This post has been sitting in drafts for so long. Hugh Jordan kindly gave me a blow torch before Christmas and I’ve been meaning to do this blog for ages. With being diagnosed with endometriosis, having two surgeries my head has been all over the place so first I must apologise to Hugh Jordan for the delay. I absolutely love the blow torch. I previously had a small one that I picked up in Lidl/Aldi, and while it was good, it wasn’t very powerful. I’ve been using the blowtorch on pretty much anything I can think of. Meringue, cupcakes, crisping up the skin on chicken or pork. Any opportunity I get I have the blowtorch out. You can buy the blowtorch head here and the gas refills here.
Did you know Baked Alaska doesn’t originate in Alaska? When I had it in Eleven Madison Park I was told it originated in Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City. Another place I’ve read it originated from was Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Now I don’t know which is true. All I know is that it doesn’t come from Alaska.
Baked Alaska has all the components I love about a dessert. Meringue, ice-cream (’cause I’m a big child) and a sponge cake or pastry base. There are so many different flavours and combinations that it can come in. Obviously, you don’t need to make your own ice-cream and you can use any flavour you want but if you did want to make white chocolate ice cream then here’s a link to how I make it.
So onto the recipe.
As I said, it’s made up of 3 components. If you’re making the ice cream you should start with that. If you’re using bought ice cream then you can skip that part and start with the curd. I went with a raspberry curd, one because I’ve never had it and two because I think raspberry and white chocolate are a great pairing.
This one I made with a sweet shortcrust pastry. You can buy or make it yourself.
Apart from the meringue, you can make everything a day in advance. Since I’m using a blow torch on the meringue, I make swiss meringue because the egg whites are cooked. It’s my favourite type of meringue to make. If you prefer using regular meringue (beating egg whites until firm and then beating in the sugar) then you can also use that and then put it in the oven for 5mins to brown.
- Spread curd over the base of the pastry
- Top the curd with the ice cream (I did mine in the sun so you can see it started to melt!)
- Spoon the meringue over the ice cream and use the blowtorch to brown the outside. If you’re not using a blowtorch If not place it back into the oven at 150°C for 5 mins.
- 500 g Frozen Raspberries
- 110 g Caster Sugar
- 15 g Butter
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp Corn Flour
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Eggs
- 225 g Cream Flour
- 150 g Butter
- 50 g Icing Sugar
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tbsp Cold Water
- 250 g Caster Sugar
- 4 Egg Whites
Add the raspberries, caster sugar, lemon juice, and water in a pot over a medium heat and stir to combine until it has broken down. Approx 10min
Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely
Blitz in a food processor for 10 seconds. (optional)
Remove the seeds by straining the mixture using a sieve. Push the mixture down with a spatula or spoon to hurry things along.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg yokes and cornflour until you have a paste.
Put the puree into a pot and back onto a low heat. Whisk in the egg yolk and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook at a simmer for approx a minute or until the mixture thickens. Make sure you keep an eye on it because this can happen quite quickly.
Add the butter and stir until it's completely melted and combined.
Store in an airtight jar until you're ready to use it.
Sieve the flour and icing sugar together.
Add half of the flour mixture to a bowl and add the butter, egg and water. Cream with a fork until well blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix to a firm dough.
Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C
Roll out pastry on a floured surface and place it in your tin.
Prick the base with a fork and either use crumpled tinfoil or baking paper with baking beans/rice.
Bake for 20mins and then remove the tinfoil/beans and put it back in for another 5min.
In a heatproof bowl, add the egg whites and sugar and whisk until combined.
Place over a pot of simmering water and continue whisking.
You're looking for the mixture to reach 50°C or until you can no longer feel grains of rice in it. Approx 5-6min
Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until the meringue has cooled and formed stiff peaks.