Years ago on most of my early cruises they always served Baked Alaska on the Captain’s Night or some other elegant night for dessert. They still serve it BUT with one difference, it is no longer flaming. Yes, flaming. I remember the first time I saw this, the waiters all came dancing into the dining room holding a flaming Baked Alaska! It was quite the parade. But as with all wonderful things of the past, it is no longer a flaming performance. I guess they realized flames like that on a cruise ship can be very dangerous and stopped it, until recently! It has made a comeback on the Carnival Vista late 2017 and is expected to start returning fleet-wide this year, if not already! (see YouTube video at end of post)
Either way, the dessert is still very popular and unique though it’s not very difficult to make, it takes time. Lots and lots of time. So for a special occasion (and plenty of room in the freezer) it is worth it. This recipe also only calls for vanilla ice cream. On the ships they serve it with a Neapolitan type ice cream, vanilla/chocolate/strawberry. That is a bit more extensive to do so one flavor of ice cream is definitely easier.
This recipe I found on many sites but the photos are mine. Now if I could just find a photo of a flaming one… Does this count?
- 2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
- 1 box white cake mix (any kind)
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 8 egg whites
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round mixing bowl or deep 8-inch square container with foil. Spread ice cream in container, packing firmly. Cover and freeze 8 hours or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8×8 inch pan.
- Prepare cake mix with egg and almond extract. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven according to package instructions, until center of cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, salt and sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or heavy brown paper. Place cake in center. Turn molded ice cream out onto cake. Quickly and carefully spread the meringue over the cake and ice cream, all the way to paper to seal. Return to the freezer for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place the Baked Alaska on the lowest shelf and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until meringue is lightly browned. Serve at once.
(Yes this audio on this sounds computerized. You get the idea though.)