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Baked Alaska California-Style

Baked Alaska California-Style

Photo courtesy of California Avocado Commission

From: Chef William Douglas Hildreth. This recipe was the winner dessert in the 2011 California Avocado Commission Foodservice Chef Competition. Yield: 4 servings.

1 package French vanilla, white or yellow cake mix
as needed, avocado filling (recipe follows)
as needed, meringue (recipe follows)
as needed for garnish, fresh raspberries and/or blackberries

Avocado Filling (yields 5 cups):
11 oz. sweetened condensed milk
3 fresh avocados (about 8 oz. each)
2 oz. lime juice
4 ½ oz. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. Greek yogurt

Meringue (yields approximately 8 cups):
8 fresh egg whites
9 oz. powdered sugar

For cake: Preheat oven to temperature indicated on cake mix package. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Pour prepared batter onto sheet pan, smoothing to even out the batter. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan. When cool, cover with parchment paper and flip upside down and remove sheet pan. Cut cake in half to make 2 thin layers. Using 4-6 soup cans (depending on their size) as molds, cut out cake pieces to line bottom, top and sides of cups. Line each soup cup with the cake pieces (except for the tops), and set aside.

For avocado filling: Place first 5 filling ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Add heavy cream and blend until slightly thickened. Add in Greek yogurt and blend to combine. Store the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Meringue: Once the cakes have been frozen, prepare the meringue. Place all egg whites in bowl of a stand mixer and whip to stiff peaks. Add powdered sugar and whip until smooth and glossy.

To assemble: Pour avocado filling into each cake-lined soup cup, filling almost to the top. Place the cut-out cake tops on top of the filling. Place cups on a tray and freeze for at least 12 hours. Remove cakes from freezer. Unmold them onto oven-proof plates. Spread/pipe the meringue decoratively over each cake. Refreeze for at least another 12 hours. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake cakes for 8 to 12 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 1 minute before adding garnishes. Serve.

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