Baked Alaska

From James Martin, a stunning combination of hot meringue miraculously encasing cold vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Pure indulgence!
By James Martin
Baked Alaska
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 55 minutes
  • Effort: hard



  • 15cm disc of plain sponge
  • brandy, for soaking
  • 1 litres vanilla ice cream
  • 2 punnets strawberries

For the Italian meringue:

  • 100 ml water
  • 400 g sugar
  • 2 tbsp glucose, (optional)
  • 6 egg whites

For the raspberry coulis:

  • 200 g raspberries
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp water


1. First make the Italian meringue. Put the sugar, water and glucose, if using, in a heavy-based saucepan. Place over a moderate heat and stir the mixture until it boils. Skim the surface and wash down the sugar crystals which form inside the pan with a brush dipped in cold water. Now increase the heat so that the syrup cooks rapidly. Use a sugar thermometer to check the temperature.

2. When the sugar reaches 116°C, beat the egg whites until stiff, preferably using a standing mixer.

3. Take the sugar off the heat when it reaches 121°C.

4. Set the mixer to the lowest speed and gently pour the sugar syrup onto the beaten egg whites in a thin stream, taking care not to let the syrup run onto the whisks or the edge of the bowl. Continue to beat at low speed until the mixture is almost completely cold - this will take about 15 minutes.

5. Next make the raspberry coulis. Put the ingredients in a food processor and whizz to a pulp. Push through a fine sieve set over another bowl, pressing well with the back of a wooden spoon to extract the seeds.

6. Place the sponge disc on a large serving plate and sprinkle with brandy until well soaked.

7. Spoon on the vanilla ice cream, then arrange most of the strawberries over the top and around the edge.

8. Spread all over with enough of the Italian meringue to cover, using a palette knife to seal in the ingredients.

9. Spoon the remaining meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, and pipe it around the edge and over the top.

10. Use a blow torch to colour the meringue.

11. Spoon the raspberry coulis around the plate and decorate with the remaining strawberries.

12. Serve immediately before the ice cream melts.

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