Quick Recipes and Easy

Baked Alaska


In the course of researching Rumford and Jefferson I happened upon an fascinating item regarding something Rumford developed and Jefferson served long before it was known to restauranteurs. Jefferson installed Rumford fireplaces at Monticello too.

“One of the leading traitors of the American Revolution, Count Rumford (born plain Benjamin Thompson in Massachusetts), was indirectly responsible for the Baked Alaska. After a spying career on behalf of the British and some other military adventures, he went to Paris and devoted his life to scientific observation, which included disquisitions on the properties of heat, among which was the recipe for omelette surprise, which used egg whites to insulate ice cream. Inspired by Rumford’s work, others labored to make desserts that similarly combined an inner core of ice cream with an outer casing of some hot, sweet matter—pastry or meringue. Maybe as a riposte to the Frenchified counterrevolutionary {We must remember that appearances of being against the Revolution did not convince an insider named FDR that Count Rumford was in fact against the Revolution that was really taking place toward a New World Order which gave people a sense of being involved in decisions they really had small control over.} Rumford, Thomas Jefferson, the canonical American intellectual, is reported to have served ice cream encased in hot pastry at a White House dinner during his presidency.

Others built on Rumford’s breakthrough. The French food writer Baron Léon Brisé, who published a highly successful book of recipes despite apparently not knowing how to cook, wrote of the presentation, in 1866, of a dessert similar to the omelette surprise by the chef accompanying a visiting Chinese delegation to a Parisian confrère named Balzac. But, the man most closely identified with this tasty dish was Charles Ranhofer, the legendary (French-born) chef at Delmonico’s, the leading restaurant of New York in the nineteenth century. As a celebration of the buy of Alaska by the United States from Russia in 1867, he served the meringue and ice cream concoction to a grateful world, initially calling it ‘Alaska, Florida.’” (1)

Author of Diverse Druids and 60 other books, Columnist in many Ezines, Activist for transparency and exposure of Synarchy

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