When I saw this challenge, I knew what I had to do. I've made baked alaska a few times before, but this time I wanted to do something a bit different with the shape - and so I present to you... Baked Alps!
I adore mountains, especially the bit of the Swiss Alps where my mum lives. They're like home and yet are the most exciting, changeable place to be. Nothing is ever boring in the mountains.
To make my Alps, I simply cut out a bit of the cake in the right shape and then sculpted the mountains with the ice cream. I then made some french meringue and used a small palette knife to cover and perfect my range. I then used a kitchen blowtorch to make them look more realistic.
I'd say this is a picture of the alps in mid-late spring - the brown areas are a combination of the trees and also the snow melting, leaving the bare ground. For this reason, there is a swathe all around the bottom and then more up along the south, sunny side (to the right of the pictures).
My favourite addition to baked alaskas is a fruit layer between the ice cream and cake. The last one I made had an almond and orange sponge base topped with mixed summer fruits which were lightly cooked and then topped with vanilla ice cream and meringue. I feel the sharpness of the fruits is really needed to cut through the sweetness of the rest of the dessert. For my alps I decided to use a layer of fresh blackberries.
Though I absolutely adored making the shape and using the blow torch a bit like a brush, I wasn't hugely pleased with the recipe - though all I think doesn't work is that the cake base and fruit becomes rock solid with all the freezer time. The cake also lost a huge amount of taste when frozen. If I were to make this again, I would sculpt the ice cream on some clingfilm and freeze that, then simply top the cake and fruit with it before covering with meringue and torching.
Despite this, baked alaska is an amazing dessert. I have always thought that I were ever to host a DB challenge, I would choose baked alaska.
The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.
See the challenge recipe, here.
I made a half measure of the challenge recipe for the pound cake in a rectangular tin (I had leftovers).
I added a layer of fresh blackberries in between the cake and ice cream.
I made a french meringue with 1 egg white and 55g of caster sugar as I didn't need much.