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Baked Hawaii brings home a bit of Maui goodness


A Baked Alaska is a mound of meringue over a mound of ice cream over a slice of cake (usually sponge or pound). It is credited to Delmonico restaurant in New York, created to honor the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. It may have kindled thoughts of snow and ice.

A Baked Hawaii is meringue over ice cream over pineapple upside-down cake, created by Hula Grill Kaanapali, without thoughts of snow or ice. Chef Chris Schobel describes the cakes rather as little grass shacks, or maybe volcanoes.

Sharon Matsunaga is seeking the recipe based on a rave review from a friend’s brother, who ordered it twice at the Maui restaurant.

It’s a long one, so I’m going to stop talking here except for this note: The restaurant makes the cakes in ramekins about the diameter of a pineapple slice and browns the meringue topping using a torch. For home use, this recipe is modified to use one square baking pan. For torchless browning, put the cake in a 500-degree oven for a few minutes, as you would a lemon meringue pie. The meringue acts as insulation, keeping the ice cream from melting.

Hula Grill Baked Hawaii

» Topping:

4 ounces butter (1/2 stick)

1/4 cup brown sugar

9 slices fresh pineapple, about 1/4-inch thick

» Cake:

6 ounces butter (3/4 stick)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

4 eggs

1-1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup fine cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts

3 cups vanilla ice cream

» Meringue:

4 egg whites

2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

» Caramel rum sauce:

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup dark rum

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

4 ounces butter (1/2 stick)

To make topping: Melt butter in saucepan and add brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Pour into greased 9-inch square cake pan. Arrange pineapple slices in pan.

To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, then beat in buttermilk and eggs.

Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Add gradually to creamed mixture. Fold in nuts. Pour over topping in pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool slightly.

Cut cake into squares around each pineapple slice. Place slices on plates, with pineapple on the bottom. Top each square with scoop of ice cream.

To make meringue: Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Cover cake and ice cream with meringue, sealing meringue at bottom. Brown meringue using a propane torch. (If you don’t have a torch, put cake in freezer until ice cream and meringue are firm. Then place in 500-degree oven a few minutes until top is brown.)

To make rum sauce: Heat sugar and rum over medium heat, stirring constantly to caramelize sugar. Slowly add cream and butter, stirring until syrupy. Watch closely so sauce does not burn (remove a little early as sauce will continue to cook off the heat). Serve with cake.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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