Baked Alaska is a popular dessert that is believed to have originated at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in the mid-1800s. The classic preparation involves layering a dome-shaped cake with a firm, snowy layer of meringue, before baking until toasted and golden brown.
The dessert is said to have been given the name “Baked Alaska” by Delmonico’s head chef Charles Ranhofer, who was inspired to create it by a surprise visit he had received by Senator William F. Seward, whose purchase of the Alaska Territory had made headlines around the world a few months earlier.
He compared the cake’s layer of meringue to the ice and snow that blankets much of Alaska during the winter, and dubbed his creation “Baked Alaska.”
Since then, the classic recipe has been adapted and changed many times, both in and outside of Delmonico’s. Popular variations include adding a layer of ice cream before covering with meringue, infusing the meringue with different flavors, and even molding it into different shapes.
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Who invented the Baked Alaska?
The Baked Alaska is a dessert consisting of a block of ice cream on top of some type of cake, all of which is covered in meringue and quickly browned either with a blow torch, hot oven, broiler, or a salamander.
There is some debate as to who originally created this dish.
The earliest known reference to Baked Alaska is from the 1876 edition of the cookbook “Idiosyncrasies in Cookery”, where it is described as a “blancmange” (a type of sweet pudding) “covered with meringue and ice-cream, and to be eaten very cold.”
Some attribute its invention to Charles Ranhofer, an American chef who was working at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York in 1876. He is said to have created it to commemorate the newly acquired U.S. territory of Alaska.
Others credit an unknown French chef for first creating the dish.
Whichever chef was the original inventor, Baked Alaska is still enjoyed today, and can be found on the menus of many restaurants.
Is Baked Alaska a French dessert?
No, Baked Alaska is not a French dessert. It is an American dessert made of sponge cake topped with a layer of ice cream and then covered with meringue before being placed in an oven. The origin of Baked Alaska dates back to the mid-19th century when it was created by Charles Ranhofer, chef at the famous Delmonico’s restaurant in New York.
The dessert was created in honor of the newly acquired U.S. territory of Alaska. Despite its name, Baked Alaska is not actually French, but is a classic American dessert.
What decade was Baked Alaska popular?
Baked Alaska, a classic American dessert consisting of ice cream and cake surrounded by meringue and then baked or torched, became popular in the United States during the 1960s. Prior to the 1960s, Baked Alaska was a popular dessert at Delmonico’s, a famous New York City restaurant and men’s club founded in the 1830s.
It was during the 1960s though, when ingredients became more readily available due to advances in food preservation and transportation, that Baked Alaska quickly spread in popularity throughout the United States.
Grupo La Torre in Miami, Florida, a restaurant that claims to be the originator of the dish in the US, served it on their menu in 1961. By the mid 1960s, popular cookbooks such as Maida Heatter’s Book Of Great Desserts featured recipes for Baked Alaska, solidifying the dessert’s status as a beloved classic.
Which president sold Alaska to USA?
The sale of Alaska to the United States was negotiated in a treaty between Czar Alexander II of Russia and U.S. Secretary of State William Henry Seward in 1867. Signed on March 30th, 1867, the treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate on April 9th and by Russia on May 28th.
By the terms of the treaty, Russia ceded its rights to all land and waters in the Alaska territory to the United States, in exchange for a sum of $7.2 million, which was a staggering amount for the time.
While the U.S. Senate ultimately approved the treaty with a wide margin of 37–2, the President at the time, Andrew Johnson, was initially opposed to the agreement. It wasn’t until after the Senate’s ratification that President Johnson signed the treaty to make the purchase of Alaska official.
Therefore, it can be said that President Johnson is inadvertently responsible for the sale of Alaska to the United States.
What is the story behind baked Alaska?
Baked Alaska, also known as Norwegian omelette, is a classic dessert consisting of ice cream nestled in a cake-like pastry shell that is then covered with meringue and browned quickly in a hot oven. The history of Baked Alaska is often credited to a French chef who served a version of the dessert to Nicholas II, the Tsar of Russia in 1849.
He was said to have created the dish in honor of the United States purchase of Alaska from Russia and to celebrate America’s new possession.
French chefs have long created desserts that involve encasing a frozen dessert in a meringue shell which is then briefly cooked. In his cookbook, published in 1855, Charles Francatelli describes a version of this as ‘crystal Pudding’, which was served on a flat plate.
It was in the early 1900s when the Baked Alaska recipe more closely resembling what we know today, was developed. Chef Charles Diéux, working without the help of electricity, created the Baked Alaska by taking a pre-baked cake, topping it with ice cream, covering it with meringue and then baking it with a blow torch.
In France, Baked Alaska is often referred to as an ‘omelette norvégienne’ (Norwegian omelette), though its obvious American origins suggest that the name may be a pun on the name ‘Alaska’.
Although it fell out of fashion over the last century, the recipe is making a strong comeback with 21st century foodies, who are appreciating the nostalgia of this classic dessert.
Which president popularized macaroni and cheese?
It is unclear which President popularized macaroni and cheese, as it has been a popular food dish for generations, however some evidence has been uncovered linking the dish to Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson enjoyed creating some of the first recipes from what had been a French dish and is credited with creating the first macaroni and cheese recipe in the United States. He first tasted the dish while serving as the ambassador to France during the late 1700’s and became intrigued with it.
Upon his return to the United States, Jefferson invited James Hemings, a slave of the Monticello plantation, to travel back to France with him in order to learn to make the dish.
Upon returning to the United States, his instructions on how to make the dish followed Jefferson throughout his presidency. It is believed that he served the dish at the White House several times, no doubt popularizing it amongst society members.
In the late 1800’s, the first boxed mac and cheese was sold as a convenience and quickly rose to popularity due to its easy preparation. Over time, various recipes were created which lead to different versions of the popular delight.
It is believed that although Jefferson did not invent the dish, he was the first to bring it over to the United States and popularized the dish to many during his presidency.
Who owned Alaska before 1959?
Prior to Alaska becoming the 49th state of the United States in 1959, it was owned by Russia. In 1867, the United States negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Imperial Russia, acquiring 586,412 square miles of Alaska for $7.2 million dollars.
This transaction was known as the “Alaska Purchase” and made Alaska the largest ever U.S. territorial acquisition. The purchase was first met with criticism in the U.S. as it was seen as a waste of money, but has since been seen as one of the greatest real estate deals in human history.
Following the purchase, Russia relinquished all claim of sovereignty over Alaska and the Russian-American Company was dissolved. The transfer was formalized in October 1867 when Tsar Alexander II approved the treaty, which was ratified by the United States Senate on April 9th, 1867.
The United States officially assumed control of Alaska and it remained a U.S. Territory until January 3rd, 2009, when Alaska was officially proclaimed the 49th state of the United States.
What was Alaska called before it was sold?
Prior to being sold to the United States, Alaska was known as Russian America, after being purchased from the Russian Empire in 1867. Russian America was first settled by fur traders from the Russian-American Company, who had come to the area in 1799 to hunt and trade furs.
The Russian- American Company also established fur farming and trading posts across the region, which helped to expand the Russian influence in the area. Although under the cover of the Russian Empire, Alaska was largely self-governed by the company until the sale to the United States took place.
What did Alaska have that was so valuable that made America want it?
Alaska is a large and diverse land with an abundance of natural resources that were highly desirable to the United States. A major part of this value was the vast untapped petroleum reserves. Other lucrative resources included; fish stocks, timber, gold, and copper mines.
Having control of this territory expanded U.S. political, commercial and military interests in the Pacific region. With the Arctic shipping routes offering a shortcut between the east and west coasts of the United States, control of Alaska offered a strategic initiative that could bring immense economic benefits.
In addition, the US was keen to pick up a bargaining chip in its competition with the Russian Empire and limit its European rivals from obtaining Alaska and taking advantage of its resources. With the US keen to secure an abundant supply of resources, Alaska presented the perfect solution to their needs.
Did Russia regret selling Alaska?
While there has been much speculation that Russia may have regretted selling Alaska to the United States in 1867, there is no official documentation that proves that to be the case. Some Russian officials at the time considered the sale to be a well-executed move to gain a financial windfall and international recognition, rather than a mistake.
In fact, at the time, the Tsar and his advisors viewed the sale of Alaska as a shrewd move to free up revenue to fund other projects in the region.
Alaska had a population of only around 9,000 at the time, making it difficult for the nation to derive benefit from it. It was a sparsely-populated land with few resources, further compounding the challenge.
Even as the decades went on, the Russian population in Alaska did not grow significantly, making the sale all the more logical.
Moreover, the sale in 1867 was completed by the same Tsar who had earlier sent out an expedition to purchase California, Texas, and Oregon in the United States, all without success. In that sense, selling Alaska may have been viewed as an intelligent decision and a way to recoup the political and military expenses of that failed venture.
In the end, it is not clear whether Russia regretted selling Alaska. While some, particularly in later years, may have considered the sale to be misguided, it is impossible to definitively say that it was a regretful decision from on high.
How much did Alaska cost in today’s dollars?
When the United States purchased the Alaska Territory from Russia in 1867, the land cost a total of $7.2 million USD. In today’s dollars, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, that amount would have been equivalent to approximately $126.7 million USD.
This cost was considered quite affordable at the time and was part of the larger idea of Manifest Destiny in which the US, encouraged by its expansionist ideology, acquired vast amounts of territory before the arrival of other colonial powers.
What is the most popular dessert in North America?
The most popular dessert in North America is the brownie. Brownies were invented in the United States in the late 19th century. The boxed-mix version of this treat debuted on the market in the 1930s and quickly became a classic.
Brownies are typically eaten as a snack and come in an array of flavors and textures, ranging from light and cakey to dense and fudgy. Brownies can be enjoyed plain or with toppings such as icing, marshmallows, or nuts.
The chocolate flavor of traditional brownies makes them consistently popular year after year.
What is California’s signature dessert?
California’s signature dessert is the iconic Galette Des Rois (Kings Cake), a rich and moist almond-flavored French tart that is traditionally served in the winter months. The recipe is believed to have originated with French settlers in the late 1700s and California has certainly made it their own ever since.
The tart is made with a simple crust containing butter, sugar, and flour, and is filled with almonds, raisins, prunes and other dried fruits. Although there are several variations on the galette these days, the traditional version has a flaky pastry base filled with creamy almond-scented custard, and a rich almond-flavored topping made with ground almonds, butter, and powdered sugar.
The tart is typically served with a dollop of creme fraiche or other creamy accompaniment. Each Galette is topped with a decoration – usually a colorful starburst – indicating the cake has been served for a special occasion.
What is a typical French dessert?
A typical French dessert is one that typically combines sweet flavors with seasonal fresh ingredients. Some of the most popular traditional French desserts include creme brulee, tarte tatin, clafoutis, eclairs, and madeleines.
Creme brulee is a rich custard topped with a caramelized layer of cookie-like crust, while the tarte tatin is an upside down apple tart. Clafoutis is a cherry cake-like dessert, and eclairs are cream filled pastries topped with a chocolate glaze.
Lastly, madeleines are tiny sponge cakes served either plain or flavored with lemon or orange zest.