Baked Alaska advice
February 25, 2015 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Spurred on by the Great British Bake-Off show on PBS, I am going to be making my first-ever Baked Alaska for a Downton Abbey finale party this Sunday. I've read a ton of recipes, but I have one question about this dessert.

You pretty much make this entire dessert ahead of time (making the cake, freezing the ice cream layers). I've seen several recipes that say you can frost it with the Italian meringue and put it into the freezer until you are ready to blowtorch it or bake it to brown the meringue. I'd like to do this, but the instructions I've read are unclear about two things: 1) if you put the Baked Alaska into the freezer with the meringue applied, do you do so uncovered, or do you need to cover it some way, and 2)how long can you leave it in the freezer without compromising the quality of the meringue?

Anyone out there have suggestions? Ideally, I'd like to have the entire dessert done (sans the baking/blowtorching) before we watch the finale, so at minimum I'd have it sitting in the freezer for two hours and then take it out right after the end of the show for eating.
posted by megancita to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I saw a short subject from 1939 a couple of weeks ago where the cake and ice cream were put on a wooden board then the meringue added and baked in the oven. The wooden board keeps the heat from getting to the bottom of cake/ice cream. I thought that was cool!

I'd keep an unwrapped Baked Alaska in the freezer overnight. I wouldn't put plastic wrap on it, but if I had a plastic cake keeper, I might use that. But my freezer is small and that's not going to work for me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:36 AM on February 25, 2015

If it's only for a couple of hours, you should be fine.
posted by briank at 10:45 AM on February 25, 2015

We actually made this once! We stuck a few toothpicks into the merengue, then wrapped it in plastic wrap so that it made a tent around the toothpicks and didn't touch the actual edges. Uncovered would also have been fine, but our freezer space is tight.

We have frozen egg whites and revived them months later - I think you can safely go a long while without compromising the quality, so long as it doesn't get freezer burned.
posted by Mchelly at 11:20 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

An Italian meringue is very stable - you could even do it a few days ahead if need be. If its just a few hours I wouldn't cover it. Actually i sort of think letting the surface dry out a bit might improve to browning - or at least the pace of browning.
posted by JPD at 12:35 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

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