Individual Brownie Baked Alaskas

Brownie Baked Alaska - In this version, a brownie base is covered with lemon gelato, then topped with meringue.

Brownie Baked Alaska - In this version, a brownie base is covered with lemon gelato, then topped with meringue.

Baked Alaska! Now there’s an oxymoron.

This hot and cold dessert is made by placing a scoop of frozen ice cream (or sherbet, gelato or frozen yogurt) over cake (in this case, brownies!) and covering both with meringue (egg whites that have been sweetened and beaten until stiff). The dessert goes into a very hot oven for a few minutes, just until the tips of meringue turn golden brown.

Why doesn’t the ice cream melt? The meringue insulates the ice cream from the heat of the oven. For complete success, the meringue must completely cover the dessert, right down to the baking pan, or you might get some melting ice cream!

You can use any kind of cake as the base (e.g. angel food, chocolate cake, pound cake, jelly roll), but brownies are my favorite choice.

The contrast between the soft meringue, cold hard ice cream and fudgy brownie make for a delightfully easy-to-make but impressive dessert.

Individual Brownie Baked Alaskas

(Makes 6 servings)

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp (.5 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
salt
6 brownies, each about 2″ (5 cm) square
6 scoops frozen ice cream, flavour of your choice (see Tips)

To make meringue: In a bowl, beat egg whites and salt with electric mixer until soft peaks form (peaks droop over). Gradually add sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, and continue beating until mixture is stiff and glossy.

Place brownie pieces on an ungreased baking sheet. Top each with a scoop of ice cream. Working quickly, cover ice cream and brownies with meringue, sealing edges completely. Swirl meringue into peaks with the back of a spoon. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

Bake in a preheated 475F (240C) oven until meringue peaks are lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve at once.

Tips:
* Unbaked Baked Alaskas can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Place carefully in a covered container so they are not touching each other.
* For the most dramatic presentation, choose ice cream, sherbet, gelato or frozen yogurt that contrasts in colour with the brownies (e.g. vanilla, caramel or strawberry ice cream; orange or lime sherbet; lemon or raspberry gelato).

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