For my third foray into Disney recipes, I chose what has become the most famous Disney film of the last twenty years:
Let’s get right to it!
I knew I wanted to do something dessert-based with this movie. I could just see piles of shiny ‘meringue’ snow in my mind and this one really came into focus while I was making it. I had a bunch of elements that I thought would work flavor-wise and thematically, but I was only really sure of one thing: it would have to contain
What I ended up with was a ‘snowball’ on a ‘snowbank’ that you melt away to reveal something else inside.
Pretty deep, huh?
There’s a lot of steps to this one, but it’s been broken down into easy to digest pieces hopefully. This is also something that could be built in pieces over days and then plated as desired.
Baked Alaska with Meltaway White Chocolate Snowballs
Total Time: 3 hours
Yield: 6 servings
Special Equipment For This Recipe:
Jelly Roll Pan
1 1/2” biscuit cutter
2” biscuit cutter
3 “ half dome silicone mold or 3 “ spherical mold
Small craft paintbrush
Wilton silver edible glitter spray
Step One: Fresh Coconut Cake
100 grams (1 cup) shaved fresh coconut
112 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
300 grams (1½ cups) ultra fine sugar
4 eggs, separated
4.5 grams (1 teaspoon) clear vanilla
226 grams (2 cups) cake flour
4.5 grams (1 teaspoon) lime juice
3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
2.85 grams (½ teaspoon) salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay parchment on a jelly roll pan. Carefully drain and then open a coconut (I used a hammer and screwdriver) before scooping out the meat. Place coconut in food processor and pulse until fruit is finely chopped. Reserve coconut water and the additional fresh coconut. They will be utilized later. Place melted butter and sugar in bowl of mixer and beat until smooth. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and lime juice. In separate bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt . Add dry ingredients to batter. Batter will be thick. Move batter to bowl you sifted dry ingredients in and clean the mixer bowl. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Working in batches, fold egg white into batter. Gently spread mixture onto jelly roll pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cake springs back in the center. Cool completely, Using a 1 1/2” biscuit cutter, carefully cut out three circles of cake for every serving you plan to make. Wrap well until you are ready to assemble baked Alaskas.
Step Two: Ginger Lemon Mousse
225 grams (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
346 grams (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream
2 tablespoons candied ginger bits (or finely chop candied ginger)
60 grams (4 tablespoons) warm water
60 grams (4 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
45 grams (2 tablespoons) corn syrup
75 grams (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
1 packet gelatin
Place candied ginger bits in small bowl and cover with water. Allow to rest for five minutes before sprinkling gelatin over the water and swirl around to combine mixture. Rest again.
Place cream cheese in bowl of mixer and turn on medium speed, using whisk attachment. Scrape down the bowl and add corn syrup and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Add heavy whipping cream to mixture and whisk again, scraping down the bowl after a minute. Stop when mixture becomes fluffy and doubles in volume. At this point, place bowl with gelatin and ginger in microwave for 15-20 seconds, until the mixture is warmed through and looks smooth. Add gelatin to mixer and turn on mixer on low to incorporate gelatin completely. Add lemon juice. Move to new bowl or container, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Step Three: Italian Meringue
240 grams (6) egg whites, room temperature
30 grams (2 tablespoons) water
30 grams (2 tablespoons) coconut water( from Step One)
250 grams (1 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
Combine water, coconut water, and one cup sugar in small saucepan. Stir to combine and then put spoon aside and put on medium burner. Do not stir during heating, but you may use a damp pastry brush to get sugar crystals off the side of the pan. Clamp candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Mixture will get thick and bubbly.
While the sugar mixture is heating on the stovetop, place the egg whites in a clean dry mixer bowl and whisk on medium speed until they get frothy. Slowly add the last 1/4 cup sugar to the whites and then turn mixer up to high. Whip whites until they are firm and you can hold the bowl upside down over your head without them dripping (you don’t actually have to hold the bowl over your head, I’m just saying make sure they’re stiff but not over-whipped). Once egg white are fully whipped, turn mixture to low and continue to agitate until the sugar syrup is ready.
Once sugar reaches 240 degrees, remove the syrup from heat and carry pan over to running mixer. Turn mixer up slightly (I use 4 on my Kitchenaid) and slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup, trying to keep clear of the side of the bowl. If it splatters back up onto the bowl, turn the mixer down. Once all the syrup is in the bowl, crank the mixer up to high and whip it.
Continue to mix until meringue is fully cooled. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Step Four: Assemble Your Alaskas
Take your small cake discs and sandwich them with mousse, creating a tiny three-layer cake. Freeze for at least 20 minutes. Once well-chilled, frost cake with meringue. I spread it on fairly thinly with an offset spatula.
Step Five: White Chocolate Dome
244 grams (1 1/3 cup) high quality white chocolate, chopped
108 grams (2/3 cup) high quality white chocolate, chopped
Melt 2/3 cup white chocolate in double boiler on stovetop or in microwave. When fully melted, add in remaining 1/3 cup white chocolate, tempering the white chocolate. Once fully melted, use paint brush to paint the inside of half-dome silicone molds (or you can use full sphere molds, which are available on Amazon). Let rest for 20 minutes before repeating the process, making sure not to put too thick of a layer on the mold. That will be important in the final step of the recipe. Let them rest for an hour to make sure they are fully hardened. Gently peel the silicone molds off of the chocolate. Run 2” biscuit cutter under hot water and then carefully create hole in the top of only half of the half-domes. This will be the secret bottom hole in your ‘snowball’ that your cake will hide in once the spheres are complete. Heat a small saute pan on the stove. Working quickly, melt the edges in the hot pan to smooth them out and fuse them together, creating one full ball. Repeat the process until all of your balls are finished. Make sure you use only one with a hole in it for each ball. Let the snowballs rest again until you’re ready to plate the dessert.
Step Six: Salted Vanilla Creme Anglaise
240 grams (1 cup) whole milk
243 grams (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract*
6 egg yolks
100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat milk and whipping cream together in saucepan on stove. As you are doing that, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Once milk mixture begins to simmer, temper in eggs. You do this by adding warm milk mixture to egg yolks little by little, to warm the eggs. Add the egg mixture back into the pan and heat until it begins to thicken. When you can leave a path on the back of a spoon with your finger, you know it’s done. Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Keep warm until needed.
* I used clear vanilla because I was trying to make everything very white, but any kind of vanilla would work.
Step Seven: Plate Garnish
12 gingersnap cookies
2 pints blackberries, plus six for garnish
1 egg white
Crush gingersnap cookies in food processor. Set aside.
Zest and then juice 3 lemons. Set aside.
Lightly whisk egg white with fork. Paint blackberry with egg white (I stuck them on a chopstick one at a time) and then coat them generously with sanding sugar. This is your ‘rock troll’ element. The rest of the blackberries get tossed in the lemon juice and zest and then set aside.
Step Eight: Plating (Finally!)
Using a spatula, carefully place a frozen Alaska on each serving plate. Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue on the outside.
After you’ve browned the meringue, place the sugared blackberry on top of the Alaska.
Sprinkle the gingersnap crumbs around the plate. Top them with a generous portion of blackberries. This will help balance all of your flavors in the final product. After you finish that, cover the berries with a healthy blanket of snow (your leftover meringue).
Gently place your white chocolate dome over the baked Alaska, resting the chocolate on the bed of berries and meringue already on the plate. I then sprayed everything with silver edible glitter spray, then sprinkled a small amount of leftover fresh coconut over the whole plate.
The final step is pouring the hot sauce over the finished dessert. It will melt away the snowball to reveal the baked Alaska underneath. If you are serving a group of people, this step should be done tableside. This is also the reason the chocolate dome should be as thin as possible without breaking.
All in all, I would say this was a lot of work, but also so much fun to make. The flavors all balanced out really well and created a dish with lots of textures and temperatures. The blackberries and lemon help alleviate from the sugary richness of the meringue and the salted vanilla sauce pairs nicely with the buttery coconut cake. I hope you try it out!
After all, some things are worth melting for.