Despite its name, baked Alaska is actually thought to originate from Norway. Tom Aikens' version is a stunning take that will truly wow as a dessert. The meringue works as an insulator to the centre of the Alaska, providing a creamy hit of vanilla ice cream when delving into its depths. This baked Alaska recipe uses panettone to create the base.
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For the vanilla ice cream, heat the milk, cream, vanilla seeds, vanilla essence, salt and 75g of the sugar in a pan. Bring to a simmer and once simmering cover with cling film and leave for 30 minutes to infuse
500ml of milk
250ml of double cream
1 vanilla pod
5ml of vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
75g of sugar
Bring back to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar together, then pour the hot cream onto the yolks whisking all the time
8 egg yolks
75g of sugar
Transfer to a pan and cook out the custard until it easily coats the back of the spoon. Pass the mixture through a fine chinoise into a bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Churn in an ice cream maker and then freeze
To make the baked Alaska, start with the meringue. Boil the sugar, glucose and water to soft ball stage or 116°C, using a sugar thermometer to gauge the process
1200g of caster sugar
125ml of glucose
280ml of water
As the sugar is coming up to temperature, begin to whisk the egg whites in a large food mixer on a medium to high speed
600g of egg white
As soon as the sugar reaches 116˚C, remove from the heat and pour slowly into the egg whites, making sure not to start with the sugar until the whites begin to expand
Once all the sugar mixture has been added, adjust the whisk down to a low speed and allow to continue until the egg whites cool. Place into a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle
Cut the base off the panettone to a 1.5cm thickness, this will be used for the bottom of the baked Alaska. Place the base piece of panettone at the bottom of an oven proof dish
1 large panettone
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Place 3 big scoops of ice cream in to the middle of the panettone, each scoop touching each other to form a triangle
Pipe the meringue evenly around the ice cream being sure to fully cover the contents, including the base. Place into the oven for 5 minutes, remove to cool
Use a blowtorch to brown the tops of the meringue and serve your baked Alaska
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