For a while now I have wanted to make a baked Alaska. It may be a bit old fashioned, but I’ve never eaten one before, and it’s fascinates me. A Baked Alaska basically consisted of 3 layers: a sponge cake, ice-cream and a meringue. What is amazing about it, is the whole thing goes in the oven, yet the ice cream stayed frozen. You don’t need an excuse to make a Baked Alaska. The Baked Alaska is the celebration.
My mum mistakenly believed we were going to buy a sponge cake, ice cream and simply put the component together, and cover the whole thing in the meringue. But where is the fun in that?! I wanted to create a taste sensation. I wanted a challenge. I wanted to be able to say ‘I made that’. I wanted excitement, and to be proud of what we created. I had high expectations from this pudding. I wanted this to represent everything I wants out of life.
I loved making this Baked Alaska. I loved figuring out what flavours each layer was going to be. I loved researching the techniques to making a successful Baked Alaska. I loved making each individual component, and the excitement when we, for a very brief moment,were worried that it wasn’t going to fit in the oven. I loved the anticipation of watching the meringue through the glass door for the 3-4 minutes in the oven, slowly watching it turn a golden colour. I had thought I was just making a desert. But my absolute favourite thing about today was how it became a social event. I loved the fact that my parents friends heard about the Baked Alaska and came round to help us finish it off. But most of all I loved spending the afternoon with my mum, working, laughing, and for one brief moment, even dancing together! All these little things are what life is about.
So, for those of you that want to have a go at creating your own master piece I have put together a simple step by step guide (unlike the previous blog, with my fague measurements for making a pumpkin coconut cake!). Our layers consisted of a chocolate sponge cake, raspberry icecream, a basic meringue, and a chocolate-mint sauce for serving. We spent the afternoon tasting and adjusting the flavours as we went along. It’s one of the fun parts of baking! But you can be as creative and adventive as you like.
How to make a Baked Alaska in 10 easy steps.
Ice cream (homemade or shop bought)
Cake (homemade or shop bought)
Meringue – 3 eggs, 200g caster sugar, cream of tartar
Chocolate sauce – 200ml double cream, 200g chocolate
Step 1: put two layers of cling film inside a bowl
Step 2: fill the bowl with slightly melted, or not quite set ice cream. Make sure the bowl is the same size or smaller than the cake. You can cheat and buy a tub (or 2 or 3… layered ice cream would look sensational!). My homemade raspberry recipe is below. Place the ice cream in the freezer until hard.
Step 3: place your sponge cake on a baking tray without lips (any flavour you like). If you bake your own cake, make sure it has cooled down.
Step 4: make your meringue by whisking 3 eggs whites until soft peaks form. Add 100g caster sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar. continue to whisk until hard peaks form. Fold in the remaining 100g of caster sugar.
Step 5: To make the sauce, bring 200ml double cream to the boil. melt in 200g chocolate pieces (we did 100g dark chocolate, and 100g dark mint chocolate for a true taste sensation). It turns out chocolate mint and raspberry are AMAZING together!
Step 6: use the cling film to remove the ice cream from the bowl and place upside down onto the cake. Remove the cling film.
Step 7: cut the cake down to the size of the ice cream dome if necessary
Step 8. working quickly, thickly spread the meringue mixture in peaks to completely cover the cake and ice cream. Ensure there are no gaps, or the ice cream will melt in the oven
Step 9: put the whole thing in a hot oven for 3-4 minutes until the meringue turns golden.
Step 10: slide onto a serving place. Pour on the chocolate sauce. And stuffed your smiling little faces 🙂
To make Raspberry ice cream:
300ml double cream
300ml full fat milk
350g frozen raspberries
Juice from half a lemon
A cup of caster sugar
1. Blend the fruit, lemon and caster sugar.
2. Once smooth stir in the cream and milk
3. Pour the liquid thru a strainer, to remove any seeds, into an ice cream maker, and churn for an hour. If you don’t have any ice cream maker, pour into a cling film layered bowl, place directly into the freezer and stir every hour until it starts to harden (over about 6 hours).
The chocolate cake sponge
2 eggs (slightly whip)
150g butter (softened)
125g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
50g dark chocolate (melted)
1. preheat the oven, and butter the cake tin.
2. beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. beat in the eggs
4. fold in the flour
5. add the mixture to the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes (220C)
6. remove cake from oven and cool
Don’t forget to sing, dance and laugh, as deemed appropriate, between steps.