Ever put ice cream in the oven? No? You should try it, it’s delicious!
Now, before you call me mad, I should add that the ice cream is protected by a thick layer of whipped egg whites – that is unless your first attempt fails, just like mine did!
The video you are watching is actually the second attempt at this dessert. In my first video, I thought it might be nice to put a layer of jam over the top of the ice cream, so that it would create a nice red rim around the ice cream once you cut into the baked Alaska. What I hadn’t considered is that it caused the egg white to slide away from the ice cream, causing a big rip to appear in my meringue. The heat seeped into the centre of the cake and you can imagine what the end result looked like… Messy, to say the least. But we all make mistakes, and after a night of sulking I simply made another one. Nothing like a bit of cake to cheer yourself up, right?
Now, apart from having a freezer full of baked Alaska, I’m actually quite glad that this little disaster took place. If it hadn’t, I probably would’ve never talked to you about what happens when things go wrong in the kitchen! This in itself is such a big topic, that I couldn’t possibly cover it all in one article. I have, however, put some very useful links at the bottom of this page, so do check them out. To make sure that you succeed, take good care when whipping the egg whites. Your bowl and whisk should be absolutely free of any oil – the best way of doing this is running a wedge of lemon across your equipment just before starting. Make sure you separate the eggs correctly – you will be at the mercy of your egg whites, so be really careful not to drop any yolk into it. As a little pointer: it is easiest to separate an egg when it’s cold, but egg whites are best whisked at room temperature. And if things do go wrong in your kitchen, start from the top and remember: this happens to the best of us!
Makes 1 baked Alaska:
1 flan case (approx 6 inches, or 100g – often referred to as medium flan case)
3 egg whites
Half tub of dairy ice cream (500ml)
150g caster sugar
Approx 60-70g frozen berries per person
Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!
And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.
If you’re in the kitchen often enough, chances are that at some point you’ve either burnt, broken or over-salted something. While at the time this might seem like the end of the world, do have a look at this website before you bin everything – you might be able to save it after all!
For some baked Alaska related info and a lovely recipe for dainty mini versions of this dessert, click this link (and do ignore the apostrophe mistakes…).
When making meringue, you can never read up too much about it. From failing to separate eggs to over-whisking, the truth is that a lot can go wrong. But there are great little tricks that prevent you from making these silly mistakes! You can find some of them here.
Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.