Here’s a really fun way to learn about science! We made baked Alaska and found out that the ice cream did not melt when we baked our treat in the oven. Here’s why: when you whisk eggs, air mixes in and creates tiny trapped bubbles. Heat does not easily pass through these trapped air bubbles. Both meringue and sponge cake have these bubbles, and they are known as insulators because they keep the ice cream from melting.
2 eggs whites
½ cup sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
Sponge or angel food cake
For the meringue:
In a clean bowl, whisk or beat with an electric beater the 2 egg whites until they form soft peaks in a bowl. Then add the cream of tartar and about 1/2 the sugar until it becomes glossy. Keep adding the rest of the sugar slowly until the mixture forms stiff peaks when the whisk or beater is lifted.
Tip – make sure that the bowl, whisk or beaters are clean and free of grease or the egg whites won’t take shape. Also, crack each egg into a small bowl to extract the egg white, and then transfer to the bigger bowl. Do this process separately with each egg so that in case any of the yolk mixes in with the 2nd egg, you won’t lose both egg whites.
Preheat the oven to 420F
Slice the sponge cake into 4 round circles and place on a baking sheet. Add a scoop of ice cream on top of each cake and place in the freezer for a several minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and cover the entire ice cream cake with the meringue. Make sure it is fully covered.
Place in the oven for 4 -5 minutes or until slightly browned on top.