Gingerbread Baked Alaska
225g butter, cubed
225g soft dark brown sugar
70g black treacle
165g golden syrup
300ml full fat milk
350g plain flour
Pinch of salt
11/2 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
(Alternatively you can cheat with a shop-bought gingerbread 500g packet, or make a week ahead)
200ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
4 medium yolks
75g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
½ tsp ground ginger – (stirred through the ice cream base before churning)
4/5 balls stem ginger – roughly chopped (stirred through the ice cream base before churning or stirred through a softened ice cream just before assembly)
(Shop-bought ice cream can be used too)
150g egg whites
300g caster sugar
(Pre-cooked meringues are also an option!)
To make the gingerbread:
- Heat the oven to 170c. Prepare a 30 x 20cm roasting tin or cake tin, line with non-stick baking paper.
- In a saucepan place the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup. Place over a low heat, stirring regularly until just melted. Stir in the milk and allow to cool further.
- Sift the flour, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and bicarb into a medium bowl. Make a well, break the eggs into the well and stir the eggs with a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the egg and start to draw in flour a little at a time.
- As the mixture becomes thicker (it should have no lumps – if it does, keep stirring), start to add in a little of the cooled butter mixture and stir in each addition until all the liquid has been incorporated.
- You should have a loose cake batter. Pour into the prepared tin and place straight into the centre of the oven.
6. Bake for 50-60mins approx.. Do not open the oven door until 45 minutes has passed or your cake may sink.
- The cake should be well rise, deep golden, springy to the touch and an inserted skewer should come out clean with cake crumbs no raw batter.
- Allow to cool in the tin slightly before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Store well – it can be wrapped for up to 3 weeks before using and eating. There will be spare cake to use for the Baked Alaskas.
To make the ice cream:
- Cut the vanilla pod length ways and scrape the vanilla seeds out using a cutlery knife. Place the vanilla pod and seeds in a small pan with the milk and cream.
- Place the pan on a low heat and allow to scald/just before a simmer and switch the heat off. Ideally leave the vanilla pod to infuse for 20 mins.
- Put the yolks in a bowl with the sugar combine well, gradually add the vanilla-infused milk/cream, mix well.
- Rinse out the milk/cream pan, return the uncooked yolk mixture back to the pan.
- Prepare a sieve and bowl. Place the pan back on a low/medium heat. Stirring constantly. When the mixture thickens and the custard coats the back of the spoon similar to a single- double cream consistency strain the custard through the sieve. Place a piece of clingfilm to contact with the surface, allow to come to room temperature.. Place the custard in the fridge to cool completely.
- If you have an ice cream churner, churn specifically for assembly of the Alaskas and freeze from churning texture (a thick liquid, similar to Mr Whippy ice cream). Stir through the ground ginger, cinnamon and stem ginger.
- Alternatively freeze the custard completely in an appropriate container for 6 hours approx.
- When ready to assemble Alaskas, cut down the custard block into small cubes and blend in a food processor until smooth and a thick Mr Whippy-like consistency has been reached. Stir through the ground ginger, cinnamon and stem ginger. Use immediately to assemble.
To assemble base the day ahead:
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften for 15 minutes before use.
- Prepare a bowl for shaping (glass bowl, 3.5inch deep, 6.5inch diameter). Lightly oil and line with a double layer of cling film, flush to the side and with no air pockets.
- Slice the gingerbread into 1/2cm thick slices. Using cutters cut a disc that fits into the bottom of the bowl. Cut strips about 4-5cm wide and place into the bowl all the way around with the strips slightly overlapping to prevent any leakage.
- Using another larger cutter cut a disc that will be the base of your baked Alaska.
- Briefly place into the freezer to harden the gingerbread slightly to make assembly easier.