Baked Alaska with oat crisps, raspberries and passion fruit

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Two New Year’s Eves in a row I’ve made the same fabulous dessert and even though i love it, it’s fun to change things up a little, so this New Year’s Eve I decided to make a Baked Alaska. The base is oat crisps, as well as the decoration and the centre is homemade vanilla ice cream topped with passion fruit and wrapped in Italian meringue. Raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and half a passion fruit to serve. It was delicious and looked just as impressive as I had pictured in my head.

Baked Alaska with raspberries and passion fruit, serves 4

1 batch oat crisps 

1 batch vanilla ice cream 

Italian meringue:

4 egg whites

150 ml caster sugar

Syrup:

150 ml caster sugar

100 ml water

Raspberry coulis:

1 litre frozen raspberries 

a little sugar (to taste)

100 ml water

1 tbsp potato flour 

To decorate:

1 punnet fresh raspberries 

4 passion fruits

Make the oat crisps using the link above. These can be made a few day in advance, just store in an airtight container. Use a dessert spoon to measure the oat crisps for the base and half a teaspoon for the small decorative oat crisps. Still bake them for the same amount of time. 

Make the ice cream and divide between four ramekins lined with cling film, freeze until needed.  

Make the raspberry coulis: place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, sieve to remove the kernels and leave to cool. Can also be made ahead of time. 

Montage:

Make the Italian meringue: Add the egg whites and sugar in a bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the water and sugar for the syrup to the boil in a saucepan. Pour the (very) hot syrup into the meringue mixture and beat for another 15 minutes until you have a thick, glossy meringue.

Place a large oat crisp on each plate. Remove the ice cream from the ramekins and cling and place on top of the oat crisps. Scrape out the seeds from half a passion fruit on top of each ice cream block. Cover the whole lot (apart from the base) with the meringue using a spatula. Use a cream brulee torch to torch the meringue until golden brown. Decorate the plate with the raspberry coulis and fresh fruit. Top each dessert with a small oat crisp and maybe a sparkler. Serve immediately.

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Glace au four like my mother does it

It has taken me a while, but here is the recipe for my mother’s Glace au Four that I made for Anna & Ian’s Christmas dinner.

My mother has always made this dessert, also known as Baked Alaska, with an oat biscuit base, but it is commonly made with a sponge base here in the UK.

Most of the time I make my food shopping online with plenty of time, but this time I went to Sainsbury’s the weekend before Christmas when it was mayhem, and that is my excuse for buying the wrong oats. I prefer rolled oats for baking and grabbed the first bag I saw, and I didn’t notice that it was mixed with almonds, hazelnuts, cinnamon and raisins. I just removed the raisins and added some cardamom to get an even stronger Christmas feel.

I doubled the recipe as there were seven of us, but the below recipe is for four people. However, just double it if you need to.

Photos by Jenny Mills.

Glace au Four, serves 4

Biscuit base:

75 g butter

250 ml rolled oats

125 ml caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp plain flour

(for a Christmas touch, substitute some of the oats for almond slivers and hazelnut kernels as well as 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cardamom)

3 egg whites

75 ml caster sugar

100 g raspberries, frozen and thawed or fresh

1 litre vanilla icecream

Melt the butter and pour it over the oats. Mix flour and baking powder and add it to the oats. Then add eggs and sugar and stir to combine.

Spread the batter into a greased large tin. Bake in 175C for 20 minutes and leave to cool.

Turn the oven up to 250-275C or put the grill on high. Place the raspberries on the oat base. Beat the egg whites until foamy and add half the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until very stiff peaks and until the meringue is glossy. Place the icecream on top of the berries and cover it with the meringue. Put it in the oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve immediately.