Happy Easter; baked Alaska coffee cupcakes for a birthday

About a week ago, I got a mail from Google congratulating my blog for turning 2 years old. Caught up in the midst of a humongous project, I ignored this missive, thinking someone somewhere had got their dates wrong. Yeah, it was me alright!!

It was only last night when I realised I had missed the date. In all seriousness I told a dear friend about my misery in forgetting my blog's birthday and the tongue-firmly-in-cheek reply I got was not to worry about it as these things happen. As if!!

In any case, the hunt for a suitable recipe had been at the back of my mind. I wanted to do something cool, suitable for Chennai's weather. And then stumbled on a picture of a baked Alaska cupcake ringed with flames. Forget the flames, it's hot enough as it is. A trip to the ice cream store revealed a flavour called "vanilla blossom chocolate"- bits of chocolate in vanilla ice cream. So my baked Alaska cupcake would be coffee flavoured, with vanilla and chocolate flecked ice cream and a meringue topping. And a blow torch would give the finishing touches.

Sounds good, right?

Opening the ice cream container, I found that it was more of a vanilla ice cream with chocolate streaks. With a small scoop, I managed to make little balls of the ice cream. I hadn't taken the humidity into account and after a couple of minutes, found the ice cream melting. Got around this hiccup by working beside the fridge and as soon as a scoop was make, it would go directly into the freezer. The coffee flavoured cupcakes were simple enough to bake and very soon, six of them were sitting on my countertop.

Thank goodness for those cupcake corers. Making holes in cupcakes was never so easy, a brush of Kahlua flavoured stock syrup, 2 scoops of ice cream and then bunged back into the freezer.

A couple of hours later, they were ready for showtime. The meringue was a bit of a pain to spread as by then, the ice cream had started to melt.

And finally, my meringue'd beauties waited patiently for the toast of a lifetime- Voila--

Good job I decided to use a blowtorch- I don't think these ladies would have survived a grilling in the oven, not in this weather, anyway.

Cool inside, hot, hot outside

Thank you, dear Baketales readers, for having stuck around with me for another year. I've been blessed to have met some of you, corresponded with some others and have been humbled by your words of appreciation and encouragement.  Please do keep coming back.

And of course, Happy Easter!!

Baked Alaska coffee cupcakes

1 tablespoon coffee powder
60 ml hot water
30 ml milk

115 gm flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of baking soda
A pinch of salt

60 gm butter
110 gm sugar
1 egg

1/2 cup light syrup mixed with 2 tablespoons Kahlua(optional)
250 ml ice cream

Ingredients for meringue
2 egg whites
A pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Method for cupcakes
Mix coffee powder and hot water, mix in milk and leave to cool.
Sieve together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl, keep aside.
Cream butter and sugar, beat in the egg.
Mix flour and coffee into the batter.
Divide the batter among 6 lined cupcake moulds and bake in a preheated 175°C oven for about 20 minutes.
When done, remove from moulds and cool on a wire rack.
Use a cupcake corer or a sharp knife to remove the centres of the cakes. 
Brush with Kahlua flavoured syrup and freeze in a lidded container for about 2 hours.
In the meantime, scoop out blobs of ice cream. (I used a melon baller, 2 scoops for each cupcake.)
Fill the cupcake holes with ice cream, remove paper liners and return to the freezer.

Make the meringue by placing the egg whites into a clean and dry bowl. 
Whip until frothy, add in the cream of tartar and keep whipping till foamy. 
Add in the sugar in 2 lots, beating well each time till fluffy.
Drop a large star nozzle into a piping bag, fill with 2/3 of the meringue.
Working quickly, spread the remaining meringue around the sides of the cupcakes and place them all on a baking sheet.
Pipe the top of the cupcakes with more meringue. 
Blow torch the meringue. Be careful, it can be quite addictive and you will end up with charred cake if you do. 
(No blow torch? Just turn up your oven grill to max well before you start spreading the meringue and pop them in for about a minute.)
Eat immediately.


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