Baked Alaska

The baked Alaska, also known as omelette à la norvégienne, is a frozen dessert with cake drenched in liqueur and sugar syrup and a layer of browned meringue. The meringue is baked in the oven just before serving, which gives the meringue its colour without the heat reaching the ice cream inside. The dish was invented by American physicist Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, based on the principle that beaten egg whites do not conduct heat.

Baked Alaska

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sponge cake, sliced



egg whites



icing sugar



lemon juice



sugar syrup



liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Preparation method

  • To make the meringue, use a little lemon juice to degrease a mixing bowl.
  • Mix the egg white and the icing sugar.
  • Beat in a bain-marie to 40°C.
  • Then continue beating the meringue until cold.
  • Transfer the meringue to a piping bag with a nozzle.
  • Heat the oven to 220ºC.
  • Cut the sponge cake in the length into slices. Cover the inside of an oval heat-proof bowl with the slices of sponge cake. Trim the slices to fit the oval shape of the bowl.
  • Sprinkle a mix of sugar syrup and liqueur over the sponge cake.
  • Fill the bowl with the slices of sponge cake with the parfait and close off with another slice of sponge cake.
  • Turn over the bowl, so that the top is now at the bottom.
  • Pipe or use a spatula to decoratively arrange the beaten egg white along the exterior of the sponge cake.
  • Bake the baked Alaska in a hot oven for about five minutes until the meringue has browned or use a kitchen blowtorch to brown the meringue.

Serving suggestions

  • Variation tip: replace the parfait with vanilla ice cream or sorbet.
  • Sprinkle a little rum over the meringue just before serving and flambé it at the table instead of baking it in an oven.
  • As part of a dessert buffet served whole.
  • As a dessert on its own, cut into slices and served with red fruits.

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