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This is a very impressive dessert and it is easier than you think. The secret is to make sure your ice cream is frozen as firm as possible, hard frozen if you will, and you have everything ready to go.......
Cut the ice cream carton in half, with the ice cream in it of course, with a very sharp knife and place the ice cream on top of the cake base. At this point, trim the cake base so that it sticks out from the ice cream approximately 3/4". *You can keep layering round slices of ice cream on top trimming it so that it will resemble an igloo when finished. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer so that the ice cream hardens again or until you are ready to serve.
When you are ready to serve your amazing dessert, pre-heat the oven to 450 and start your meringue. Beat the egg whites until semi-stiff. Gradually add the sugar and cream of tartar, a couple of tablespoonsful at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue forms stiff peaks and turns glossy.
Remove the "igloo" from the freezer and with a spatula, spread the meringue over it until the cake and the ice cream are completely covered. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 3 minutes to brown the meringue. Serve immediately on a chilled serving dish.
*Some things we do...
We usually mold the ice cream in a medium sized mixing bowl lined with Saran Wrap by letting the ice cream soften a bit and then putting it in the bowl so that when it's hardened and removed, it already looks like an igloo.
If we are feeling very festive, we sprinkle shaved chocolate, slivered almonds, or shredded coconut on top of the meringue before we bake it. You can also spread apricot, raspberry, or cherry jam on the cake before you place the ice cream on top of it. This is very yummy and a nice surprise inside the igloo.
Sometimes we just bake a batch of brownies in an 8" round pan and go from there. This makes for a very rich Baked Alaska. Just remember... Baked Alaska is basically a cake type base with an ice cream top covered with meringue. Use your imagination and you will can impress anyone with your Baked Alaska creation.