As you can tell, Ive slowed way down on my Great British Baking Show recipes. Part of that is Ive been busy with other things and part of it is the bakes are getting more complicated. Ive been dreading making Baked Alaska, the show-stopper challenge from dessert week because from watching the show, it seems like a whole lot of work with lots of potential for disaster.
There are no recipes from the contestants on the PBS website and every time I tried to search for one elsewhere, the only links were about the Ian-Dianne drama. Mary Berry has a recipe for a Neapolitan Baked Alaska, but I wanted to do different flavors. Since it was the beginning of Fall, I decided to go with a carrot cake base with vanilla and salted caramel ice cream. For the meringue, I ended up using Mary Berrys recipe.
For all of these baking show recipes, I ask myself, Would I make this again? and for a lot of the recipes the answer is HELL YEAH but for this recipe it would be no. Its WAY too much work for not my favorite dessert. I would have rather had a carrot cake with cream cheese icing and some baked meringue as two separate desserts. But alas, this recipe was part of my personal challenge so I made it. Maybe you will make your own delicious combination of cake and ice cream that youll love!
So to make it, the first thing you do is bake the cake so that it can cool down. I made my Moms carrot cake (my favorite recipe!) but in sheet cake form so I could cut out a rectangle.
Once you get the cake done, then you can start with assembling what will be the top of the Baked Alaska. I used salted caramel and vanilla ice cream as my two flavors. Soften the ice cream some by leaving it at room temperature for a bit and then make it smooth and spreadable by beating it with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer for a little bit. You dont want it to be completely melted, just workable.
This part is very important whatever dish youre using line it with plastic wrap! I used a bread loaf tin as my vessel because I only have glass bowls and I was nervous they make crack in the freezer. Spread the ice cream into the loaf tin and then freeze for at least an hour to set the ice cream. Repeat with the vanilla layer.
After the vanilla layer has set, cut out a rectangular piece of the carrot cake and place it on top. Youll have a lot of leftover carrot cake that you can snack on throughout the day. I chilled everything for another hour. When your meringue is made and you are ready to bake, take the naked Baked Alaska out of the freezer and turn it out onto an oven proof baking dish. Spread a thin layer of meringue over the whole creation.
Now cover the whole thing with meringue using a piping bag.
Here comes the scary part putting ice cream in a 450F oven. It seemed like it took a long time for my meringue to brown all over and some parts got darker faster than others, probably because they were closer to the heat source. You could also use a torch instead of baking it in the oven but I only had a butane torch and was nervous to use that in the kitchen.
My ice cream became a little melty, as I expected but it didnt totally fall apart. It was definitely tasty but a little sweet.
So over all, if youve got a lot of time on your hands, go ahead and make a Baked Alaska but if you ask me, there are better things to bake out there!
Carrot Cake Baked Alaska
Preptime: 20 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
For the carrot cake:
2 cups + 1 tbsp plain flour, measured and then sifted
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
For the ice cream:
1 pint salted caramel ice cream or gelato, softened
2 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
For the meringue:
225g caster sugar
4 large egg whites
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and oil and beat on medium-high for 1 minute. Add in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, carrots, pineapple, coconut and nuts and beat to combine. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 139 inch baking tin. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. When done, allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to completely cool.
While the cake is cooling, line a bread load tin with plastic wrap. Place the softened salted caramel ice cream in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth and spreadable. Spread the salted caramel ice cream evenly along the bottom with a spatula. Place in the freezer and freeze for at least an hour. Once set, repeat with the vanilla ice cream and freeze for another hour. Once the cake has completely cooled, cut a rectangle to the same size as your loaf in and place it on top of the ice cream layers. Place back in the freezer to chill.
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the egg whites and beat with the whisk attachment to stiff peaks. Place the sugar and water in a pot and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil and let it reach 230F. Keep heating until the mixture reaches 240F. While whisking the egg whites, slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites. Keep whisking for 15 minutes to cool the mixture. When cool, transfer to a large piping bag with a star nozzle.
Remove the loaf tin from the freezer and turn out onto an oven proof baking dish. Spread a thin layer of meringue all over the cake and ice cream. Then making dots with the piping bag until completely covered. Bake at 450 for 4-5 minutes or until the meringue turns golden brown.