This weekend I fulfilled a dream, (one I didn’t know I had until I did it), to be a radio talk show host. That’s a generous description of what I was doing on the Weekly Dish, but it was the kind job title Stephanie March offered when she invited me to sit in for her co-host (Stephanie Hansen), who was busy being on vacation. Luckily, I was not filling this role alone, our friend Stephanie Meyer, was also on the air for the 2 hour show. I had a ball, but what I learned is that the “Stephanies,” as they are lovingly known, make this job seem so easy and effortless. They are hilarious, smart, quick and have an endless knowledge of what is going on in the Mpls food community (and a fair bit about the rest of the country too). I loved every second of it, but don’t think I’ll be giving up my day job.
After the show we went across the street to a neighborhood bar with a long list of coffee drinks, it was only 11am, so booze should be served with caffeine. Stephanie March ordered a coffee, bourbon and black walnut drink, because…bourbon. I took one sip and said “Baked Alaska!” We were due for a snow storm that night, and all the predictions were that we’d be trapped inside. A baked Alaska made with ice cream of espresso bean, chocolate shavings, a splash of bourbon, sitting on a layer of devil’s food and then covered with toasted meringue seemed the perfect way to weather the storm.
For the recipe.
Ice Cream Layer:
1 batch of Jeni’s coffee ice cream. I make this in the instagram video. It uses cream cheese and cornstarch to insure that it stays creamy when frozen. I also added 3/4 cup milk chocolate shavings and 3 tablespoons bourbon.
Make and churn the ice cream as directed. The freeze it in a Silicone Hemisphere Mold which I got from Craftsy.com, or an 8-inch stainless steal bowl.
Devil’s Food Cake Layer:
3/4 cups (160g) sugar
3/4 cups (108g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder (either natural or Dutch processed)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (milk, plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon if you don’t have buttermilk)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (make your own)
1/4 cup coffee
2 tablespoons bourbon (use more coffee if you don’t want the booze)
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease and line an 8-inch Cake Pan with parchment paper.
Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Sift the cocoa and baking soda if they are lumpy.
Whisk in the liquid ingredients, until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Bake for about 2o minutes or until just set or a tester comes out with moist crumb. Cool completely. Can be made a day ahead.
3/4 cup (175g) egg whites
1 1/2 cups (350g) sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
Make a Swiss Meringue, as shown in my “101 meringue” video on Instagram, add the bourbon just before it reaches stiff peaks.
To assemble the baked Alaska, you will need these tools:
8-Inch Cardboard Cake Circle – you will probably need to trim this a bit.
You will find the video of me making the ice cream and assembling the finished dessert in my video on Instagram. Just look for this picture and Baked Alaska.