The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

March 30, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: An Easter Dessert to Impress Guests

By SIMON WEBSTER
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Recently, I have enjoyed hearing how interested many of you have been in the recipes every week. The feedback has been encouraging and I love running into readers in the store who have cut out the recipes and are shopping for ingredients.

I like to remind people that cooking is fun, and even if some of the ingredients may not always be available, it’s okay to make substitutions and adapt the recipes to better suit your needs.

I try to think of things that are seasonal, because when something is in season that is when it tastes best. I also try to pick interesting recipes. After all, food is the spice of life.

Speaking of interesting, this week’s recipe definitely fits into that category and is great fun for this holiday weekend. The family will really enjoy this one, as Baked Alaska always draws a crowd — with spoons ready to dig in to the meringue, cake and ice cream.

So what is it exactly? Can you really bake ice cream? Yes, you can. Baked Alaska has cake on the bottom, sides and top and it insulates the ice cream in the middle. Then you spread whipped egg whites all around the cake, put it under the broiler so the meringue browns, and voila – It’s Baked Alaska.

If you really want to wow the crowd, the traditional way to serve it is to warm a little brandy, drizzle it over the cake and then light it. But be careful, stand back and keep everyone’s paws away until the flames subside.



BAKED ALASKA

1 white cake, baked in a jelly roll pan

1 quart vanilla ice cream

2 cups mixed berries

6 egg whites

1/2 cup fine sugar

2 tablespoons warm brandy




Using an eight inch spring form pan, use the bottom of the pan to cut two circles in your cake and two eight inch strips that are tall enough to use around the sides of the pan. Place one circle on the bottom, then put the two side pieces in. Fill halfway with ice cream, then a cup of berries and another layer of ice cream. Finish with the remaining berries and press the other circle of cake on top of the cake sides and the filling. Place in the freezer while you whip the egg whites. In a clean, dry bowl beat the egg whites until stiff while sprinkling in the sugar. Bring the cake out of the freezer and release the spring form pan onto an oven proof dish. Cover the cake with the beaten egg whites and use a fork to make sweeps and peeks. Place under a hot broiler until lightly brown. Watch closely. Remove to serve. If you like, drizzle the top only with the brandy and carefully light. It will burn off quickly so make sure everyone is ready for the show.

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Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to www.saborapasion.com or call 903-729-9500.