Jan 1, 2008

«Omelette Norvégienne» for New Year's Eve

For the last day of the year 2007 at work, we prepared an entire diner for the Consul family who had planned to stay at The Consulate for New Year's eve. Amongst different dishes, we prepared the well known «Omelette Norvégienne», Baked Alaska. I always thought that this dessert was difficult to prepare, I was surprise to see that I was wrong. With basic technics and some equipements, it is pretty straightforward...
History of the «Omelette Norvégienne» at the following link...

Through the procedure of the recipe, I learned a quicker way to prepare the Génoise than the old way...
When at Culinary school, I remembered having some troubles with the preparation of Génoise in giving it this expected spongy and smooth airy texture. The by-hand method is to incorporate air in an egg-and-sugar mixture, heating above the well-known «bain-marie».

1) In a Kitchen Aid robot bowl, start by beating the eggs on medium speed.

2) While beating, make a syrup (sugar+little water) stopping at the Petit Boulet stage (softball in English) meaning that the syrup can be shaped into a ball that flattens out when removed from water.(Temperature is 235 to 240 F). At that stage the syrup should have any caramel color.

3) The syrup should then be added to the beaten egg-sugar mixture and beat on high speed until foamy (pale yellow color, texture forming ribbons) usually around 5 mn.

4) You then add your sifted flour (be sure to lower the speed otherwise most of the flour won't go into the bowl!).

5) To form a layer with the Génoise, spread with a spatula on a sheet pan covered with a buttered parchment paper (or better a silpad).

6) Bake in an 375 F until slightly brown.
Enjoy!
The ultimate tip for this Baked Alaska : use an empty half eggshell and put it on top of the cake. It should glue thanks to the egg white foam layer. Then, when comes the time to serve it, pour some warm alcohol (e.g. Grand Marnier) into and fires it to enjoy a nice flambée.

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