As a child didn’t the adults in your life ask, “What do you want to be when you’re a grownup?”
How did you reply? My answer was “famous actress.” But I lied. I dreamed of being a royal princess. Whenever the ever-so genteel Crown Princess Michiko (now the Empress of Japan) appeared on television, my heart ached to embody such grace and enjoy such luxury.
Pre-Empress Days: Crown Princess Michiko
So lovely inside and out that current Emperor Akihito
married her even though she was a commoner.
(Click here for photo credit info.)
The yearning for royal status was exacerbated the day I was served Baked Alaska at the Imperial Hotel. Against a backdrop of the centuries-old Imperial Castle, the moats and manicured emerald gardens, a flaming dessert arrived on a silver platter. After the mini-fire was extinguished, the white-gloved waiter sliced and served the meringue-covered dome of ice cream. As I dug into the crystallized crunch covering Neapolitan ice cream, Dad smiled and explained that I was eating Baked Alaska.
That lovely spring day was the first and only time the dramatic dessert passed my lips. Until Roxana of Roxana’s Home Baking announced the chocolate and ice cream theme for July’s virtual Chocolate Party. (If you wish to attend, please scroll down for the details.) At about the same time The Secret Lives of Baked Goods (by Jessie Oleson of CakeSpy.com) arrived on my doorstep. A recipe for Baked Alaska leapt from the pages and pulled me into the kitchen.
Mini Baked Alaskas from the Ninja Baker's Kitchen
I won’t pretend that my mini baked Alaskas reached the high level of perfection (or price) as the one served at the Imperial Castle. But, they were pretty darn good.
Mini Baked Alaska
(For complete measurements, I recommend a copy of The Secret Lives of Baked Goods.)
Step one entails baking a brownie base. Chopped bittersweet chocolate is melted with butter over a double boiler. Diamond grains of sugar are mixed with bright yellow eggs and heady vanilla extract. Chocolate is swirled in next. Flour, baking powder and salt are then stirred in with a wooden spoon. The batter is poured into a 13 x 9 pan and baked for almost an hour at 350 degrees. Once cooled, with a 1½ inch cookie cutter, little brownie circles are made.
Step two requires ice cream. The recipe for Soft Oreo Matcha Ice Cream follows. Quite frankly, the matcha green tea filling does not translate to taste. But the ice cream boldly declares its Oreo flavor profile.
Lesson learned: No need to travel to the Japanese market. Go with the Oreos sold at the neighborhood store. Once ice cream is made, using cake pop maker pans, mold the ice cream into little balls. (Mini ice cream scoops would work, too.)
Soft Oreo Matcha Ice Cream
Soft Oreo Matcha Ice Cream
Adapted from AverieCooks.com's
No Ice Cream Maker Funfetti Cake Batter Golden Oreo Ice Cream
2 packages of soft Oreo matcha filled cookies or the variety you love best
1 can of 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1. Chop the Oreos – trying not to sneak too many into the mouth.
2. Next, mix together the milk, cream and extracts in a medium bowl. Stir in the Oreo bits.
3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and create a delicious dessert according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Crowned with meringue, a brownie topped with Oreo Ice Cream:
A mini baked Alaska!
Step three of the Mini Baked Alaska calls for coating the frozen ice cream atop the brownie bites with meringue. Whipping egg whites with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt are pretty easy. However, baking the frozen concoction is when the true challenge begins. The difference between 3 and 4 minutes in a 500-degree oven is huge.
My first batch came out right at 3 minutes. Golden tips of baked meringue and not a trace of melted ice cream. The second batch was kept in maybe 30 seconds longer but puddles of chocolate Oreo ice cream appeared. An eagle eye is required for this phase of the dessert.
Once plated and photographed, the satisfaction of once again enjoying the dessert from the day at the Imperial Hotel made this wannabe princess’ heart sing!
From our hostess, Roxana:
How to participate (the rules)
1.) Blog about your chocolate treat. Your recipe must include the two ingredients we choose. It can be a simple no bake treat or a sophisticated layer cake, the complexity level of the recipe is totally up to you.
2.) Include a link back to the Chocolate Party page. Optionally, add the Chocolate Party logo in your blog post or on your sidebar.
3.) Your recipe must be published during the current month. Please do not link old recipes, they will be deleted.
Dessert for the princess or prince in your life - you!
Wishing you days of delicious royal treatment.
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.