This recipe is one of my favourite addition to our Daylesford café menu this Christmas and so sharing the recipe with you all was a must.
Though the process may initially look a little lengthy, each element is relatively simple and each can be done in stages – and the best bit of all is that the whole thing can be prepared in advance and placed in the freezer ready for the big day.
Ingredients (serves 10 – 12)
3 large eggs
95g caster sugar
95g plain flour
Pinch of salt
20g unsalted butter, melted
3 medium egg whites
300g caster sugar
zest of one orange
small pinch of mixed spice
2-3 drops of grand marnier (optional)
Method difficulty: hard
Equipment: you will need a 600ml pudding basin or 8 individual stout dariole moulds and an ice cream maker.
Begin by preparing your ice cream. Combine the cream and milk in a pan with half of the crumbled christmas pudding. Set over a medium heat and bring to boiling point. Remove from the heat, add the whisky and set aside.
In a clean bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Pour in the hot milk and cream in a steady stream, whilst continuing to whisk. Pour into a clean pan and place over a moderate heat, stirring until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, churn in an ice cream machine until almost set – this should take 15-20 minutes. Crumble in the remaining christmas pudding and churn briefly to incorporate. Transfer the mixture to a container and place in the freezer.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and grease and line a shallow baking tin or swiss roll tin. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale, thick and creamy or until it has reached ‘ribbon stage’ – this means that when the whisk is lifted out of the mixture, the batter that falls back into the bowl will briefly rest on the surface of the mixture, leaving a ribbon trail.
Sieve half of the flour and salt over the whisked eggs and gently fold in. Once incorporated, sift in the remaining flour and repeat. Pour the melted butter around the edges of the bowl and then gently fold in from the sides, again being as gentle as possible. Pour the mixture into your lined tin and bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes until lightly golden and just cooked through.
Whisk together the egg whites until stiff and then continue to beat while gradually adding the caster sugar. Beat until thick and glossy. Fold in the orange zest, mixed spice and grand marnier and transfer to a piping bag.
Place the top of the pudding bowl over the centre of the cooled sponge and cut around it to create a disc. Leave the sponge disc on the baking tray, discarding any excess sponge.
Fill the pudding bowl with the ice cream, smoothing the top. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Next, turn the ice cream out of the pudding basin onto the sponge disc. Pipe the meringue all over the ice cream, working as quickly as you can and creating swirls and beautiful piped shapes. At this stage the baked alaska can be frozen until needed.
To serve, pre-heat the oven to 200°c. Remove the alaska from the freezer, place onto a baking tray and bake for 6-10 minutes until the outside is a beautiful golden brown. Serve immediately!
Tip – to create individual mini baked alaskas, simply use small dariole moulds in place of the pudding bowl in this recipe.