A chocolate brownie base covered in peppermint ice cream filled with crushed candy canes, all covered with toasted meringue.
I just spent the most amazing week with my family in Seattle. My parents were missing John and decided to bring us both up for a fun pre-holiday vacation. It was great to see everyone and give John a chance to get to know them all better. We played games, did some shopping, saw some sites, and ate way too many holiday treats.
Now I’m home and very much looking forward to a quiet Christmas here. I plan to spend the next few days baking up a storm. Inspired by what I see everyone (online and offline) baking, I have a long list of sweet treats I want to make.
What are you baking this week? If you’re still looking for some inspiration, perhaps a gorgeous show-stopping dessert, look no further. This Baked Alaska is it.
Seriously, does a dessert get any prettier than this? I don’t think so.
Baked Alaska may be an old-fashioned dessert, but I think it’s time for a revival. A fudgy brownie sits at the bottom, topped with a dome of peppermint flavored ice cream filled with candy cane bits, and covered with a thick layer of toasted meringue. Heavenly.
Low on time? Use a boxed brownie mix and store-bought peppermint ice cream. It will cut out a lot of the prep time, still taste amazing, and no one will be the wiser!
baking tip:Whipping meringue
Meringue isn’t difficult, but here are some tips to ensure you get beautiful billowing peaks every time. Separate the egg whites while cold, then let them come to room temperature. Be careful that no yolk gets mixed with the whites, as any presence of fat can affect the egg white’s volume. I use two small bowls as I separate the eggs, one for the yolks and one for the whites, only adding the whites one at a time to the mixing bowl after I’m sure it’s free of any yolk or shell. Whip the whites in a clean metal or glass bowl with a clean whisk.
Brownie and Candy Cane Ice Cream Baked Alaska
For the ice cream:
- 2 cups heavy cream (450 ml)
- 1 cup whole milk (225 ml)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- Pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 cup crushed candy canes
- Red food coloring
For the brownie:
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113 grams)
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate , chopped
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (100 grams)
For the meringue:
- 4 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup of heavy cream, the sugar and salt. Heat until steaming, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add the remaining cream, milk, vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Chill thoroughly in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, make the brownies. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Remove from heat and add the sugar and salt, stirring till combined. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each. Add the vanilla. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
- Pour brownie batter into an 8-inch round pan that's been lined with parchment paper or greased foil. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until edges are set. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
- Remove ice cream mixture from the fridge and chill in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions, adding the red food coloring and crushed candy canes during the last 5 minutes of churning.
- Line a medium sized bowl with an 8-inch round rim with plastic wrap. Pour the churned ice cream into the bowl and spread until even. Top with the brownie (top-side down), making sure it is flush against the ice cream. Freeze until hard, at least 3 hours.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, make the meringue. Whip the egg whites, cream of tarter and pinch of salt on high speed until foamy. Continue beating while slowly adding the sugar. Whip to stiff peaks.
- Remove the brownie and ice cream from the freezer. Invert the bowl onto a cake stand or display plate and lift the bowl away from the brownie and ice cream, using the plastic wrap to pull it out, as necessary. Remove plastic wrap. Cover the domed brownie and ice cream with the meringue, using a knife to create decorative swirls. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue, making sure not to burn it.
- Serve immediately or return to the freezer if serving at another time. Let the baked alaska sit at room temperature 15-20 minutes for easy slicing.