( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tamara West
Create a bit of theatre by serving a baked alaska — it is really very simple to make. I have included a recipe for a simple sponge, or you could buy a sponge cake instead (approx 225g in size).
For the sponge
- Heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.
- Dust tins with a little caster sugar, tipping out the excess as you go, and repeat with a dusting of flour.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer, add the softened butter, caster sugar, eggs and milk. Beat until smooth.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins and spread smooth with a spatula.
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden and the cake shrinks away from the sides of the tin.
- Stand for 5 minutes before turning out on to a cake rack to cool completely.
For the baked alaska
- Line a 4-cup capacity dome-shaped bowl with plastic wrap, ensuring some is hanging over the edges.
- Cut 1 sponge cake to fit the base and sides of the bowl. Place ice cream in the centre, pushing it down as you fill, then cover completely with more sponge cake.
- Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and place in the freezer. (Note: If you made your own sponge you will have 1 leftover, this can be frozen for another use.)
- When you are ready to serve, heat the oven to 230C.
- Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they are stiff. Gradually add the caster sugar until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
- Remove the bowl from the freezer and using the plastic wrap to help you, turn out the sponge and ice cream on to an ovenproof plate, or line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Cover the whole thing with the meringue, being careful to cover completely — no gaps or holes.
- Place in the oven and bake until the meringue is golden brown. Keep an eye on it so it does not over-colour, about 5 minutes.
- Serve with slices of freshly-cut mango.
Make a change
Sprinkle sponge cake in the bowl with 2 Tbsp dry sherry. In season, serve with a bowl of sliced peaches and raspberries.