For holiday entertaining, why not go for that high-impact moment?” says Community Tavern’s Brenna Beato. As tableside fireworks go, it’s hard to top torching a snowy range of individual baked Alaskas. Are they a bit fiddly to make? Yes and no. Sure, you’ll need to whip up Swiss meringue and find a use for lots of leftover yolks. (Hello, eggnog!) On the other hand, Beato’s version deploys store-bought gelato to streamline prep. And best of all, the Alaskas can hang out in the freezer for 48 hours postassembly, so on event day the only drama comes from the blowtorch.

Community Tavern’s Chocolate Baked Alaskas

Active time:55 minutes
Total time:3 hours, plus optional freezing

3¼ cupsSugar, divided
½ cupAll-purpose flour
¼ cupCake flour
½ cupUnsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp.Baking soda
¾ tsp.Baking powder
¾ tsp.Kosher salt, divided
8 Tbsp.Unsalted butter, room temperature
2Large eggs, room temperature
½ cupGreek yogurt, room temperature
5½ tsp.Vanilla extract, divided
1½ qt.Chocolate gelato
12Egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp.Cream of tartar
 Special equipment: 3-inch round cutter, trigger ice cream scoop, culinary torch

1. Make the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13-by-9-inch pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine ¾ cup sugar, flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt to combine. Add butter and mix until mixture resembles wet sand, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in eggs one by one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add yogurt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix on low to combine, then raise speed to medium and mix until smooth and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake until set in the middle, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Add the gelato: Invert cake on a parchment-lined cutting board. Cut 11 rounds. Set the rounds on two heatproof serving platters, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Top each with a scoop of gelato, using a knife to level the bottom of the scoops so they sit neatly on the rounds. Freeze until very firm, at least 20 minutes.

3. Make the meringue: Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla in a stand mixer bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk mixture continuously until it reaches 140 degrees, about 5 minutes. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high until glossy and stiff, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove cakes from the freezer and spread a generous layer of meringue around each, making sure they are fully covered. Proceed to next step, or freeze for up to 48 hours.

4. Serve: Toast meringue with a torch until golden brown. (If the cakes have been in the freezer, first warm them on the counter for 20 minutes.) Serve immediately.