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"Baked Alaska" Cake

Since I ranted and raved about how great a few Pampered Chef products are, I thought I should share with you one of my favorite cake recipes, "Baked Alaska" Cake. It's from The Pampered Chef Seasons Best Recipe Collection Fall/Winter 2004 recipe book.

"Baked Alaska" Cake

1 package devils food cake mix, plus the ingredients to make the cake
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I use mini chocolate chips)
1 package (8 ozs) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large container (16 ozs) cool whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour the Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl.

Prepare cake mix according to box directions and pour into batter bowl. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake tester (I use a wood kabob skewer) inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of the cake and gently turn the cake out of the bowl onto a cooling rack, large side down. Cool for at least 3 hours.

Meanwhile, I like to prepare the "mousse" and then toss it into the fridge while the cake cools.

Chop 1/4 cup of the chocolate morsels using a food chopper. Set aside. I omit this step because I use the mini chocolate chips. Place remaining chocolate (in the mini chocolate chip case, it would be 1/2 cup) into a bowl and microwave on high 20-60 seconds or until melted and smooth. Add cream cheese to a bowl, whisk until smooth, add powdered sugar and whisk again. stir in melted chocolate and mix well. I don't often use the wire whisk, I just use my hand mixer, it seems to break up the cream cheese with little effort and blended all the ingredients very well. Fold in 2 cups of the cool whip and the remaining 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips (I do this by hand, no mixer) into the cream cheese mixture.

Place the large end of the cake down onto a serving plate/platter. Using a serrated bread knife, trim the large end of the cake to make it level. Usually the cake comes out of the oven with a "bump" on the top, and often I just trim off the bump, to taste the flavor of the cake and make it level, even if it isn't "flat" on the bottom of my plate. Slice the cake in four equal layers. First slice horizontally in half and then slice each half into equal parts.

Spread the bottom layer of cake with about half of the filling, forming a 3/4 inch layer. Repeat with the remaining layers and filling ending with the top layer of cake.

Spread any remaining filling over the outside of cake to create a smooth surface. I do not do this, I use all the filling for the inside of the cake. I often put a very thin layer of cool whip on the outside to seal in the crumbs. Frost cake with remaining whipped topping.

To form decorate peaks, press a knife into the topping and pull away. Repeat over entire surface ofcake. For easier slicing refrigerate cake at least 30 minutes.

To easily cut cake into servings, cut cake inot eight wedges from top to bottom. Insert a pie server horizontally into each wedge, dividing into two equal portions.

Makes 16 servings.

Filling Variations (I've never tried these, but had to include them)

Strawberry Splash:
Omit chocolate morsels. Add 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened strawberry drink mix (sugh as Kool-Aid) to cream cheese mixture. Stir 1/4 cup chopped strawberries into cream cheese mixture.

Magnificent Mint:Omit 1/2 cup melted chocolate. Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and 3-4 drops of green food coloring, if desired, to cream cheese mixture.

I'm thinking you could easily make an orange or lemon flavored filling with orange or lemon flavored drink mix, splash of orange or lemon juice and some orange or lemon zest!

And maybe even some "big kid" cake variations with Kahlua or gringing coffee beans and adding them to the cream cheese!