I’ve never tried baked Alaska before, I feel like baked Alaska is one of those dessert you only really see in expensive restaurants.
I don’t go to expensive restaurants very often, or any restaurants to be honest, I don’t leave my house much. So I wanted to make this.
Turns out this is actually pretty easy to make and it tastes so good. Ice cream and cake is always good together, but the toasted meringue makes it so much better.
Breakdown of the process
There are 3 different parts to this, you got the cake layer, the ice cream and then the meringue on the outside.
We’re going to do this over 2 days so that the ice cream has enough time to freeze.
I know a 2 day process might seem like a lot of work, but you’re not doing much, you’re just waiting for the ice cream to freeze.
Whenever making any desserts with ice cream, it’s better to have patience. The last thing you want is for the ice cream to start melting when you are working with it, it will cause a lot of stress.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:
- Make the ice cream
- Add the ice cream into a bowl.
- Leave this in your freezer.
- Bake your cake layer
- Wrap this baked layer in cling film and leave this in your fridge.
- Put the cake layer and ice cream together.
- Place this back into the freezer.
- Make the meringue.
- Cover the cake and ice cream with the meringue.
- Toast the meringue.
- Now you can finally dig in.
I just wanted to mention, the reason why I baked the cake on day 1 and left it in the fridge was just to make things easier the next day.
I thought it would be easier on day 2 if you only need to make the meringue.
But if you wanted to make the cake layer on day 2, you could!
The ice cream
The first thing we are going to do is make the ice cream.
You of course can just buy the ice cream. But I thought would be fun to make it.
I don’t have an ice cream machine, so we’re making a cheat, easier, no-churn version of ice cream.
You only need 3 ingredients for this:
- Double cream – also known has heavy cream.
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vanilla – for flavour.
To make it, you just need to whip these 3 ingredients together until the mixture becomes thick and you get firm peaks. Then you just freeze it.
Plain vanilla is a little boring, so I made my ice cream, strawberry cheesecake flavoured.
To do this, I just made a strawberry purée and swirled this into the ice cream base. Then I also mixed in some chopped pieces of cheesecake.
I’ve included how to make the strawberry purée in the recipe card below.
You don’t need to make this strawberry cheesecake flavoured though. Add in whatever you want into your ice cream base!
The cake layer
I decided to make a chocolate cake layer, just because chocolate pairs well with strawberry.
You of course can make whatever flavour cake you want, use one that will go well with the flavour of ice cream you made.
But if you are making a chocolate cake layers, here are the ingredients I used for mine:
- Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder is always best to use.
- Hot water mixed with coffee – the hot water is going to bloom the cocoa powder, which will enhance the chocolate flavour. The coffee will also enhance this flavour.
- Oil – for moisture.
- Buttermilk – also for moisture.
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
- Sugar – I used a mixture of white and brown sugar. The brown sugar is going to add moisture as well as some extra flavour.
- Baking soda – to make the cake rise.
- Vinegar – this will react with the baking soda, giving you a lighter fluffier cake.
Ingredient substitutions for the cake
The coffee doesn’t make your chocolate cake taste like coffee, it just enhances the chocolate flavour. It makes the cake taste more chocolaty.
So if you are worried about the cake tasting like coffee, you don’t need to be.
If you did want to leave it out though, you can. Just make sure to still add the hot water.
In cakes, typically you either use butter or oil. Butter adds flavour, oil adds moisture.
When it comes to chocolate cakes, I feel like chocolate is an overwhelming flavour so butter doesn’t really add anything to the overall flavour of the cake.
So I like to use oil to get that extra moistness. I use vegetable oil, but any flavourless oil works.
If you only had butter though, you can use this instead. Just get 100g of unsalted butter and melt it.
Buttermilk adds a lot of moisture into this cake. If you didn’t have it, plain natural yoghurt works great too.
If you didn’t have either, I would normally recommend making a buttermilk substitute by mixing milk and lemon juice together.
But for this recipe, we’re making a small amount of batter, that only uses a small amount of buttermilk.
So just use whole milk instead, it won’t make a huge difference.
The last step in making the cake batter is to mix baking soda and vinegar together.
This vinegar is going to react with the baking soda, which will help the cake rise more as it bakes, and give it a nice velvety texture.
I used white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works great too.
If you didn’t have either, lemon juice works as well.
For the meringue, we’re making a Swiss meringue.
For this all you need is:
- Egg whites
- Granulated sugar or caster sugar
- Vanilla extract
That is it. All you need to do is heat the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.
Then whip them until you get stiff peaks, mix in the vanilla and it’s done. Just add it on top of the cake and use a blow torch to toast it until…toasty.
A few tips for making the meringue
Use fresh egg whites
Make sure to use fresh egg whites, not the ones from a carton. They don’t whip up as well.
Only make this before you’re going to use it
You don’t want to make this ahead of time, the meringue will start to deflate. And then it will be hard to whip up again.
So only make it before needing it!
How to toast the meringue without a blow torch
If you don’t have a blow torch NOT TO WORRY you can still make this.
Just pre-heat your oven to 260c/500f and place the baked Alaska in there for a few minutes, just until the outside has browned.
Be careful with this though, don’t forget about it, you don’t want the ice cream to melt.