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Bringing Back Backed Alaska

Some desserts never seem to go out of style. Baked Alaska is one such dessert. Simple in concept, yet elaborate when presented, it is a showstopper no matter the occasion.

Created in 1867 to celebrate the purchase of the land that would eventually become Alaska, this iconic dessert was born. With layers of ice cream, cake and gorgeously toasted meringue, it’s fancy enough for any special occasion, including weddings.

The beautiful thing about making a baked Alaska besides its stunning presentation and homey, yet sophisticated flavors is the fact that it can be made, meringue and all, a few days before the event and decorated the day before. Obviously, it must be kept frozen.

Including some dry ice can be beneficial if the baked Alaska is going to be transported for service.

If the prolonged integrity of the meringue is an issue, especially after being frozen for a few days, rest assured that it should hold up perfectly fine without weeping. And while a Swiss meringue can be used with success, Italian is probably a better choice due to its stability. As an extra precaution, adding a little meringue powder can be helpful as well.

So no matter the occasion, a baked Alaska is a very doable dessert that will add drama and intrigue to a wide array of get-togethers.

To give new life to this somewhat old fashioned dessert, play with different cake and ice cream combinations. Because really, when it’s all broken down to its most basic form, it’s just fancy cake and ice cream, slathered with a yummy frosting. The kid in all of us would definitely like that!

Jill Meredith
Jill Meredith
Jill Meredith is a pastry chef, food writer and culinary instructor. She is passionate about all things sweet and loves sharing that passion and knowledge with others. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, daughter and 3 cats.