Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Nigella's Baked Alaska
This is my last post for a few days, so I thought I would go out with a showstopper, Nigella's baked Alaska. Surprisingly easy to make and even easier if you buy the sponge cake base ready made. I did make the base and it was lovely. I have been meaning to give this dessert a try for a while, and Christmas seemed like a good time to give it a go. Thank you to everyone who has supported and followed my blog over the last year. I wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Christmas and a happy and healthy 2014.
Serves 8 -10
FOR THE BASE
6 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of a lemon
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Butter and line the bottom of a 25cm springform tin with baking parchment. If using a processor, put yolks (reserve the whites for later), butter, sugar, flour, cornflour, baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla in a bowl and blitz to a thick, smooth yellow batter. Or beat by hand, creaming the butter and sugar and then beating in egg yolks, then vanilla and zest and finally the dry ingredients.
Spread into the bottom of the prepared tin and bake for 12-15 mins until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the shallow Alaska base cool for a little in the tin on a wire rack before unmoulding, and let it cool completely before the next stage.
FOR THE MERINGUE AND ICE CREAM
6 egg whites
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar ( I did not have this)
200g caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
2 x 500ml tubs of ice cream
Preheat the oven to the hottest it will go and make sure that the shelf is down low.
Whisk the egg whites until they are foamy, then add the salt and cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating well after each addition by which time you should have a thick and glossy meringue mixture. Fold in the vanilla extract.
Allow the ice cream to soften enough to make round balls with an ice cream scoop. Place the sponge onto a lined baking sheet and using both tubs make a mountain of ice cream in the middle of the sponge. Leave a good edge of sponge around the outside. Pile the meringue over the top of the ice cream and completely cover the sponge top and sides, creating a mountainous swirly effect. Make sure there is no ice cream showing through as it will melt in the oven if not protected by the meringue.
Put the as yet unbaked Alaska on it's baking sheet into the oven for the barest of 5 minutes, don't leave it unattended and do not remove until the meringue has turned a golden colour.