Baked Alaska the easy way

Kitchen Cabinet: This delightful dessert is perfect if you want to impress for a special occasion

Rhubarb Baked Alaska: not as difficult as it looks. Photograph: iStock

Rhubarb Baked Alaska: not as difficult as it looks. Photograph: iStock

 

I love rhubarb and this dessert is truly delightful and perfect if you want to impress for a special occasion. The sponge and the rhubarb can also be prepared in advance and the sponge and rhubarb even freezes very well if you really want to get a good head start. With this recipe, you will have remaining sponge and rhubarb compote leftover, so do freeze it.

Tip: The key to this recipe is to be ready with all of the elements and then assembly is straight forward.

Gearóid Lynch is chef owner with wife Tara of The Old Poste Inn, Cloverhill, Co Cavan. His first recipe book is My Gluten-free Kitchen, published by Gill Books

Rhubarb Baked Alaska

Makes 5

Ingredients

For the sponge
3 whole egg
90g caster sugar
70g gluten free self -raising flour
20g cornflour

For the rhubarb compote
450g rhubarb, cut into small dice, approximately ½ cm
150g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

For the meringue
100g egg whites
150g caster sugar

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To assemble
Good-quality vanilla ice cream
Icing sugar, to dust

Method

1. Prepare the rhubarb compote by mixing all of the compote ingredients together and refrigerate over night, to allow the juices to run. The next day bring the rhubarb mixture to the boil in a small saucepan, then simmer for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to overcook the rhubarb, as you want it to retain its shape. Pour into a container until required.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tin – ideally 20cm x 30cm x 5cm deep – with parchment paper.

3. Start on the sponge mix by placing the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes, until it reaches the ribbon stage and the mixture holds a figure of eight.

4. Sieve the flour and cornflour into a separate bowl. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, ensuring they are well combined.

5. Carefully add the sponge mixture to the tin and bake for 25 minutes, until the sponge, starts to move away from the sides and when you press the centre it springs back. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Once the sponge has cooled turn out on to a board and remove the parchment paper. Using a round 5cm cutter, cut out your sponge discs, it will yield 22 discs.

6. Scoop the ice cream into balls ahead of time on to parchment paper, and place in a container and put them back in the freezer, ready for assembly.

7. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean, dry bowl to the soft peak stage (the egg white will be light and stiff). Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites, whisking continuously on a medium speed. Once all the sugar is added, whisk at a high speed for about 2 minutes, until the meringue is glossy. Fill the meringue into a clean dry piping bag with a nozzle and set aside.

8. Preheat 180 degrees Celsius/350F/gas mark 4

9. To assemble the Baked Alaska, spoon a little rhubarb mixture over the sponge disc, ensuring it is well moistened with the rhubarb syrup. Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, then pipe the meringue all over the ice cream and sponge, ensuring it’s completely covered with meringue. Alternatively, you could use a spoon to cover the sponge with meringue, making peaks with the back of the spoon.

10. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 1-2 minutes until set and slightly coloured. Serve immediately.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome

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