Just call me the cupcake arsonist.
This is the second time I’ve intentionally set fire to this cutesy confection. What’s the appeal? Maybe I feel the cupcake could use a break from its curlicued reputation. Or maybe it appeals to my inner juvenile delinquent who loves to play with matches. All I know for sure is, this is one incredibly delicious show-stopping dessert! It’s a perfect dramatic finale for any dinner party.
Baked Alaska is a layered dessert consisting of cake, ice cream and sweet meringue, so it wasn’t terribly difficult to translate into cupcake form. To begin, you’ll need a “naked” cupcake – no wrappers! They’d catch fire, and we certainly don’t want burning paper on our delicious treat.
You have two options to obtain your “naked” cupcakes: 1.) Bake cupcakes without liners in a greased and floured cupcake pan. 2.) For easy clean-up, use your least cutesy cupcake papers and just peel them away before you begin assembling the cakes. I’m all for the latter – one less pan to wash. Inexpensive parchment paper liners will do just fine.
To make the blue-flame magic happen, turn down the lights and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of warmed brandy over each meringue-coated cupcake. Ignite with a grill lighter or a long fireplace match. Please note that I used a little more brandy on these cupcakes for photography purposes. I needed a longer burn time so I could get a good picture of the flame. (I ate one of these cupcakes after photographing and it was a little strong – made my tongue tingly!).
Back when I made Flaming Strawberries on Cupcakes, I didn’t know heating the liquor would help it catch fire easier. Try it! It makes all the difference!
- My pal Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie has a new book available called Sugarlicious! I recieved my copy last Thursday, and it is a delight to read! Lots of edible crafty goodness in there. I recommend!
- Slight freak-out at the realization that in just a few short months, I’ll be making a wedding cake that serves 200 people! Jesus take the wheel.
- Bon Appetit included me and some of my bloggy pals in their Red Velvet round-up. Check it out here!
- I’m still working on answering your letters! (Just an update in case you haven’t received your reply yet.)
- My fur-baby Churro hurt his paw while playing outside, which resulted in a trip to the pet ER. He’s doing better, but gosh – was I ever worried! I really don’t know how parents of human children do it. You have my utmost respect!
Flaming Baked Alaska Cupcakes:
Yield: 10-12 cupcakes [click for printable version]
Use your favorite cupcake recipe, or my Basic Vanilla Cupcake recipe (below)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups of your favorite ice cream for filling cupcakes
1. Heat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with papers.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Beat in vanilla extract.
3. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. When completely incorporated, divide batter evenly amongst liners, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, but check them after 15.
4. Peel away cupcake liners and discard. Cut a small divot out of the top of each cupcake, large enough to hold about 2 tablespoons of ice cream. Fill each divot with ice cream and place filled cupcakes in the freezer while preparing the meringue.
6 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2-2 cups brandy, warmed on the stove top
Note: Warm the brandy just before serving the cupcakes.
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
2. Gradually beat in the sugar until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Transfer half the meringue to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
3. Preheat oven to hottest setting (this is usually broil).
4. Remove the cupcakes from freezer. Set each cupcake on their own small plate, and then set the plates on one or two large baking sheets. Immediately pipe meringue swirl on top of the cupcakes, covering/enveloping the ice cream completely. Use an off-set spatula to coat the lower part of the cupcakes with meringue.
5. Place cupcakes under broiler until meringue is lightly browned – be sure to give this step your undivided attention! Remove from the oven and present to guests. Gently pour 2 tbsp. brandy over each cupcake. Ignite the brandy with a long kitchen match and let burn until the flame subsides
6. When the flames die down, serve immediately.
Note: As a safety precaution, keep cupcakes on the metal baking sheet until flame subsides.