melting, mix the eggs and 3/4 cup sugar until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa together, to prevent lumps. By this time, the chocolate should be ready (or close). Let the chocolate cool down before adding it to the egg and sugar mixture; we don’t want those eggs to scramble.
- After you mix in the chocolate, mix in the dry ingredients slowly, about ½ of a cup at a time. This will prevent the mix from lumping and make it easier to combine. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for about 15 minutes until done.
- When the cake is done, cool it to room temperature so the cake doesn’t fall apart when you take it out of the pan. If you’re just as impatient as I was, you can put it in the freezer to make it cool faster. Once the cake cools, use a 3 inch cutter (or the rim of a glass) to make about 5 cake discs. Place all the cake discs on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Place a small scoop of ice cream (about ½ of a cup) in the middle of each disc so that there is a ½ inch space left between it and the edge of the cake. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
- When the ice cream is almost ready, start making the meringue. Make sure the egg whites get to room temperature before you start whipping. This makes them whip faster, which is beneficial if you have a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and start beating the whites on high. Add 1/4 cup of sugar slowly, about one tablespoon at a time. Keep beating the meringue until it turns into stiff peaks.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer. Place 2 rounded tablespoons of meringue on each portion of ice cream. Use a knife or offset spatula to spread the meringue all over until you can no longer see any cake or ice cream. You can make little designs on the meringue using a fork or spoon. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Refreeze the cakes overnight or for at least 8 hours
- The next day (or whenever you are ready to serve them) preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Take the cakes straight from the freezer to the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. They should be toasted all over when they’re done.
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