When you think of a baked Alaska, you may think of the final meal on a cruise. The drama, with the lights turned down as the waiters march in unison, with a baked Alaska usually flambé, always gets “ohs” and “ahs” as cruisers are presented with their dessert.
Also called “Glace au four,” or “Omellette Norvegienne,” it was not created in Alaska, but at the Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York. Chef de Cuisine Charles Ranhofer made this dessert in honor of the recent acquired territory from Russia in 1876. The thought was both Alaska and Norway were thought of being cold and a frozen dessert seemed to appropriately have a dessert named after them.
This recipe is from “A Treasury of Great Recipes” by Mary and Vincent Price, printed in 1965. Someone was kind enough to give me this book was they knew my passion for cookbooks.
“This dessert at Antoine’s was a thing of beauty. It came to our table a golden brown oval with fanciful decorations piped on it through a pastry tube – birds, flowers, and my name written in sugar icing like a birthday child’s/ We don’t attempt the decorations at home, but the rest of the dessert is easy and fun to do, and it is an impressive dish to set before our guests.” — Vincent Price
Make or buy: 1-lb. pound cake. This is available frozen. If homemade, bake in a small loaf pan, 7 1/2-by-3 1/2-by-2 inches high.
4 egg whites and a pinch of salt, beat until frothy
Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and continue to beat until egg whites are stiff.
Gradually beat in 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until the meringue is thick and glossy.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut a 3/4-inch thick slice from bottom of pound cake and place on an oval stainless steel platter.
Cover cake with scoops of vanilla ice cream, using about one quart ice cream in all. Slice cake into three thin layers. Place one layer on top of ice cream. Cut a second layer in half lengthwise and press one-half against each lengthwise side of ice cream. Cut third layer in half crosswise and place at ends of ice cream, completely enclosing the ice cream with cake. Trim end pieces neatly to fit.
Completely cover top and sides of cake with one-inch of meringue. Swirl remaining meringue on top of cake lavishly. Bake in the hot oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until meringue is lightly browned.
When whipping egg whites, an acid, whether it is lemon juice or cream of tartar, which is an acidic salt, is necessary as it changes the pH acidic, which stabilizes the foam.
A copper bowl will do the trick but do not use a copper bowl with cream of tartar, use one of the other.
Delmonico Restaurant was opened by brothers John and Peter Delmonico from Ticino, Switzerland. Today, there are Delmonico Italian Restaurants or Delmonico Steakhouses all over the country, based on the original concept of a great steak.
Delmonico’s is creditted for lobster a la Newburg; possibly chicken a la king; eggs benedict; and Manhattan clam chowder.
Delmonico’s also has the distinction of being the first American restaurant to have ala carte menus and the first to have a separate wine list.
Carlos asked me for the phone numbers and locations of the new restaurants I wrote about in my Christmas column.
Miyo’s Restaurant is located in the Manono Marketplace, 565 Hinano St., 935-2273. Open from Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m., closed on Sundays.
Hawaiian Style Café is located in the Manono Marketplace, 565 Hinano St., 969-9265. Open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., andopen for dinner from 5-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. They do not serve dinner on Saturdays or Sundays.
Nihon Restaurant is located on 123 Lihiwai St., 969-1133. Open of lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, closed on Sunday.
Sweet Thunder is located on 811 Laukapu St., 987-0222. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday.
Hilo Bake Company/Pacific Isles Café is located on 399 East Kawili St., 935-1000. Hours are 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Kay LC is located on 684 Kilauea Ave., 969-1776. Open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-closing Tuesday-Sunday, closed on Monday.
Kilauea Lodge is located in Volcano Village on Old Volcano Highway, 967-7366. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Pineapple Bar and Grill is located on 238 Keawe St., 238-5324. Open 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (kitchen closes) Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 (kitchen closes) Saturday and Sunday. Bar remains opens until the last guy leaves.
Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.