For Mats’s 11th birthday I’d had a ridiculous weekend of baking disasters (I learned that adding too much xanthum gum to a gluten free recipe leads to a gluey consistency)! We changed to being gluten free over a year ago so I will post non gluten free alternatives in the ingredients, where I have them. I tasked my husband with taking photographs but I am afraid he failed to produce anything foody noteworthy so I have just one here which does not do this deliciousness of this cake justice.
This was pretty speedy to make and didn’t involve lots of decorating which is not my forte, sadly. And Mats had never had a Baked Alaska (not sure I have either) and so the surprise was as good, or better than a layered bombe ice cream! So in plunged the knife, out came the birthday screams (never understood that one), and the ice cream and cake surprise was revealed.
We have an abundance of raspberries in the garden which I should also have photos of but it is pouring with rain today so I failing on that front too. But his recipe is absolutely a winner through and through. And if you blend raspberries with some icing sugar for an accompanying coulis, even better.
120g unsalted butter, softened
120g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs (3 for standard flour cake)
120g gluten free flour (for standard cake, use 240g standard flour and do not add almonds, though you can for a denser more interesting texture)
120g almond flour (you can use ground almonds but the cake will have a coarser texture)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (make sure it is gluten free)
1 tbsp whole milk
Ice cream – a big tub to scoop from
Optional raspberry coulis and jam (read the recipe to see why)
5 egg whites
180g caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare a 23cm/8inch springform tin by buttering the edges and lining it with baking paper
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
3. Mix in the eggs, adding 1 tbsp of flour after each addition (to reduce likelihood of the mixture splitting)
4. Add the remaining dry ingredients.
5. When it is thoroughly mixed, add the milk and stir into the mixture until it is of dropping consistency (hold a spoonful of the mixture up and if it drops off after a few seconds, you have achieved this)
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until it springs back to the touch and a skewer comes out clean
7. Put a cup upside down and place the hot tin on top of it. Push down the tin away from the base, loosening the edges with a knife or spatula if necessary. Allow it to cool at this height or carefully transfer it to a cooling rack
8. When the cake is cool, take 5 egg whites and whisk them to medium peak
9. Add the caster sugar to the egg whites, starting with 1 tbsp and then whisking the whites a bit more, then adding another and so on until it is all added.
10. When the meringue mixture has formed stiff peaks, it is ready
11. Place the cake on a serving dish and make a dome of ice cream on top of it
12. Spoon the meringue on top, covering the whole thing
13. Now use a blow torch or a grill and lightly brown the meringue. If you use the grill, be careful not to over heat it; even raw it will be delicious – better than a melted mass!
14. Serve with coulis or have it as it is. You could add some jam to the top of the cake half way through step 11.
Top with candles and there you have an alternative birthday cake!