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How to make homemade Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska is an old-fashioned dessert classic. A pudding made up of sponge cake topped with ice cream, this sweet treat, which is also known as "omelette à la norvégienne," is covered in meringue before baked in a hot oven. While you can make your own homemade cake and ice cream from scratch, in this recipe learn how create an impressive and visually appealing Baked Alaska in a fraction of the time.

Ice cream in a 260 C degree (500 F) oven? As long as it's bundled up in a thick layer of meringue, the outside caramelizes, and the inside remains brr-illiantly chilly.

- Martha Stewart Living

Prepping the Baked Alaska

Put clingfilm in four 100ml (3.5 fl oz) ramekins leaving an overhang, and spray with cooking spray. Cut out four cake circles that will fit in the bottom of those ramekins (you can use a cookie cutter). Then, place the circles of cake in the bottom of each bowl.

Add two big scoops of chocolate ice cream to each cake, smoothing out the surface with a spatula. Cut out four more cake circles and place on top of the ice cream, then add two scoops of vanilla ice cream on each cake. After you have assembled the cakes, place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour so that the shape sets.

Preparing the meringue

Set up a heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and add egg whites, sugar, lemon and cream of tartar. Whisk the mixture until the sugar begins to dissolve. Then, transfer the bowl to the stand mixer, and using the whisk attachment, whisk until a stiff meringue forms. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes.

Building the Baked Alaska

Preheat the oven to 260C/500F. Remove the ice cream and cake layers out of the freezer, unwrap the clingfilm, and put the cakes onto a baking sheet. Cover each cake with about 130g (1 cup) of meringue, making sure to add a thick coat. Bake in the oven on high heat, for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the meringue turns brown. If you have a kitchen blow torch, you can use this to caramelise the outside surface of the meringue.

What you'll need

390g (3 cups) vanilla bean ice cream, good quality 390g (3 cups_ chocolate ice cream, good quality 1 sheet of syrup, sponge or white sheet cake 6 egg whites 240g (2 cups) caster sugar a squeeze lemon juice Pinch of cream of tartar

Makes 4 cakes

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About the Author

Alexandra Lazar is a writer, editor and eater based in Argentina. She writes for various for newspapers, magazines, online publications, travel guides and blogs about food, wine, bars and travel.