Michelle Darmody: Ice cream desserts to see out the summer

Michelle Darmody: Ice cream desserts to see out the summer

Heating ice cream may not seem like a clever idea but when it is buried beneath a warm, stiff, white meringue its genius. 

Baked Alaska became standard hotel fare and was very often made with substandard ingredients, so it got a bit of a bad reputation.

Once the components you use are tasty and good quality you can make an excellent version. It was invented in 1867.

A New York chef created it to celebrate the United States purchase of the Alaska peninsula.

The key to success is keeping the ice cream as cold as possible and turning up the oven as high as it will go.

The ice cream is protected from melting by the insulating properties of the trapped air in the meringue.

In saying that serve the Baked Alaska immediately. It is an ambitious and showstopping creation but it is fiddly to make, particularly if you have a table of guests waiting for you to re-join the conversation.

If this is the case you will need to have everything well prepared in advance just whisk up the topping at the last minute and place it in the oven until the tips are golden.

Arctic Roll hails from the other side of the Atlantic. 

It is a British dessert invented almost a decade later in the 1950’s. 

I use a sugar free jam to make this cake. Grape water is used while making the jam.

As the summer is drawing to a close these desserts, using ice cream, are a nice way to see out the last of the warmer days.

Arctic ice cream roll

Michelle Darmody: Ice cream desserts to see out the summer

For the sponge:

125g of golden caster sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

125g of self raising flour, sieved

Filling:

450g of good quality vanilla ice cream, soft enough to scoop

200g of blueberries

150g of sugar free raspberry jam

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Line a Swiss Roll tin with parchment.

To make the sponge beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour gently. 

Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for about 12 minutes, until springy to touch. 

Take it out of the tin straight away and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Heat the blueberries in a saucepan with the jam. Cool.

Make the ice cream into a sausage shape the same length as your Swiss Roll tin, wrap it in parchment and place back into the freezer until the fruit and sponge are completely cooled.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer. Spread the cold compote onto the sheet of sponge. 

Roll this around the ice cream and tuck it underneath. 

Serve immediately.

Homemade vanilla ice cream

Michelle Darmody: Ice cream desserts to see out the summer

300mls of cream

300mls of milk

2 vanilla pod, halved and the seeds removed

4 egg yolks

90g of golden caster sugar

Pour the cream and milk into a heavy based saucepan and stir in the seeds from the vanilla pods. 

You can add the skin of the pods as well. Bring to a gentle boil then set the saucepan aside for at least an hour.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Reheat the cream mixture until it is shivering. 

Gently sieve the cream into the eggs and whisk until smooth. 

Pour it back into the saucepan and reheat while stirring continuously until thickened.

Strain the custard into a bowl, immerse the bowl in a larger bowl of iced water, making sure the ice does not overflow into the ice cream. 

Stir as it is cooling. Pour into a freezer safe dish and place into your freezer.

Remove every hour for the first five hours, stir on each occasion.

Summer fruit baked Alaska

Michelle Darmody: Ice cream desserts to see out the summer

Fruit compote:

125g of raspberries

125g of strawberries

½ tbs of honey

Sponge:

3 eggs, lightly beaten

85g of golden caster sugar

85g of self-raising flour, sieved

Meringue:

3 egg whites

115g of caster sugar

Ice cream:

450g of good quality vanilla ice cream

To make the compote stew the fruit gently for five minutes and then stir in the honey. 

Leave aside until cold.

For the sponge pre heat the oven to 180 degrees and line an 8 inch cake tin.

Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour gently. 

Scoop into the prepared tin. Bake for about 10 minutes. 

If you press the middle of the sponge lightly with your finger it springs back up when it is ready. 

Take the sponge out of the tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the meringue topping beat the egg whites until completely stiff. 

Beat in the caster sugar.

When you are ready to serve your Baked Alaska put the sponge onto a baking tray. 

Pour over fruit and the juice making sure it is all on the sponge on not the tray. 

Cover generously with the ice cream.

Completely cover the ice cream with the meringue.

Put into an oven at 220 degrees for about 4 to 5 minutes until the peaks of the meringues are slightly brown.

Serve immediately.

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