Baked Alaska Recipe

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Chicken & Eggs River Cottage HandbookThis is a truly great, much under-appreciated pudding. Not only delicious, it has the added impossibility of ice cream in the oven. It is as simple as a cake or biscuity base, piled high with vanilla ice cream and smothered in a mountain of meringue.

  • Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

For the base
  • 200 g digestive biscuits
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100 g butter
For the ice cream
  • 1 quantity custard OR 500 ml tub of your favourite vanilla ice cream
For the meringue
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 5 egg whites
How to Make It
  1. To make the base, break up the biscuits and blitz briefly in a food processor to coarse crumbs. Alternatively, place them in a strong plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin. Mix the biscuit crumbs and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, add to the crumb mixture and mix to combine. Tip into a 20 cm spring form cake tin, spread evenly and press with the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge or freezer to chill.
  2. For the ice cream, if you’re making your own, churn the custard in an ice-cream maker until firm. Transfer to a tub and place in the freezer. Take the ice cream out of the freezer 10 minutes before assembling the pudding to let it soften a little.
  3. If your oven has an integral grill, heat it to high. (Otherwise preheat the oven to 230°C/Gas mark 8.) Take the biscuit base out of the fridge/freezer and remove the side of the tin, leaving the biscuit on the base of the tin. Pile the ice cream on top of the biscuit base, leaving a 3 cm clear margin around the edge. Put in the freezer.
  4. Make the meringue, whipping it to soft peaks. Take the ice-cream-topped base from the freezer and cover it evenly with meringue, creating a layer at least 5 cm thick. This is vital: it insulates the ice cream, preventing it from melting.
  5. Place in the middle of the oven and let the grill (or heat of the oven) colour and lightly cook the meringue. This can take anything from 3–6 minutes. After a few minutes, check frequently as it can quickly burn. When the contours are browned, with a hint of dark on the ridges, whip it out, immediately cut into it and serve.
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