lifestyle

Baked Alaska is the latest dessert trend for the summer


A hot and cold treat (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

First, there were the banana bread weeks, then there was the spring of sourdough and later everyone was making cinnamon rolls.

Lockdown has been filled with all sorts of baking trends – and apparently the latest is the baked Alaska.

Last in the spotlight after the famous bingate incident of Bake Off series five in 2014, the dessert is made up of a cake base, ice cream centre and meringue casing.

The meringue is baked so it’s cooked a little on the outside, but the ice cream in the middle doesn’t melt, giving a mix of hot and cold when you slice it up.

According to Waitrose, there’s been a huge spike in interest for the dessert. Searches on Waitrose.com are up 200% on this time last year.

The good news about the trend is that it’s pretty easy to create, but looks very impressive.

You can buy the cake and the ice cream, so it’s just a case of assembling it together and adding the meringue.

You do need to allow a time for freezing so not something you can do last minute, but great for all the dinner parties you’ve got planned now restrictions have eased.

While chefs might use a blow torch to make it look beautiful on the outside, you can easily cook it in a conventional oven.

How to make baked Alaska

The Waitrose baked Alaska (Picture Waitrose)

This Waitrose recipe uses Christmas cake but can be adapted with Madeira cake or if you have other leftover baked goods, use those instead.

You can also use whatever ice cream you want for this recipe, or try a combination of flavours by spooning a little of each one into the bowl.

While you can make the different elements ahead of time, cook it and serve immediately to get the ice cream before it melts too much.

Ingredients

  • 250g ice cream
  • 150g Madeira cake
  • 2 large egg whites
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 110g caster sugar
  • vegetable oil, for greasing

Method

  1. Leave the ice cream out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes to soften, then scoop into a bowl.
  2. Line a bowl (a deep soup bowl about 10cm in diameter across the top should work) with cling film. Spoon the ice cream into the bowl and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. Cut the cake into 1cm-thick slices and make a 10cm circle to cover the ice cream. (You may need to put 2 slices together.) Sit the circle on top of the ice cream; return to the freezer while you make the meringue.
  4. Put the egg whites in a clean bowl, add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Using electric beaters, whisk on a low speed until frothy. Increase the speed and whisk to firm peaks. Add the sugar in 4 additions, whisking well between each, to make a smooth, glossy and stiff meringue.
  5. Invert the cake and ice cream onto a lightly oiled baking tray. Spoon the meringue over the top and sides, and use the spoon to create a rippled effect. Freeze for one hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Cook the baked Alaska for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

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