I haven't made proper ice cream for a long time as I usually make the cheats version with cream and condensed milk that doesn't require churning in an ice cream machine. When I was invited to enter the Great British Chefs Summertime Bloggers Challenge, to cook up one of their Summertime Recipes, I decided to go for Simple Strawberry Ice Cream, a recipe by chef Graham Campbell, which I could then use in my Great Bloggers Bake Off Neapolitan Baked Alaska.
The ice cream was a simple enough recipe that didn't require any technical skills, but does require the use of an ice cream machine (mine is an inexpensive one with a bowl that needs freezing in advance). I must confess that I'm not great at following recipes and I do tend to miss items out or skip stages, I'm much better at making them up as I go along. I did throw the strawberries in whole before realising that the recipe called for them to be quartered, so I mashed them a little with a potato masher, but shhhhhh. Apart from that I followed the recipe almost exactly, well aside from the part where I missed adding the salt.
I then went on to make my Baked Alaska, thankfully without sabotage from Diana, queen of removing other peoples ice cream from the freezer, although at one point I did find an 11yr old standing with the freezer door open a little too long for my liking.
A baked Alaska is a dessert that I've always wanted to give a go but never have, and to be honest, isn't that difficult. It just takes a little bit of time and patience for the ice cream to freeze solid before covering with meringue, and then it's all go, go go before the ice cream melts, which it did start to whilst I was taking photos, as you can see here.
Then there is the problem of what to do with a baked Alaska once you've taken the photos and its only 4pm in the afternoon. I can confirm that it doesn't do kids any harm to have baked Alaska for their dinner every once in a while.
Neapolitan Baked Alaska
175g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
50g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 litre vanilla ice cream
1 litre strawberry ice cream
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
- Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and creamy
- Beat in the eggs one at a time
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder and fold into the cake batter
- Divide mixture between 2 round cake tins, lightly greased and lined with baking paper
- Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes
- Turn out of the tins and allow cakes to cool on a wire rack
- Line the same cake tins (cooled and washed) with clingfilm
- Press the vanilla ice cream into one cake tin and strawberry into the other and then return to the freezer
- Once the cakes are cooled level the tops off with a sharp knife
- Place one cake onto a baking sheet (that fits into your freezer) and turn the vanilla ice cream onto it
- Lay the second sponge on top of the vanilla ice cream and then the strawberry ice cream on top of that
- Return to the freezer whilst you make the meringue
- Preheat your oven to its highest setting - I think mine is around 260C (the temperature dial has worn off as the oven is so old!)
- Whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks
- Whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time until it has all been incorporated
- You should be able to hold the bowl of meringue upside down above your head without it tipping out - go on, try it.
- Remove the ice cream and sponge from the freezer and, working as quickly as possible, cover it in meringue, dabbing at it to form peaks
- Place it into the hot oven for around 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the edges
- Serve immediately