Prep time:

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Total time:

Serves: 4

For the vanilla sponge base:

100g Self raising flour

100g Caster sugar

100g Softened butter

2 Eggs, beaten

1tsp Vanilla essence

For the blackberry coulis:

150g blackberries (1 punnet)

1tbsp Sugar (or to taste, depending on tartness of fruit)

2tsp Cornflour (optional)

For the hazelnut meringue:

3 Egg whites

150g Caster sugar

30g Ground hazelnuts

1 Small tub of good quality vanilla ice-cream, but not soft scoop!

Hints of autumn suffuse this version of the classic ice-cream cake. I’ve made 4 mini Alaskas here, but the recipe should adapt to one larger (which might stay solid in the middle for longer). This is not difficult to make, but timing is of the essence to stop the ice-cream centres melting away. Mix together … Continue reading "Blackberry & hazelnut mini baked Alaskas"

Hints of autumn suffuse this version of the classic ice-cream cake. I’ve made 4 mini Alaskas here, but the recipe should adapt to one larger (which might stay solid in the middle for longer). This is not difficult to make, but timing is of the essence to stop the ice-cream centres melting away.


  1. Mix together the sponge base ingredients and beat lightly for a few minutes (or combine in stages if preferred – a lighter sponge will result from whipping the butter and sugar together before gradually adding the egg and then folding the flour in carefully). Spread into a 20cm square cake tin and bake for approximately 20 minutes at 180˚C (350˚F/Gas 4) – exact timings will depend on your oven. Cool (cake can be made the day before).
  2. Combine blackberries and sugar in a pan and cook together on a low setting until the blackberries are a good consistency. If the coulis mixture is very juicy or thin, add a little cornflour to some water and carefully add this to the mixture a little at a time until the right consistency (runnier than jam, but not watery) is achieved. Cool.
  3. Cut sponge into 4 x 8cm rounds using a pastry cutter or rim of a glass, then remove a section in the middle (large enough for a dessert spoon of blackberry filling). Pile in the coulis and chill while you make the meringue.
  4. Whip egg whites to ‘soft peak’ stage (this is when they are stiff enough not to fall out of the bowl when tipped up, but not over-whipped…) then gradually add the sugar, whipping in between until the mixture is stiff and glossy – if you hurry this stage (as I often do), the meringue will go gloopy and not keep its shape. Carefully fold in the ground hazelnuts.
  5. You will need to be quick with this next bit (and ready to serve). Either pre-heat the oven to hot setting – 200˚C or Gas 7, or have a blow torch standing by. Remove filled bases from the fridge, place a small scoop of ice-cream on each, spread with a layer of meringue mixture and then either place in the pre-heated oven for 2-3 minutes until the meringue starts browning, or lightly scorch with the blow torch (practise first…). The idea is to cook the meringue, but keep the ice-cream solid. Serve immediately.

A Piece of Cake: Banana Loaf

Rope in some extra help – this recipe is great for the kids to get messy with Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Oil and line a 2lb loaf cake tin. Put the bananas still in...

A Piece of Cake: Cinnamon ‘Breakfast in Bed Cake’

Method: Preheat oven to 160°C, fan140°C, gas 3. Oil and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin. Mix cinnamon, salt and brown sugar in a bowl and leave to one side. Add the lemon juice to the milk. Beat...

A Piece of Cake: Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Cake

To make the crumble:  Put all crumble ingredients into a bowl and rub until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs. To make the cake:  Preheat your oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3. Oil and line 2 x 8 inch spring form...