Let’s Cook: How Baked Alaska turned into Dos Leches.
Once upon a time, Baked Alaska was known for a Baked-Frozen dessert from the oven. Twice upon a time in 2023, an hour later, the eater is baked again.
This is the story of a failed dessert that became something else. Sometimes failure leads to success because you don’t give up. This failure became a success due to experience and practice.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve made Baked Alaska, and this second dessert.
It is Sunday evening on January 15th, 2023, as I write this post’s first draft of this recipe. On Friday after work, I am bringing a cannabis-infused Baked Alaska as a dessert to a company potluck. The potluck is at the pot company I work at. Which is a potluck party I am spearheading. To make this a little easier on myself, I’ll be covering a recipe of Baked Alaska in the style of a Let’s Play video, but for cooking.
Baked Alaska, also known as Bombe Alaska, omelette norvégienne, omelette surprise, or omelette sibérienne depending on the country, is a dessert consisting of ice cream and cake topped with browned meringue. The dish is made of ice cream placed in a pie dish, lined with slices of sponge cake or Christmas pudding, and topped with meringue. The entire dessert is then placed in an extremely hot oven for a brief time, long enough to firm and caramelize the meringue but not long enough to begin melting the ice cream.Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baked_Alaska
“A Let’s Play (LP) is a video (or screenshots accompanied by text) documenting the playthrough of a video game, often including commentary and/or a camera view of the gamer‘s face. A Let’s Play differs from a video game walkthrough or strategy guide by focusing on an individual’s subjective experience with the game, often with humorous, irreverent, or critical commentary from the gamer, rather than being an objective source of information on how to progress through the game. While Let’s Plays and live streaming of game playthroughs are related, Let’s Plays tend to be curated experiences that include editing and narration, and can be scripted, while streaming is an unedited experience performed on the fly.“Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Play
This is a Let’s cook, the story of making Baked Alaska for a work potluck.
I’m adding a twist to this classic dessert by making the cake infused with cannabutter, which will bake the eater a second time. Thus the name, Twice Baked Alaska.
The cannabutter will be from this recipe I wrote back in December of 2022 and can be read here:
Twice Baked Alaska cake
For this classic recipe, ill be using a spiced version of a basic vanilla cake, homemade banana gelato, and Italian meringue for the topping. Usually, this dessert is baked in an oven with the ice cream mounded over the cake like a mountain, which is then covered in a layer of whipped meringue. Since I cannot cook this at work, I changed the meringue to a cooked, Italian-style version. Then, I can toast the outside layer of the meringue with a cooking torch right before serving.
I’ll be switching things up a bit by leaving the frozen gelato in a large pyrex pan, the same size as the cake.
This is the first time I have made Baked Alaska before, that I can remember. I have made cakes, ice creams, and meringues rarely.
This is a multi-day project, and I’ve been cooking it in parts. Wednesday morning, I made the spiced-edible cake. Wednesday night before the party, as I write this, I’m cooking the gelato. The key to ice cream is to slowly cool it after cooking, then churn it. It takes about a day and a half to gain the smooth texture and desired frozen state.
Recipe adapted from:
(my recipe for ice cream needs a dairy-free, sugar-free update
On a taste test of the batter, I thought that the weed flavor from the cannabutter (or Ganjagarine)
I failed in the making of the banana Gelato.
The ice cream or gelato was frozen solid like a sheet of ice. The banana gelato was more a frozen sorbet or flushed than ice cream. Which is a major problem for Baked Alaska. One needs a pliable ice cream that can be cut with a knife.
I figured that with the little time I had before the party, it was time to adjust to what I had, and I proceeded into the future with that. It wasn’t too late to change this into something else. I had the training and confidence in myself to make this happen. So, I had to abandon my idea of Baked Alaska. There was no way this sheet of banana custard ice would work for Baked Alaska.
The only blade that could cut this sheet of ice?
Okay, so it is possible to eat after thawing the edges of the frozen piece, but I had to chisel off pieces like icebergs to eat the (essentially) Banana popsicle.
Sometimes, you make mistakes and have to adjust on the fly.
For years, whenever I made a mistake, I would guilt trip and shame myself by ruminating on it for far longer than the event that led to it. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that making mistakes is an indicator of growth and not a thing to be ashamed of. Making mistakes isn’t something I am, but a step in growth. To fail is natural. There is no growth without mistakes.
In my case, in this situation, this means that I have to change the recipe to achieve the results that I want: To bring a tasty dessert worthy of my talents to the potluck party.
As a recovering people pleaser, as a man struggling to break imperfection-type habits, I struggle with being okay with a “Good enough” lifestyle. Perfection is impossible. Good enough is enough to move towards the life you want. Nobody is perfect, and everyone is a work in progress. I’ll take making a mistake over doing nothing and living in regret.
I looked in my cupboards to see what I could make into another dessert with the finished spiced cake. I decided on Tres Leches because I had almond milk and, maybe, a can of coconut milk.
Presenting Dos-Dose Leches cake. Or Two doses (weed and bourbon) of “milk” cake. This is a vegan two-milk cake, double-infused “Tres Leches” cake. I happened to have a can of coconut cream on hand, and with Almond milk, this became a vegetarian version. This uses sugar instead of the monkfruit sweetener because I didn’t have enough for this recipe.
Dos-Dose Leches Cake
- With 2 T ground cinnamon, 1T nutmeg.
- 1 cup jack daniels bourbon
- 1 cup
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 14oz can of coconut cream.
- 2T vanilla extract.
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 T ground cinnamon
- 1T ground nutmeg
- 2 containers of dairy-free whipped cream.
- 1T ground cinnamon & 1 T ground nutmeg to dust the whipped cream for garnish.
Combine spices, salt, and monkfruit sweetener in a 2qt measuring cup. Stir to distribute dry goods.
Pour the “wet goods” on the dry goods, and whisk them together, so everything is combined.
Wait 5 minutes for the sugars to emulsify with the dry. Stir with a whisk to ensure the dry spices and sweeteners are evenly distributed through the almond milk and coconut cream. (aka the fats/liquids)
Once the sauce is mixed, poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork, then slowly pour half of the liquid over the top surface of the cake. Wait an hour or two until the cake has absorbed the liquid, and pour the rest over it. Wait another two hours, and the cake is ready to eat. It takes several hours for the liquid to be absorbed, ideally overnight.
I didn’t have time to pick up the non-dairy whipped product from the store. The party began before I ever had time to clock out or set up the party in the room I wanted to, so this is the result:
Somehow it all worked out. The cake tasted amazing, without any weed flavor.
The cannabis edible portion was substantial, and in the future (if) I make this again, I’ll cut the amount in half. I don’t like being high for 8 hours. I had to wait out the high until 3 am to drive home safely. While I stayed at the potluck until about 8 or 9, I waited out the rest by napping in my car.
While I’ll do that every time to never drive under the influence, I’d rather not put myself in those situations.
I have some things to think about this week.
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