Baked Alaska for 140

Joined Apr 17, 2001
I could really use some help on this one. I did this last New Year's Eve and It worked out okay. But I don't think anybody understood the personal **** I put myself through to make this happpen.

I made ladyfingers on sheet pans. I cut out circles the same size as our soup cups.
Next I lined a few soup cups with plastic wrap, filled them with Ice Cream, put the ladyfinger circles on top and turned them over onto plates.
I put these in the freezer. The problem was the meringue. I'm the first to admit i'm not a Pastry Chef. I took pastries in Culinary School, but that's about it. All I had to work with was a small kitchenaide mixer.
So I started to make the Meringue in batches. I thought I was doing okay until I tried to put the meringue on the ice cream. It slid right off like an ice cube on a hot skillet. I was trying to do this in the walkin freezer at about 5:00pm New Year's Eve day. I was getting this sinking feeling that It was going to be a disaster. I wound up doing a passable job but it wasn't great and it wasn't fun.

So now I have to do it again. I said to myself, this year I am going to just buy powdered meringue and I won't have any problems. My Sysco Rep says that they don't carry powdered meringue. Is he right? If they do, could someone give me the SKU or what it's called on the box? If not, could anyone tell me where in the Chicagoland area I could find some. Thanks to all of the Pastry Chefs out there, I'd appreciate any kind of advice you'd be willing to share.

Joined Mar 4, 2000
It wouldn't make any difference whether you use fresh or powdered, in terms of it sliding off the ice cream. The sliding happens when the outside surface is beginning to melt. Just make sure they're really frozen when you pipe the meringue on, and get it right back into the freezer.

By the way, CK Products sells meringue powder. They're located in the midwest (Indiana?). Powder is a good choice for wet meringues that won't be heated all the way through, for the sake of safety.
Joined May 29, 1999
friedparsley try this simple addition to your creation:

Line the cups with plastic wrap and place a very thin layer of cake over that, fill with ice cream, finish with the lady fingers, freeze.
Remove from cup and meringue should have no problem sticking to the cake!

for the very thin layers bake off 12 to 16, 6 or 8 inch cakes and simply slice layers to suit your cups you could get up to ten layers per cake or more.
You can even use a mix if it makes your life easier.
I would go with fresh swiss meringue with a bit of cream of tartar in it.

break a leg!:bounce:
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I've done baked alaska in this amount before you have to break your production down better and it's MUCH easier!

First bake what ever cake you wish to use in full sheet pans ONLY! (I use reg. vanilla cake), you certainly can bake lady finger batter (or any other flavor cake) as a full sheet pan also. Bake out your cakes, that should take about 4 sheet pans (at the most), using a round cookie cutter or what ever cut out your rounds all at once, set aside.

I SCOOP my ice cream onto a sheet pan and then freeze it over night, until very hard. Place sheet pan over stove top with burner on to release the ice cream balls. Place one ball ontop of each cake round, freeze again over night. Obviously keep in freezer while your working on decorating the next step.

Meringue definately use 'one step' meringue powder. I'll e-mail you sources I use in Chicago. To this you need to add some xxx sugar to sweeten it. Yet too much sugar makes it weak in structure, so you have to find the right amount by trial and error....but don't sweat it, better less sugar than too much. I whip this up in LARGE batches and pipe out 30 or 40 individual alaskas per batch (whip up as much as your mixer will hold, you go thru it quickly).

I found this to work best for me: I work on a table next to the freezer. Pull out 12 at a time, leaving the rest in the freezer. Place one at a time ON MY TURN TABLE the cake with the ice cream scoop, with which ever tube you want (star tip looks fine) I pipe the merinque on in a spiral fashion while I turn the turn table with my other hand. Start at the base and pipe up to the top of the ice cream. Lift off with a spatula ontop another pan. when that pan is full with the decorated cakes shuffle that back into the freezer, and so on. (After you get many assembled and their re-frozen and nice and solid tranfer them onto less pans to condense and make plating easier.)

Quickly place those back into the freezer then take out and pipe up your next batch. Depending on your set up you could also hold your 12 (out from the freezer) in the cooler (if there is one) and pull one by one to decorate....but that takes abit more time juggling, but if your kitchen is VERY hot it helps.

You should plan on making these asap! The day before they should be completed and just ready to bake off.

Day of: I torch them off, baking is just too hard in these numbers. This meringue is like gods gift to pastry chefs, it will dramaticly lighten your problems. It holds perfectly in the freezer and it doesn't taste too bad. You can even flavor it if you wish while mixing (lemon or almond emulsion are nice). I serve them on raspberry sauce or sb sauce. If it's in the budget a edible flower placed on the plate beside it looks nice (the flowers aren't expensive and they last along time). You also can dust with xxx sugar (I place a marzipan bee ontop too, but that's more work).

Hope this helps?.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Just a breif (hopefully) note. When you forming something like ice cream into a shaped mold. You never need to line it with plastic, that's too time consuming. Use heat to release it from the mold and it always works perfectly. I use my torch on metal and glass bowls to release (your not using that much heat). It's even quicker to dip in hot h20 then to line individual molds in that number. Don't line your pans with parchment so you can torch on them from the top and use the stove top to loosen the bottom of your trays.

Ditto for you mousses and bavarains. You don't even have to spray your mold, the heat will release cleanly for you.

I've never had a problem with the instant mernigue not sticking to the ice cream, but you MUST stage this out! You can't do this in 1 day and everything works best with the coldest ice cream possible (scoop it first, then bake).

Good luck!
Joined Dec 29, 2001
A much simpler one shot method.
Bake sheetpans of your choice cake or sponge, use cookie cutter to make desired size circles, arrange on tray and scoop ice cream onto cake, make circles slightly larger dia than ice cream scoops to provide an edge of sponge wider than the ice cream.
Freeze for a few minutes whilst whipping up a batch of italien meringue.
Use large star tube, start meringue by going around the cake circle then keep piping it around and up to the top, it should take a minute or two tops to do a full sheet tray of these, blowtorch the meringue and its done.
Joined Jan 15, 2001
I've done individual ones for 100 just like pastrychef and m brown described. I use a bottom circle of cookie base and a very thin layer of sponge to cover the entire scoop. Make Swiss meringue and pipe on stars to cover entire surface and burn with torch. You can even freeze first without torching.
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