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LOW-FAT BAKING : Fire and Ice Cream

June 04, 1992|DONNA DEANE | TIMES FOOD STYLIST

Baked Alaska is an American classic that creates an instant party. Wonderful to look at, this extravagant dessert appears loaded with calories and fat.

This one isn't.

We replaced the traditional yellow cake with low-fat chocolate sponge cake. In place of the usual high-calorie ice creams, we layered the cake with richly flavored chocolate ice milk and tangy orange sorbet. Then we covered the whole thing with meringue and baked it. You get all of the drama and less of the usual fat.

Start the recipe a day before you plan to serve--the cake should be frozen overnight. About an hour before you're ready to serve, invert the cake onto an oven-proof serving tray and unmold it. Return it to the freezer to re-freeze.

Just before serving, prepare the meringue and then spread it carefully over the mold, being sure to seal all the edges (especially those next to the plate). Bake in a 500-degree oven two to three minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning. Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh strawberries and serve.

ALMOST-NO-FAT BAKED ALASKA

1 cup cake flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup nonfat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Fudge Ice Milk

Orange Sorbet

Meringue

Strawberries, optional

Combine cake flour, cocoa powder, 3/4 cup sugar and baking powder. Stir together nonfat milk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until blended. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar. Continue beating to soft peaks.

Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into cake batter. Spread batter onto parchment-paper-lined 15x10-inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until cake tests done in center. Let cool. Cover and freeze until ready to assemble.

Spoon Chocolate Fudge Ice Milk evenly into bottom of chilled 9-inch loaf pan. Cut cake to fit pan and place cake layer on top of Chocolate Fudge Ice Milk. Spoon Orange Sorbet evenly over cake layer. Top with another layer of cake. Cover and freeze overnight. (Freeze remaining cake for second baked Alaska or serve with ice cream and fruit.) Just before serving, remove dessert to chilled oven-proof serving dish or foil-covered baking sheet. Spread meringue over top and sides, being careful to cover all edges to seal. Bake at 500 degrees 2 to 3 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Cut into 12 slices. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains about:

242 calories; 108 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 56 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.43 gram fiber.

Chocolate Fudge Ice Milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups nonfat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cocoa powder and sugar in saucepan. Blend in nonfat milk. Heat and stir just until cocoa and sugar are dissolved.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool. Freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.

Orange Sorbet

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

Grated zest of 1 orange

1 cup water

Combine sugar, orange juice, zest and water in saucepan. Heat and stir just until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat and cool. Freeze in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.

Meringue

5 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Beat in vanilla.

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