Monday, 9 April 2012

Chocolate Baked Alaska

Chocolate Baked Alaska - for Shell

I had that problem again. 

The one where there are a million recipes and I find myself staring bug-eyed at all the pretty photos. This is often accompanied by drooling. This time however, I was left in such a state of delicious indecision by a book. Yes, one book. With 500 recipes (or so it tells me). 

Feels like more. Just saying. 

I immediately passed along the decision duty to my sister-in-law who found an obscure cake that (no offence) didn't even look that good in the picture but, low and behold, it had every aspect of the kind of cake I was looking to make! 

Good girl. She will get decision duty again. 

That being said, I made a few changes to the recipes because, like I said before, it didn't really look that good. 

It called for pineapple; I substitute chocolate fudge (obviously choice). 

It called vanilla ice cream. But, guess what, I had a bag of oreos I wanted to do something with, so Cookies and Cream ice cream it is. 

Here is why I loved making the Chocolate Baked Alaska:

1. It starts off with a simple chocolate cake. Not a bad place to start. 

2. It has a layer of ice cream between cake layers. Convenient seeing as I just got a new ice cream machine that was waiting to be initiated into my kitchen... isn't it beautiful? Yes, yes it is. 

3. The cake is completely covered in meringue and lightly browned in the oven. The result? Mystery cake! No one knows what the heck is under that meringue! 

Can you feel the intrigue? 

Now imagine the satisfaction of the chocolately, ice creamy surprise inside... nom nom nom. 

So I began with the ice cream because it was the most time consuming, although very simple! Then I made the chocolate cake. While it was in the oven, I made the chocolate fudge sauce. Check out my last post on how to make that. After that, it's all a matter of putting it together!

Cake, sauce, and Oreo crumbs? Why not. I had some left over.  

Then comes the ice cream. Load. it. on. 

Smooth it round. 

Then add your last cake onto of the ice cream and pour on the rest of the fudge. You should probably try to keep the fudge from pouring over the side so it comes out of the pan easily later... but I was too carried away to stop, too busy drooling to care. 

Now, put that bad boy in the fridge and wait for it to harden up, which should only take a few hours. Or, in my case, wait until you have people to come over so that you don't make this cake for just one person (although I wouldn't judge you if you did!). 

Finally. My hungry friends have arrived and I am ready to serve this masterpiece! I am very glad I wrapped the cake in parchment paper before putting it in the freezer over night. That fudge sauce made it a bit sticky. But how awesome does it look? Exactly.  

Making meringue is always easy and fun. Whip those eggs and sugar until stiff peaks form. 

Now, it's the fun bit - time to cover your cake! Every single inch of it. The stiffer the meringue, the easier to shape it once it's on the cake. I tried to make mine look artistic. 

Hm, apparently it's a troubled artist look. 

Well, A for effort, I guess. 

And then in the oven it goes! Only for few minutes at 375 C so that the meringue gets lightly browned. 

Here I encountered trouble. 

Mine had to be taken out before I could get that desired colour. 

Does anyone else spot the oozing, deliciously troublesome problem? 

It's that sneaky, seeping chocolate fudge sauce! I had hoped that it would have hardened in the freezer but, alas, it did not. Hence the seeping. 

Seeping is not good. Seeping chocolate leads to a big mess. Thank goodness for oven cleaners. 

If I were to make this again and it would be wise for me to consider replacing the chocolate fudge sauce with something thicker. Icing perhaps? Anything that doesn't drip. Please. No more dripping. 

But, the chocolate fudge sauce was delicious, mess and all. 

It's hard to hate it when it tastes so good. 

Note: decorations courtesy of my 10 year old sister... Happy Easter!

Loving the Oreo chunks in the ice cream layer. Seriously, how awesome are Oreos? 

Premium Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 2-inch vanilla bean *Substitute: 1/2 teaspoon for each inch of a vanilla bean 
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup of crushed Oreo cookies

combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vanilla bean and heat until mixture almost boils, about 5 – 8 minutes. Reduce to heat to low.

Meanwhile beat yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl until light yellow and smooth, about 1 -2 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons (50 ml) hot cream/milk mixture and stir until combined. Gradually add egg yolk mixture to warm cream mixture, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Cool Completely: store covered container, in the refrigerator overnight or in an ice bath for about 30 minutes.

When cool, scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to ice cream mixture. Discard bean shell. Stir until well combined. Pour into freezer howl, turn the machine ON and let mix until mixture thickens, about 20 – 25 minutes. Add crushed cookies in the last 5 minutes of mixing. If desired, transfer ice cream to an ice tight container and place in freezer until firm, about 2 hours.

I put less of the ice cream from this recipe into the cake so there was TONS of left overs. My lucky little sister to enjoy some too. With caramel...? Odd pairing choice, child.  

While the mixture is cooling completely, prior to mixing in my ice cream machine, I made my cake. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of coffee - must be hot!

Grease 2- 9" pans with shortening and line with parchment.  Grease parchment and lightly flour pan, tapping out excess.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  In a 4 cup glass measure, mix all the wet ingredients except hot coffee!

Turn mixer on low speed and gradually add wet ingredients to dry.  Stop and scrape down the bowl, making sure to scrape the bottom where dregs tend to gather.  Return mixer to low speed and beat in hot coffee.  Mixture will be very thin.

Divide batter evenly between the two pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes (check at 35).  Cake is ready when toothpick tester comes out clean.  Cool slightly in pans.  Run knife around the edge of cakes and turn them out.  Let them rest on a cooling rack.


5 egg whites
1 cup of sugar 

or, for a smaller amount,
3 egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar

Chocolate Fudge Sauce is from my last blog post, found here. Like I said before, use with caution! 

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