Great ice cream really does not need any help. It can stand on its own as a great dessert. Yet, ice cream has played a pivotal role in some of the world’s most popular desserts. What’s apple pie without a little ice cream? And how many kids’ birthday parties have been made more tolerable because of the presence of cake and ice cream?
One of the most famous desserts to feature ice cream is Baked Alaska. There are so many question with this dessert. Is it really baked? What does this have to do with Alaska? Is there a dessert out there that incorporates the state of Delaware into the title?
Let’s go on another dessert history lesson:
Charles Ranhofer was about as close to a celebrity chef as this country had back in the 19th century. Today he’d probably be a judge on Chopped. Ranhofer started his culinary career in his native France before coming to the Unites States. He then worked at the legendary Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. Ranhofer came up with a cake-and-ice cream dessert concoction as a way to celebrate the U.S. acquisition of Alaska from Russia.
The dessert remains on the menu of many top restaurants around the country. The ingredients are simple. The presentation and preparation are important. The ice cream is a key ingredient and it must be kept as cold as possible. The ice cream is placed on a bed of sponge cake. Everything is then covered with uncooked meringue. The whole thing is kept in the freezer until serving time. It is then placed in a very hot oven and kept in the oven just long enough to brown the meringue. This allows the dessert to be served warm while the ice cream still remains cold. It’s important that the dessert be served quickly so that the ice cream does not have time to melt.