|Alternative names||Glace au four, omelette à la norvégienne, Norwegian omelette, omelette surprise|
|Place of origin||France, United States or China|
|Region or state||Paris, New York or Hong Kong|
|Main ingredients||Meringue, ice cream, sponge cake or Christmas pudding|
|Variations||Bombe Alaska, Flame on the iceberg|
|Cookbook: Baked Alaska Media: Baked Alaska|
Baked Alaska (also known as glace au four, omelette à la norvégienne, Norwegian omelette and omelette surprise) is a dessert food consisting of ice cream and cake topped with browned meringue. A similar dessert in Hong Kong is known as flame on the iceberg.
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 the meringue. The meringue is an effective insulator, and the short cooking time prevents the heat from getting through to the ice cream.
The most common claim about the name "Baked Alaska" is that it was coined at Delmonico's Restaurant by their chef-de-cuisine Charles Ranhofer in 1876 to honor the recently acquired American territory of Alaska. However, no period account exists of this happening and the name would not be used until later. Ranhofer himself referred to the dish as "Alaska Florida" in 1894, apparently referring to the contrast between extremes of heat and cold. The name "omelette à la norvégienne"/"Norwegian omelette" similarly refers to the low temperature of Norway.
February 1 is Baked Alaska Day in the United States.
In 1969, the recently invented microwave oven enabled Hungarian physicist and molecular gastronomist Nicholas Kurti to produce a reverse Baked Alaska (also called a "Frozen Florida")—a frozen shell of meringue filled with hot liquor.
The process was simplified in 1974 by Jacqueline Halliday Diaz, who invented a baking pan for Baked Alaska that forms a fillable hollow in the cake that may be filled with ice cream.
Flame on the Iceberg is a popular dessert in Hong Kong, similar to Baked Alaska in Western cuisine. The dessert is an ice cream ball in the middle of a sponge cake, with cream on the top. Whisky and syrup are poured over the top and the ball set alight before serving. Decades ago, the delicacy was served only in high-end hotel restaurants, but today it is commonly served in many Western restaurants and even in some cha chaan teng.
A Bombe Alaska at a restaurant in Singapore which has been flambéed with alcohol
- Bananas Foster
- Bombe glacée – similar to Baked Alaska, but typically using chocolate coating instead of meringue for the outer layer
- Fried ice cream
- List of desserts
- Baked Alaska
- Ranhofer, Charles. The epicurean. A complete treatise of analytical and practical studies on the culinary art, including table and wine service, how to prepare and cook dishes... etc., and a selection of interesting bills of fare of Delmonico's from 1862 to 1894. Making a Franco-American culinary encyclopedia (1894).
- Ayto, John. The glutton's glossary:a dictionary of food and drink terms. ISBN 978-0-415-02647-5.
- "Bombe Alaska". Burke's Backyard. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- gorilaz (2009-06-23). "另类雪糕 冰山大火/火焰雪山 (Chinese)". flyker. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- "Baked Alaska". An A–Z of Food and Drink. Ed. John Ayto. Oxford University Press, 2002. Oxford Reference Online. Miami University, Ohio. 20 February 2006.
- Olver, Lynne. "Baked Alaska" The food timeline.