Okay, anyone that knows my cooking style, knows I'm agressive with recipes and menus. This is a Black Forest-Baked Alaska style dessert with Home made habanero black cherry ice cream. Not a quick fix, planning is required, but the results are worth it.
There are some standard adjustments you can make, but you also have to experiment a bit to find what adjustments work best for your recipes where you are.
With less air pressure weighing them down, leavening agents tend to work too quickly at higher altitudes, so by the time the food is cooked, most of the gasses have escaped, producing your flat tire. For cakes leavened by egg whites, beat only to a soft-peak consistency to keep them from deflating as they bake. Also, decrease the amount of baking powder or soda in your recipes by 15% to 25% (one-eighth to one quarter teaspoon per teaspoon specified in the recipe) at 5,000 feet, and by 25% or more at 7,000. For both cakes and cookies, raise the oven temperature by 20° or so to set the batter before the cells formed by the leavening gas expand too much, causing the cake or cookies to fall, and slightly shorten the cooking time.
Flour tends to be drier at high elevation, so increase the amount of liquid in the recipe by 2 to 3 tablespoons for each cup of flour called for at 5,000 feet, and by 3 to 4 tablespoons at 7,000 ft. Often you will want to decrease the amount of sugar in a recipe by 1 to 3 tablespoons for each cup of sugar called for in the recipe.
- Habanero Black Cherry Ice Cream:
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 pint half n half
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 habanero chili, minced
- 1 cup dark sweet cherries, fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Chocolate Cake:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
- but not melted
- 2 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cool water
- 10 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup favorite Brandy or Whiskey
- DAY 1 - To Make Ice Cream: Using Ice Cream maker
- In a 2 quart bowl combine 1/4 cup of sugar and yolks.
- Beat sugar and yolks with electric mixer until creamy, add lemon juice and beat 2 minutes. Set aside
- In a large bowl pour half n half, heavy cream, remaining sugar, and vanilla beat for 5 minutes.
- Add yolk mixture and beat 2 minutes more.
- Pour contents into ice cream maker well and turn on.
- Turn maker on and let churn for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Fold cherries and chillies. Place in freezer.
- Note: If not using ice cream maker, mix ingredients (except cherries and chillies) in a large bowl. Place bowl in freezer for 30 minutes, stir, place back in freezer and repeat this process until contents begin to solidify. Once mixture becomes the consistency of mousse add cherries and chillies and let freeze.
- DAY 2 - Cake:
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease three 6 inch pans thoroughly and line bottom with parchment paper. May use two 8x2-inch round cake pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt for 60 seconds on low speed with the electric mixer. Add the butter, eggs, oil, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Beat on low speed just until all of the dry ingredients are moist.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons water and beat for 20 seconds on medium speed. Scrape the bowl and add the remaining 3 tablespoons water. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the pans and spread it evenly.
- Bake 35-40 minutes (do not open the oven for the first 30 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into a cakey place in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Set the pan on a rack to cool for ten minutes. Invert the cake onto rack (turn the round cake right side up) to cool completely.
- In large mixing bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar.
- Begin mixing on high speed, adding sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Whip until soft peaks form.
- Place cake layer on plate, top with ice cream.
- Repeat above process alternating, ending wth ice cream on top.
- Place in freezer for 1 1/2 hours.
- Spread and decorate meringue cake with majority on top making a well along the edge. Place in freezer for 1 hour.
- In a 4 or 6 inch skillet or sauce pan heat liquor.
- Remove cake from freezer.
- Allow liquor to flame, and pour over top of cake, allowing flames to self extinguish.
- Slice and serve.
- Special Note- When baking cake above 1000 ft adjustments to batter and baking temperature needs to be considered. I cannot not make a general recommedation. Those baking in Denver would make a different adjustment than those in Boise.
- Note: You may omit the flambe technique and just use a torch to get a caramelization over cake.