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Baked Alaska

May 2, 2012
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Serves 4

In the 1960s, baked Alaska was made like a pie and sliced. This recipe, for individual desserts, is a showstopper for dinner parties. At the restaurant Trade, pastry chef Sarah Cravedi assembles similar individual confections with sorbet on nut meringues in advance, then freezes them until an order comes in. You can do the same at home. This version is made with sponge cake (or use any plain cake) and ice cream.

3egg whites
¼cup sugar
a pinch of salt
½teaspoon vanilla extract
4slices sponge cake
1pint ice cream (any flavor)

1. In a heatproof bowl (preferably the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Set it over a saucepan half full of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar granules dissolve.

2. Wipe the bottom of the bowl and set on the stand of an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and beat at medium high speed for 10 minutes or until the whites form stiff glossy peaks.

3. On a baking sheet, place four 5-inch squares of parchment paper. Set a piece of cake on each. Add a scoop of ice cream. Press the scoop into the cake so the bottom of the ice cream is mostly flat. With a rubber spatula, cover the cake and ice cream with the meringue, so it is covered all the way down to the parchment. Freeze for up to a day.

4. Set the oven at 500 degrees.

5. Set the sheet of baked Alaskas in the bottom third of the oven. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until the meringue is golden. Carefully transfer each baked Alaska to plates. Slide out the parchment. Matt Barber. Adapted from Trade.

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