I know baked Alaska is traditionally made from plain sponge base, strawberry jam, vanilla ice cream center and french meringue, but I was trying to combine my son’s favourite desserts (chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream and toasted marshmallows) in one cake. It was gorgeous: rich french chocolate cake base, cold vanilla ice cream centre, covered in a warm chewy toasted marshmallow meringue (it is vanilla flavoured swiss meringue – it tastes exactly like toasted marshmallows!), and served with a warm milk chocolate sauce. The cake is actually not that difficult to make at all but you do need to do the different stages over 2 days.
You could use any cake or an ice cream flavour of your choice, but the cake base does need to be fairly solid (ie not fondant) as it has to take the weight of the ice cream on it.
Ingredients: for 12 portions
French chocolate cake base – for a 25 cm diameter cake tin
- 200 g plain chocolate minimum 52% cocoa solids
- 125 g salted butter (or unsalted and add a good pinch of salt)
- 4 large eggs
- 150 g caster sugar
- 100 g self raising flour
For the ice-cream middle:
- A tub of good quality ice cream (I chose vanilla as it is my son’s favourite, but I think coffee ice cream, or salted caramel would be amazing too), the quantity of which depends on the size of bowl you are planning on using. 500 ml was perfect for the 16 cm diameter half sphere mould I used (a bowl would work absolutely fine if you don’t have a mould)
- Approximately 40 g dark chocolate.
- A bowl or half sphere mould of a diameter that allows at least a 2 cm gap between the edge of the ice cream and the edge of a cake. So at least 4 cm less wide than the cake tin you are planning on using. This is to ensure the frozen ice cream is well insulated by at least 2 cm of meringue or it will otherwise melt when put in the oven!
- Some cling film
For the marshmallow swiss meringue:
- 5 egg whites
- 200 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the milk chocolate sauce:
- 175 ml double cream
- 150 g milk chocolate minimum 34% cocoa
DAY 1 !
1. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften. Line your chosen bowl / half sphere tin with clingfilm and fill to the brim with the softened ice-cream, levelling off the surface flat. Place the bowl / half sphere tin back into the freezer to harden.
2. Make the French chocolate cake:
- Pre heat the oven to 170 C
- In a large bowl melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water! Set aside to cool slightly then sift in the flour.
- Separate the egg yolks and whites.
- Mix the egg yolks and sugar thoroughly with a fork and add to the chocolate mix. Also mix in the flour.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt and gently fold into the chocolate mix.
- Pour into a grease proof lined cake tin and bake at 170 C for 35-40 minutes. It is baked when a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Let it cool slightly before removing the cake from the tin. Once cool wrap in foil ready for the next day.
1. Make sure you have enough space or a shelf in your freezer to accommodate your assembled cake! (I had to remove a drawer out of my freezer to do this)
2. Melt approximately 40 g dark chocolate pieces in the microwave very gently so it does not burn. Let it cool slightly. Take the ice cream bowl out of the freezer. Spread a little of the melted chocolate on the centre of the chocolate cake and fix on the (unwrapped from clingfilm) dome of ice cream onto the cake. Any remaining melted chocolate can be drizzled over the top of the ice cream dome. Immediately return back to the freezer.
3. Make the marshmallow swiss meringue:
- Combine the sugar and egg whites in a large bowl and whisk with a handheld whisk.
- Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and is not grainy when you rub it between two fingers.
- Remove from heat and whisk hard until the meringue is thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until you reach soft peaks. If the bowl is hot place it on a large dish of cold water to cool it.
4. At this stage remove the frozen cake / ice cream from the freezer and swiftly spread the meringue over the entire surface of the ice-cream / cake. Make sure the ice cream is well insulated by at least 2 cm of meringue so it will not melt in the oven. Use the back of a spoon to create pretty swirls on the meringue and place back in the freezer until you are nearly ready to serve.
5. When you are nearly ready to serve:
- Pre-heat your oven to 230 C.
- 10-15 minutes later: Make the milk chocolate sauce: In a pan gently heat the double cream and melt in the chopped milk chocolate. Mix gently.
- Remove the assembled cake from the freezer, carefully transfer to a baking tray and cook in the hot oven for 5-8 minutes. Keep a close eye on it so it does not burn! (If you have flat edged baking tray it really helps with transferring the cake on and off)
6. Serve straightaway with the hot milk chocolate sauce. The outside should be toasted golden, warm and marshmallowy and the inside ice cold creamy and chocolatey. You will need a heavy knife to slice through the inner frozen layers so a flat surface is recommended!
Hope you enjoy making this! Leave me a comment if you give it a try. Thank you for reading 🙂