Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pineapple baked alaska

Most children love the surprise of this dessert — hot meringue with ice-cold ice cream inside. Do use a good firm ice cream, not a soft scoop, to make sure the center doesn’t soften too quickly.

* Serves 6–8

  • 1 6 to 8-oz. piece store-bought ginger cake
  • 6 slices ripe, peeled pineapple
  • 3 cups tutti-frutti gelato, softening
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • few pieces of fresh pineapple, to decorate

Slice the cake into 2 thick pieces and arrange in a square or circle on a sheet of reusable pan liner on a baking pan, so you can transfer it easily to a serving dish later.

Cut the 6 pineapple slices into triangles or quarters, over the cake to catch any drips. Arrange the pineapple pieces on top of the cake, and then top with the gelato. Immediately put the pan in the freezer to refreeze the gelato, if it has softened too much.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until very stiff, then whisk in the sugar gradually until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy. Spread the meringue mixture evenly all over the gelato and return to the freezer. This can be frozen for a couple of days, if desired.

When ready to serve, heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Put the baking pan into the hot oven for only 5 to 7 minutes, or until turning golden all over. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately, decorated with a few pieces of fresh pineapple.

Variations:

  • Banana baked alaska
When preparing the basic recipe, replace the tutti-frutti gelato with banana custard ice cream and the pineapple with 2 sliced large bananas. Serve decorated with banana chips.

  • Mango & lime baked alaska
Prepare the basic recipe, replacing the tutti-frutti gelato with lime gelato and the pineapple with fresh mango. Serve decorated with lime leaves or finely grated lime zest.

  • Pear & almond baked alaska
Prepare the basic recipe using pound cake, vanilla ice cream, and sliced pears. Serve decorated with toasted almonds.

  • Mixed citrus baked alaska
Prepare the basic recipe using carrot cake, vanilla ice cream, and segments of tangerines, satsumas, mandarins, or clementines. Serve decorated with candied orange peel.

  • Strawberry baked alaska
Prepare the basic recipe, using pound cake instead of ginger cake and halved fresh strawberries instead of pineapple. Serve decorated with fresh strawberries.