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Cooking baked alaska

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vicars | 23:11 Sun 10th Jun 2007 | Recipes
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Hi, I had a baked alaska in a restaurant and they only cooked the top till it was slightly brown - the sides seemed raw and they said they do this deliberately. Surely this means I am eating raw egg mixture? Would anybody else complain if they were served this?

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The sugar content probably makes it safe, but if you have concerns, use this safe meringue recipe:

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2 egg whites
4 Tbsp sugar

Instructions:

Bring 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer in a large skillet. Combine the 2 tsp water with the cream of tartar in a 4- to 6-cup stainless steel bowl. Add the egg whites and sugar and whisk together briskly to combine ingredients thoroughly and break up the egg white clots (which have a tendency to scramble first.) Place an instant-read thermometer near the stove in a mug of very hot tap water.

Set bowl of egg whites in skillet. Stir mixture briskly and constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom often to avoid scrambling the whites. After 1 minute, remove bowl from skillet. Quickly insert thermometer, tilting bowl to cover stem by at least 2 inches. If less than 160�F (70�C), rinse thermometer in skillet water and return it to mug. Replace bowl in skillet. Stir as before until temperature reaches 160�F when bowl is removed. Beat on high speed until cool and stiff.

The thing with baked alaska is that if you leave it in the oven for too long then the ice-cream melts. It is supposed to just be a quick flash to brown the meringue. Possibly this restaurant used a blow torch to brown the meringue. I wouldn't complain because I wouldn't want my ice cream melted!
the meringue for Baked Alaska is usually made by pouring a hot sugar syrup onto the eggwhites, thus stopping them from being absolutely raw. The mixture is then either flash cooked in a very hot oven to brown it, or 'toasted' with a blowtorch. Certainly wouldn't complain if it was served to me - it's one of my favourites - my only complaint is that there's never usually enough!
The majority of restaurants use pasturised eggs now in any recipe that traditionally used raw eggs to ensure it is perfectly safe to eat. (and of course to make sure noone can say they got food poisoning from them and subsequently sue them!)

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