Baked Alaska Ice Cream Couch Cake
 
 
Baked Alaska in the shape of a couch is a fun way to present this sumptuous ice cream cake covered in a thick layer of toasted meringue.
Author:
Cuisine: American
Serves: 18 - 20
Ingredients
For the chocolate cake:
Whisk and sift together:
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (237 g)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (70 g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (9 g)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder (4 g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3 g)
Combine:
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (56 g)
  • ¾ cup milk (187 g) simmered
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant coffee (2 g) dissolved in ½ cup boiling water (120 g)
Beat together:
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup regular mayonnaise (170 g)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (315 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the ice cream:
For the meringue:
  • 8 large egg whites (288 g)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (398 g)
  • ¾ cup water (177 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
For the chocolate cake:
  1. Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan or dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk then sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Place the unsweetened chocolate in a bowl. Heat the milk in a small saucepan just until simmering. Dissolve the instant coffee in boiling water. Pour the hot milk and coffee on the unsweetened chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs then add the mayonnaise beating until fully blended. Add the sugar beating until well incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the chocolate coffee liquid in 3 – 4 additions beating until smooth and well blended.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven. Let the cake cool before turning out. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.
Assembly:
  1. Divide the cake horizontally so you have two layers. Line the cleaned baking pan with foil or waxed paper. Place one layer in the baking pan or dish. Spread a layer of softened strawberry ice cream evenly. Freeze for a few minutes for about 15 minutes then spread a layer of vanilla ice cream on top. Top it with the second cake layer. Freeze the ice cream cake until solid preferably overnight. Leave about 1½ cups of ice cream for assembly.
  2. Slice the ice cream cake into blocks. Starting from the short end, slice two blocks around 4 inches, two blocks around 1.8 inches and one block about 1.25 inches.
  3. TIP: You can either spread softened ice cream to glue the blocks together or freeze the ice cream first in a rectangular dish, then slice it to fit the shape of the block you are gluing. I found the latter to be a better method where I used rectangular shapes of frozen ice cream in between each block.
  4. Place one 4-inch block on a cake board or plate. Spread ice cream then stack the second 4-inch block to make the couch seat. Freeze to solidify the ice cream in between the layers.
  5. Slice the 1.25-inch cake block in half to make the couch arms. Place the arms on either side of the couch seat with a small amount of ice cream underneath to glue the arms. Freeze to solidify the ice cream.
  6. Trim one 1.8 -inch cake block to fit in between the arms of the couch. Spread a small amount of ice cream underneath to glue it to the couch seat. Freeze again until the ice cream is firm.
  7. Finally, place the last piece, the second 1.8-inch block on top of the lower back part spreading a small amount of ice cream underneath to glue it to the lower back. Freeze until solid. When firm, to keep the back of the couch secure, drive a thin wooden skewer through the center all the way down to the cake board. I didn’t support my couch cake with anything, but that was a risky thing to do which I wouldn’t recommend. If you decide to skip the skewer, just make sure all the blocks are stacked perfectly straight.
Frosting:
  1. Make the Italian meringue: In a stand mixer bowl that has been washed in hot sudsy water, whip the egg whites until frothy then add the cream of tartar. Slow down the mixer speed while making the sugar syrup.
  2. To make the sugar syrup, place the granulated sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Swirl to dampen the sugar. Turn heat to medium high and let the sugar mixture boil until it reaches 240°F, the sugar has dissolved, the syrup is clear and bubbly. Remove from heat. Turn the mixer to medium. Pour the hot syrup into the egg whites in a very thin and steady stream aiming towards the edge where the meringue meets the bowl and avoiding the wire whip. Turn the speed up to medium high and whip the egg whites until the bowl is cool to the touch and the meringue is thick and glossy with firm peaks. Whip in the vanilla extract towards the end.
  3. Remove the ice cream couch cake from the freezer. Apply the meringue evenly all over the couch cake.
  4. Use an inexpensive barbecue lighter, or blow torch if you have one, to caramelize the meringue. (I tried browning the meringue in a hot oven with my first couch cake, but the only part that got toasted was the top edge of the back.)
  5. Serve the couch cake immediately, or freeze it again. Take it out from the freezer about 15 – 30 minutes before serving if you live in a fairly cool climate, less in a hot climate.
Recipe by SugaryWinzy at http://sugarywinzy.com/baked-alaska-ice-cream-couch-cake/