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Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

Brought to you by: OcadoLife
    6 serving

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 6

This recipe is a light and flavourful take on the childhood favourite pudding, the baked Alaska. Created by the pastry chef, cookbook author and Guardian Feast writer, Ravneet Gill, the dessert sees is a delicate base of homemade hazelnut sponge topped with readymade ice-cream and a cloud of Swiss meringue that’s blowtorched for a final flourish. Also known as a ‘Norwegian Omelette’, the name ‘Baked Alaska’ is said to have been coined by the chef Antoine Alciatore in Louisiana in 1867 to honour Alaska joining the USA that year. This gloriously gooey mix of satisfyingly tasty textures and temperatures is ready in just over an hour, is fun to cook, and always goes down a storm with children and grown-ups alike. We’ve gone for Chocolate & Roasted Hazlenut ice cream but the big question is, what ice cream will you choose?

Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kidd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Photo assistant and retouching: Sophie Bronze. Food styling assistant: Jessica Geddes.
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Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 60g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 60g chopped hazelnuts, roasted, ground
  • 120g egg white
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 handful hazlenuts, roasted
  • 2 tubs of your favourite ice-cream

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Line the base of a 20cm sandwich tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, cream the butter and golden caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well combined before adding the next. Combine a pinch of salt, the flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts in a small bowl, then add to the butter mixture and mix gently to combine. Scoop into the lined tin, level the top with the back of a spoon and bake for 25-30 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool fully.

Step 3

Line a 12½cm diameter bowl with greaseproof paper or a few layers of clingfilm, leaving enough overhang to help you lift out the frozen ice-cream later. Push your chosen ice-cream into the lined bowl, then freeze solid.

Step 4

Bring a large, deep pan filled halfway with water to a gentle simmer. Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar in a large bowl that will sit over, but not touch, the boiling water, then set the bowl over the simmering water and stir with a whisk until the sugar dissolves. (You can check by feeling the mixture between your fingers: it shouldn’t be at all grainy.)

Step 5

Lift the bowl off the water pan and whisk on a medium speed until cool – the meringue mix should now be voluminous.

Step 6

Trim the cooled sponge so it’s 17½cm in diameter with a flat top. Take the ice-cream out of the freezer and flip on to the sponge and pull off the wrapping. Spoon the meringue all over the sponge – it should be thick and full of peaks. At this point, you can put this back into the freezer ready to blowtorch and serve later, or blowtorch immediately and serve. Garnish with roasted hazelnuts on the plate.

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