WHAT IS BAKED ALASKA?
Baked Alaska is a classic dessert that consists of layers of cake and ice cream which is then covered in meringue. Traditionally, it is then baked in the oven where the meringue acts as an insulator to prevent the ice cream from melting. However, we like to keep things simple over here, so we're keeping this one "unbaked" technically speaking. Instead of baking the ice cream, I've used an Italian meringue, which is then toasted with a blow torch for a "toasted marshmallow" flavor and effect, YUM!
For this vegan baked Alaska, I've added a twist by incorporating layers of peanut butter and jelly, but you can leave these out or replace them with other flavors if you fancy!
A simple mixture of cashews, sea salt, coconut oil, and maple syrup creates the shortbread base for these treats. This layer is traditionally made up of some sort of sponge cake.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
A layer of creamy peanut butter hides underneath the first layer of ice cream. Then a sweet layer of strawberry jelly separates both ice cream layers, which gives a lovely surprise when you cut into the dessert.
The ice cream is made with a cashew and coconut milk base and flavored using peanut butter and vanilla bean paste. You can leave out the peanut butter here if you're not a fan or you have an allergy.
VEGAN ITALIAN MERINGUE
Perhaps the most exciting layer of this vegan baked Alaska. Find a comprehensive blog post about Italian meringue here.
WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL I NEED?
For that perfect "toasted marshmallow" effect, a blow torch is a must. Here's the one I use.
STAINLESS STEEL PASTRY/MOUSSE RINGS
Here are the ones that I use, but you can also use silicone molds if you prefer.
For making the Italian meringue, I'd highly recommend a KitchenAid KHM926CA 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer.
Another important piece of equipment for making the sugar syrup for the meringue is a candy thermometer.
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- Perfect for impressing your guests at dinner parties
- A vegan twist on a classic dessert
- Plant-based and vegan-friendly
- Easy to make
- Free from any animal-derived products
More vegan ice cream
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
PEANUT BUTTER LAYER
- 6 tablespoons (88 g) peanut butter
- 1 cup (200 g) caster sugar
- 50 ml (3.5 tbsp) water
- 6.5 tablespoons (100 g) aquafaba
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 g) cream of tartar
- Prepare the cashews and coconut milk in advance as per recipe notes at the end of these instructions.
- For the crust, add the cashews and salt to your food processor and blitz to a fine crumb consistency.
- Next, add in the coconut oil and maple syrup and blend for another minute or so until the ingredients begin to stick together.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and sit the mousse rings on top of it. Divide the crust between the 4 metal pastry rings rings and press it down into the base using a spoon or spatula. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Next, divide the peanut butter between the four servings (1 ½ tbsp in each) and spread it on top of the crust in an even layer.
- To make the ice cream, add the soaked cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla bean paste to a hig- speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
- Divide the ice cream mixture into 2 parts, set one aside, and divide the other part between the 4 metal pastry rings. Place in the freezer to set for one hour.
- To make the jelly, add the strawberries and maple syrup to your blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and whisk in the agar-agar, allow to sit for 2 minutes.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, whilst whisking continuously. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the ice creams from the freezer and divide the jelly mixture between the 4 servings. Place in the freezer for another 10 minutes, to let the jelly firm up.
- Once the jelly has set, pour the remaining ice cream mixture on top of the jelly layer of the ice cream. Freeze for another 4 hours, or overnight if preferred.
- Once set, remove the ice creams from the pastry rings whilst still frozen.
- To prepare the Italian meringue, take a large clean bowl, making sure it's completely dry and free of grease. Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to a large bowl and whisk on high heat for 10 minutes until soft peaks form.
- Add the caster sugar and water to a saucepan, gently stir and allow the mixture to sit for a minute until the sugar dissolves into a paste.
- Take a glass and fill it halfway with water, set it aside for testing the sugar syrup later.
- Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and allow the mixture to come to a simmer and bubble. DO NOT STIR throughout the entire process. Place your candy thermometer into the syrup and continue to simmer until the mixture reaches 116°C (240°F) - about 10-12 minutes.
- Once the sugar syrup has reached the correct temperature begin to add it to the whipped aquafaba and continue to whisk until the mixture is incorporated.
- Whisk the aquafaba mixture for another 5 minutes. Use a pallet knife or spatula to spoon the meringue on top and around the edges of the ice creams. Any unused meringue can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
- Toast the tops of the meringue using your blow torch. Serve immediately.
- Leftover ice creams can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for a couple of weeks, however, due to the meringue coating, these are best served on the day they are made.
- Soaked cashews: Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain. (alternatively soak in boiled water for 1 hour, rinse and drain)
- Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the tin of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can
- Aquafaba: Drain a can of unsalted chickpeas, use only the liquid part.
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