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Everybody knows Baked Alaska, but Baked Alaskan? What can I say—this is a shout-out to Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, who saluted Sara’s Secrets in the liner notes to To the 5 Boroughs, the Beasties 2004 album. In the middle of a song called “Rhyme the Rhyme Well,” Ad-Rock goes searching for a rhyme for “Yo, what’s crackin’” . . .and comes up with “Serving emcees on a platter like Baked Alaskan.” And he’s absolutely right. Baked Alaska, that famously mind-boggling confection of flaming ice cream and cake is always delivered to your table on a platter.
Pyrotechnics aside, baked Alaska happens to be delicious. But it is not the sort of thing you would make at home and certainly not on a weeknight. Here’s a quick version of a Gourmet recipe for individual baked Alaskas that makes big use of one of my favorite flavor combos—chocolate and raspberry. You can set it up the frozen ice cream sandwiches days ahead of time (as long as they are well wrapped), and then whip up the egg whites and sugar at the last minute. After you have frosted the sandwiches, stick them in the oven and count the minutes (there are only six) until you’re digging into a most delectable dessert.
Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total preparation time: 15 minutes plus freezing time
Eight packaged 3-inch round chocolate chunk brownie cookies or four 3-inch square brownies
1 cup raspberry sorbet
1/3 cup dried egg whites (see Note)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
Assemble the ice cream-filled cookies. Place 4 cookies upside-down on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup sorbet on each cookie and spread to the edge. Top with another cookie or the brownie top right-side up. Wrap and freeze just until the ice cream is hard, about 25 minutes. If making ahead, set out at room temperature for 10 minutes before frosting and baking.
Just before serving, preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water, the egg whites, vanilla, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar until soft peaks form when the beaters are raised, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the filled cookies from the freezer and place 3 inches apart on an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Frost each with some of the beaten egg white Bake in the center of the oven for 6 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve immediately.
Notes: I recommend using dried egg whites such as Just Whites because the egg whites in this recipe are not heated enough to eliminate the risk of salmonella.
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