Brownie Baked Alaska for Two
This recipe is two-fold. One fold….February 1st is National Baked Alaska Day. Two fold…..it’s almost Valentines Day.
My first cookbook was the orange covered Betty Crocker, and to me it was a glorious collection of fascinating foods. The recipes were a far cry from the blue box mac & cheese and hamburgers that we ate frequently when I was a kid. Fancy food was not on our menu.
Inside that orange cover was my first venture into what I thought at the time was fancy food. I actually made the Baked Alaska recipe when I was about 17, and thought I was the best baker ever. It turned out really good for a first attempt. Fast forward …..quite a few years. I think I may have made it one more time, but it was not a regular recipe.
Traditional Baked Alaska is made with ice cream placed in a pie dish lined with slices of sponge cake then topped with meringue. Once covered in meringue, the dessert is placed in an extremely hot oven for a brief time, long enough to caramelize the meringue.The meringue insulates the dish, and the short cooking time prevents the heat from melting the ice cream.
Needing to change it up, I replaced the sponge cake with a brownie…..hmmm chocolate. I changed ice cream for gelato…because I could, and Tim and I LOVE gelato. I made Italian meringue, my first attempt, and all I can say is “it is delicious!!!!”
I had no fear over the brownie and gelato…easy-peasy, but the meringue….that was a different story…yikes!
So, here is the thing with Italian meringue….it requires pouring hot sugar syrup into egg whites, I saw scrambled eggs and failure in my future. Surprise! It turned out fabulous, not a scramble or failure to be seen.
This meringue was silky, smooth, shiny, and not super sweet. It piped like a dream onto the gelato topped brownie and browned beautifully.
Kitchen gadgets are a passion of mine, not the great big ones, but those small, make your life easier things. Can you say Kitchen Torch??? I bought one before Christmas and was dying to use it. Perfect tool for Brownie Baked Alaska for Two.
I picked a moderately priced one, with good reviews from Amazon. Lightweight, refillable (it uses butane), an automatic ignitor, and adjustable flame, along with a shield to protect your fingers. Now mind you, I had never used one of these gadgets………I’m obsessed. You be the judge (looking at the pictures), but I think it did an outstanding job! Maybe a Creme Burlee next?????
Normally, when testing and shooting pictures for recipes, its a weekend thing. I have all day and good light. Time got the better of me, and so the Brownie Baked Alaska for Two, had to be photographed after work. I still had light but not the luxury of making dinner, and then doing the pictures.
Guess what we had for dinner???? That’s right we had Brownie Baked Alaska for Two….dessert for dinner. It was fantastic!!!! And whose to say you can’t have dessert for dinner? No judgment here……lol
Whether you are celebrating National Baked Alaska Day or making a special treat for your Valentine give Brownie Baked Alaska for Two a try.
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- 1 box brownie mix
- 1 pint pistachio gelato
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Mix brownies according to package directions. Bake in a 13X9 inch baking dish. You want the brownies thin. Cool completely.
- Next using an ice cream scoop, scoop gelato leveling off the surface of the gelato even with the scoop to make a flat bottom.
- Place the scooped gelato into cupcake liners and freeze until very firm.
- Using the edges of your ice cream scoop, cut out circles of brownie. Using the ice cream scoop insures you have the same size circles.
- Top each brownie circle with one of the sorbet scoops. Place back in the freezer.
- Place the sugar in a saucepan and add water just to cover the sugar. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the sugar water is 245* degrees. Leaving the lid on keeps the sugar from burning along the sides of the pan.(the condensation drips down and keep the sugar from sticking on the sides)
- Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer on low until frothy. Then increase the mixer speed and whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer on low speed slowly pour the boiled sugar into the soft peak eggs. Once all the sugar is poured into the egg whites increase the speed of the mixer to high and continue to whip until the mixture has cooled and you can touch the bowl of the mixer…it will be very hot once you pour in all the sugar. The meringue will be glossy and thick.
- When you are ready to serve, pipe the meringue using a pastry bag and tip or you can spread the mixture with a spoon, making sure to cover the brownie and gelato completely.
- Using a culinary torch, brûlée the egg whites from a safe distance.
- Serve immediately.