One last sweet treat before the new year detox begins

Christmas Baked Alaska. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (124057-7)
Christmas Baked Alaska. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124057-7)
Chetna Makan

Food and drink: Bake-Off star Chetna Makan talks about the tasty world of Indian food

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So, that was Christmas! I can’t believe another one has passed as quickly as it came.

I trust you’ve all eaten your body weight in chocolate?

Kevin Bingham prepares Christmas Baked Alaska. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124057-5)

Kevin Bingham prepares Christmas Baked Alaska. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124057-5)

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about sharing with you a wonderful detox smoothie to help with the restoration of your ‘normal’ diet. But, before we get carried away with being healthy, I would like to tell you about one last naughty, indulgent and heavenly dessert: the Baked Alaska.

This dessert has been a firm favourite for the sweet toothed for a good couple of centuries. The term Baked Alaska was coined by an American chef in 1876 to celebrate gaining a new bit of territory, and they even have a Baked Alaska Day on February 1.

The early stories of the Alaska are of ice cream wrapped in pastry until a French chef decided that meringue would be more suitable. What a genius he was, apart from the fact he called it a Norwegian Omlette – not quite as catchy is it?

Now, as you might have guessed from my previous articles, I like to experiment with my ingredients, working out which flavours work with each other and broadening my palette. With the Baked Alaska we have a perfect playground for flavour combinations and adding textures.

I have chosen raspberry and vanilla for this Alaska, but at the restaurant we have a coffee ice cream and a ginger meringue, which adds a really nice peppery flavour.

· Kevin Bingham is chef patron of Restaurant 27 in Southsea. Call (023) 9287 6272.

BAKED ALASKA

Equipment needed:

Mixing bowl

Serving plate

Pudding bowl (to mould the ice cream)

Electric whisk

Piping bag

Cling film

Baking tray

Ingredients:

1 tub of ice cream (entirely up to you what flavour you choose)

Fruits of choice (berries, satsuma, mango or pineapple)

1 sponge base (the flan bases work perfectly)

3 egg whites

3 oz castor sugar

Method:

Line your pudding bowl with cling film.

Soften the ice cream in the fridge, and once softened you need to mould it into the lined bowl and re-freeze.

When the ice cream is frozen prepare your fruit, then place them on your sponge base.

Take the ice cream out of its mould and place on top of the fruit and sponge dome so it shapes up.

Put back in the freezer for approximately one hour. In the meantime, whisk your egg whites in the mixing bowl.

Once their volume increases gradually add the sugar and whisk until the mix forms stiff peaks. Put the mixture into the piping bag and cover the ice cream, but you need to make sure it is completely sealed.

Re-freeze until needed, but it will keep for a good two to three days in the freezer.

When you are ready to serve, place it on a baking tray and put into a pre-heated oven (gas mark six) for around eight to 10 minutes or until it is nice and golden brown.

Accompany the Baked Alaska with a fruit coulis, or even some more fruits of your own personal choice.