Thank you, American physicist Mr. Benjamin Thompson, for discovering how to make meringue back in the early 1800’s! For meringue is a key component of Baked Alaska, the spotlighted dish being celebrated on Baked Alaska Day!
Baked Alaska is made by placing slices of sponge cake in the bottom of a pie pan, filling it with vanilla ice cream and then covering completely with a whipped meringue mixture. The whole thing is baked in the oven at a very high temperature for a short period of time to allow the meringue to solidify slightly and brown. The meringue protects the ice cream from melting, thus giving this dessert its distinctive cold/hot sensation and creamy/crunchy texture loved by so many.
This sweet treat was named by the chef at the famous New York Delmonico’s Restaurant in 1876 to celebrate America’s acquisition of its new territory. Its lesser known name of Norwegian Omelette also gives tribute to this dessert’s characteristic appearance of a cold, snow covered mountain. Enjoy!