Strawberries & Champagne Baked Alaska
For the Champagne Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 dram Lorann champagne flavoring
1/2 cup vanilla pudding or sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Ice Cream Layers
...or you could make your own, but...
1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
1 pint Strawberry Ice Cream
1, 21 oz can strawberry pie filling, pureed
For the Meringue
4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1) Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 300F. Line 2, 6-inch pans with parchment paper and then lightly grease with vegetable oil spray.2) In a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just until incorporated between each addition. Add champagne flavoring and pudding.
3) Stir together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Add alternately with the milk to the butter mixture, in about 2-3 additions each (I like to start with a third of the milk, then half of the flour, another third of the milk, etc.).
4) Divide the batter between the two pans and bake at 300F until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool on wire racks. After completely cooled, level tops and then slice each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers total.
5) Mold the ice cream layers: In the same 6-inch pans you used to bake the cakes, line both pans with plastic wrap. Soften each pint slightly in the microwave (about 15 seconds should be enough). Layer half of the vanilla ice cream in the bottom of each pan, and then half of the strawberry ice cream on top of the vanilla in each pan. Place in the freezer for at least an hour.
6) Assemble the cake: 1 cake layer + 4 tablespoons pureed strawberry pie filling, spread around + 1 ice cream layer + 4 tablespoons strawberry puree + 1 cake layer + strawberry puree + ice cream layer + strawberry puree + 1 cake layer. You'll have 1 layer of cake left over...snack on it. Place the cake in the freezer for a couple hours.
7) Make the meringue: In a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until frothy. Gradually add sugar and continue to whip until stiff, shiny peaks form. Frost the cake thickly with the meringue. Place in the freezer for another hour.
8) Finish the cake: Preheat the oven to 500F. Place the cake in the hot oven for about 3 minutes until peaks of the meringue turn a golden brown. Serve immediately.