Raspberry White Chocolate Baked Alaska
My almost 12 year old, 5'4" tall, size 10 men's shoe wearing son comes to me with many culinary requests. Some are pretty normal, like; meatball subs, BBQ ribs and pizza. Then there are times he throws me a curve ball, like having a craving for Baked Alaska.
"Yes, can you make it? What is it?," he responds
"Yes, I can make it and It's ice cream, cake and meringue. Where did you hear about Baked Alaska?"
"Dunno. Read it in a cookbook somewhere."
I'm sure I don't have cookbooks lying around with recipes such as Baked Alaska, but how can I resist fulfilling his request. Besides, it will make a fun dessert for Sunday Dinner.
The layers of my Baked Alaska will consist of a graham cracker crust, vanilla semifreddo layered with a raspberry Chambord sauce and a thin drizzle of white chocolate, then topped with meringue that I will set ablaze with my hand dandy blow torch.
The Crust and the semifreddo can be done days in advance. The meringue will be made right before I serve dessert. This recipe will make 10-1 cup servings or you can turn it into 1 large dessert.
1 sleeve of graham crackers
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
3/4 stick of butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, grind up the graham crackers, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and make sure all the crumbs are wet.
Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
RASPBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE SEMIFREDDO:
1 pint of raspberries, frozen or fresh
1 tablespoon of Chambord
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of white chocolate, melted
6 egg yolks, save at least 4 of the whites for the meringue
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla
In a blender, puree the raspberries with Chambord and a tablespoon of sugar.
Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur. I bought a cute little mini bottle.
Work the raspberries through a fine mesh strainer to take out as many raspberry seeds as possible. Set the raspberry puree aside.
In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, add the 6 egg yolks. Save at least 4 of the whites for the meringue.
In a small saucepan with a candy thermometer attached, add the sugar, water and salt. DO NOT STIR! Place the pot over high heat, bring to a boil and cook until the temperature reaches 238 degrees.
Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. When the syrup is done, remove the candy thermometer and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl while the mixer is on medium high speed.
When all the syrup has been added, continue to whisk on high speed for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate. Add the white chocolate to a small bowl and place over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Bring the water to a boil and stir the chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a chilled bowl, add the heavy cream and vanilla. Using a hand mixer with chilled beaters, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
Once the timer is up on the egg mixture, remove the whisk and fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream. When combined, fold in another 1/3 until all the whipped cream has been added to the egg mixture.
Line 10-1 cup ramekins, 1-9 inch loaf pan or a medium sized bowl with plastic wrap. Add a scoop of the semifreddo to each ramekin or to the 9 inch loaf pan or medium sized bowl. Drizzle on some raspberry puree and a thin coating of white chocolate, then top with more semifreddo.
Top each of the desserts with the crumbled graham cracker. Cover with plastic and freeze overnight. If you choose to use the loaf pan, the steps for layering are the same.
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
3/4 cup of water
1 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of corn syrup
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Blowtorch or kitchen torch
This step is totally unnecessary to fully enjoy the raspberry white chocolate semifreddo, but oh so delicious! You also want to add this sweet touch when you have a crowd of people over for dessert. This meringue will break down after several hours and is best when made right before service. You will have enough meringue for all 10 cups.
About 20 minutes before you want to serve dessert, start your meringue. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the water. Whisk constantly for about 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and translucent. Set aside.
In another small saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup and remaining 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and DO NOT STIR! Bring the syrup up to 248 degrees. While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whip attachment. When the sugar reaches 248 degrees, turn the mixer on high speed and slowly drizzle the syrup down the side of the bowl. When all the syrup has been added, continue to mix on high for 3 minutes.
Scrape the cornstarch mixture, vanilla and salt to the bowl. Continue whipping for 4-5 minutes or until the bowl is cool to the touch.
Remove the semifreddo from the freezer, remove the plastic and put the ice cream on each plate. Cover each individual ice cream with the meringue.
Use a blow torch or a kitchen torch to caramelize the outside of the meringue. Alternatively, you can preheat your oven to 425 degrees and bake the Alaska for 8-10 minutes or until the meringue is toasty. Your ice cream will be safe from the meringue insulator.