weather icon Clear

Divas: Impressively cheap! Baked Alaska – it’s the bombe

What’s an elegant, sophisticated dessert that costs under $7? If you guessed Baked Alaska, you’d be right. Of course the photo and headline might have given it away.

This really is the queen of desserts. All the other desserts have to sit on the curb and wave as she goes by. Baked Alaska has been around for a long time, originally from the New York restaurant Delmonico’s in 1867, coinciding with the U.S. acquisition of Alaska from Russia.

As chic as its reputation may be, it can simply be store-brand ice cream and a bit of cake covered by about forty cents worth of meringue and browned. So, here’s how it’s done.

Cake – You’ll need a single layer of cake for the bottom. This can be sliced pound cake or a single layer baked from a mix, like Jiffy brand, any flavor. For this chocolate lover’s variety, I used dark chocolate brownie.

Ice cream bombe – A bombe is layered ice cream in contrasting colors in a spherical mold, like a bowl. To save money, buy cartons with more than one flavor like vanilla with orange sherbet or Neapolitan.

It’s easiest if you have nesting bowls. Spray bowls with cooking spray and line with plastic wrap. You spread the first layer on the sides of your large bowl and press a smaller bowl into the ice cream to form an even layer. Freeze until solid. Remove the inner bowl and fill the recess with remaining ice cream layers. Place your cake layer on top (which will be the bottom when unmolded) of the ice cream and press down. Wrap with plastic and freeze.

Italian Meringue

Meringue is a mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. Italian meringue is a really stable meringue that’s similar to marshmallow.

What You’ll Need:

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup water

1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup

4 large egg whites, room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

Here’s How:

In a small sauce pan, bring sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Next, cook without stirring, until syrup registers 248° on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with a mixer on low until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Increase speed and whisk until soft peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes.

Reduce speed to low, and pour hot syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Increase the speed to high, and whisk about 3 minutes. Use immediately.

Assemble Baked Alaska – remove the ice cream bombe from the mold and invert onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Remove plastic wrap.

Quickly cover the ice cream completely with the meringue. Use the back of a spoon to make swirls in the meringue. If using a handheld kitchen torch: hold torch 4 to 5 inches from meringue and brown the meringue to your liking. If using your oven: preheat oven to 500°. Place the Baked Alaska in the oven until meringue is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate or cake stand.

Serve immediately and bask in your “I’m such a Diva” glory.

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! NEW website and blog – www.divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
DIVAS ON A DIME: Pumpkin gives classical bread pudding a seasonal twist

In a season traditionally filled with good things to eat, let’s add another entry to the dessert table, shall we? I’m talking about bread pudding. Now, here is a dish that radiates nostalgia. Once eaten mainly by the poor to use up stale bread, bread pudding is now considered comfort food extraordinaire.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Nov. 7 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $25 million.

A make-ahead meal to make your holidays easier

Well folks, the season of giving is upon us. So, I’m suggesting you begin by giving yourself a gift. Prepping meals ahead and storing them in your freezer is an excellent way to relieve some holiday stress and that’s a gift we deserve.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, Oct. 28 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $22 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Having fun while staying safe this Halloween

When you consider Halloween usually consists of people wandering about outdoors wearing masks, this might be less different than we anticipate. However, since conventional trick-or-treating isn’t on the agenda, here are some ideas to make the most of the Quarantine-o-ween.

DIVAS ON A DIME: This Halloween cookie is so easy it’s scary

Oh, the crisp night air, the warm apple cider, the pumpkins. Don’t you just love this time of year? For most families Halloween means the first big festivity of the holiday season. While all the kiddies love the creepy, spooky side of this holiday, I’m all about the food. You, too?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Simple tricks to make stuffing squash a treat

This time of year, I can’t go grocery shopping without coming home with at least one squash. This week I bought acorn squash and I’m in autumn comfort food heaven. Squash are in season, delicious, versatile, frugal, and fabulous!

Shortcuts give this seasonal pumpkin dish a twist

Is it time for all the pumpkin things? I hope you said yes, because I have a scrumptious pumpkin recipe. Let’s make pumpkin ravioli! But let’s make it easy. Rather than make fresh pasta, let’s use wonton wrappers, and we’ll use canned pumpkin and a two-ingredient sauce.

DIVAS ON A DIME: How to get your salmon fix on a tight budget

A well-stocked pantry is a wonderful thing. Here’s a stellar pantry staple I don’t write about often enough, so let’s dive into some canned salmon.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Sept. 26 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $13 million.