Saturday, June 18, 2011

Take A Bite Of: Baked Vancouvers

For any of you familiar with Baked Alaska, I think we can collectively agree Baked Alaska = YUM. I distinctly remember the first time I tried it, around age 8 and my uncle, a chef, whipped it up in my parents kitchen as easily as if he was pouring milk. The bronzed meringue hiding a mountain of ice cream and cake? Come on! How fast can my tiny arm wheel that into my mouth.  And if you have not yet worked with meringue let me sum it up: EASY. You basically mix egg whites and sugar until they become a thick, white glossy mass. You can then use a culinary torch or your oven broiler to brown the tops. Let me add this: Need an easy trick to make your cupcakes look extraordinary? Meringue top them baby.

Now, back to the Baked Alaska. I love it. You can play with it to create various versions. But recently, I found an easier version that looks just as delightful. Easier because you can use store bought cake and ice cream (you know I don't cheat on myself and buy store bought cake and ice cream but if I did, this would be a great reason!) This recipe is compliments of all people, Brian Boitano, an Olympic, World and National Chamption figure skater AND dessert maven. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

And yes, I will be whipping up some sweet treats this weekend to celebrate Father's Day. For all the dads out there, hope you enjoy your day. Comments are off. We have family in town and plans galore. Have a gorgeous weekend!

Baked Vancouvers

Ingredients
  • 1 12-ounce loaf chocolate pound cake
  • 1 quart chocolate-chip ice cream, slightly softened
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup white rum

Directions

Cut the pound cake into eight 3/4-inch-thick slices. 
Cut a circle from each slice using a 4- or 6-ounce ramekin as a guide and crumble the leftover cake. ; Place each circular piece of cake in a ramekin. 
Fill with the ice cream to about 1/4 inch from the top. Sprinkle with the cake crumbs. Freeze until the ice cream hardens (approximately at 1 hour.)

Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk ver low heat until sugar dissolves and the egg whites are warm, about 5 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the pan and beat the whites with a hand mixer on high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe on top of the ice cream and cake crumbs to completely cover. You can also put the merinuge in a large sealable ziploc bag and pipe by snipping the corner of the bag.

Make a small indent, about 1 inch deep, in the top of the meringue for the rum. Brown the meringue all over (including the indentation) with a kitchen torch.

If you want add one more fancy step and show off for guests: Place the rum in a small pot over low heat until warm but not boiling. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup and pour into the indentation in each dessert. Light the rum with a match. Let the flame burn out and serve immediately.