Baked Alaska, burnished pillows
A love affair with baked Alaska started many moons ago, made by chef or friend they Wow the eye and then tease with their randomness, anticipation then hot, cold, sweet and luxx.
Italian meringue, Swiss meringue, any type of meringue works well and a simple and effective recipe will be forthcoming shortly but truth be told other than mustering the meringue its an essentially an assembly job. There are many combinations and variations including the option to flambé with ( for my taste ) Orange liquere such as Grand Mariner, Triple Sec or Cointreau. A little goes a long way and please be careful not to loose your eyebrows. An over achieving and exuberant host once lost his left eyebrow when truthfully a little snip with a pair of scissors would have been a tad more appropriate.
For bases: Slices of sponge, cake or lightly toasted brioche work well, buy, make, use up or create and show off as your ability and proficiency allows. The same goes for the ice cream. Shape small discs to suit your muffin or pattie tin, press out with a glass or cup if you dont have a suitable cutter. Once cut to shape store in an air tight bag or similar.
Note: if your pattie or muffin tins are not nonstick a very fine spray of a tasteless oil or light brush of melted butter may be in order.
Scoops of ice cream: can be rolled into balls and then placed in the pattie tins and returned to the freezer pending assembly, roll these in coconut, hundreds and thousands, grated chocolate for another layer of texture and flavour.
Simple steps and all done in advance and ready for quick assembly whilst the meringue is whipping its self into a frenzy – you are not.
Remove the pattie tin from the freezer, lift the ice cream with a spoon and place the brioche underneath. When all are done lavishly spoon a dome of the meringue and smooth with a pallet knife, alternatively pipe or stipple with a fork, just work as swiftly and efficiently as you can. Then place the meringues into a very hot oven. Watch them like a hawk, you may need to turn the tin but the whole burnishing process happens quite quickly depending on your oven. Use a blow torch if you perfer and indeed have one. When the desired colour is achieved serve on to chilled plates and maybe add ball of a different ice cream and a few crunchy crumbs to compliment and generally show off a little but most of all….