Life

James Street Cookery School: Baked Alaska & Mince Pie Cookies

Baked Alaska tastes great at any time of the year
Niall McKenna

CHRISTMAS is now officially over, but the season of excess and spoiling ourselves continues – hooray! These two recipes are really easy favourites with my whole family regardless of age and would work for those meals where leftovers are being turned into curries, fricassees and the like.

Happy New Year everyone, see you in 2019!

:: Baked Alaska

(Make up to 4 individual dishes)

500ml vanilla ice cream

200g fresh cherries soaked in 2 tablespoons of kirsch (the kirsch is optional), stones and pith removed

100g butter, left at room temperature

85g self-raising flour

225g caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 egg whites only

You will need extra butter to grease the baking moulds

Lightly grease 4 individual small pudding moulds with cling film, you can brush with a vegetable oil and line the moulds. Place a scoop of ice cream into the centre of the dish and top with cherry and a splash of kirsch. Place in the freezer and leave overnight.

The next stage involves cooking so preheat the oven to 180C. To make the sponge to place around the ice cream, butter a square cake tin and line with grease proof paper.

Mix the flour, butter, half of the caster sugar and the whole eggs in a food processor and mix thoroughly. Place the mix into the cake tin and cook for 15 minutes until golden.

To ensure that this is cooked you can test it by placing a needle into the centre. Once cool, cut out a length of cake to cover the ice cream (wrapped around) and a small circular base for the ice cream to sit on and another one for the top.

To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites into a stiff mix and add in the remaining caster sugar and beat gently, you want to keep as much air in it as possible. When ready to serve, turn up the heat in the oven to 220C.

Place the circular cake base onto a baking tray and remove the ice cream from the freezer. Remove cling film and wrap in your sponge, placing a cake disc on top and place on the circular cut out.

If you want to you can add a bit more kirsch liquor to the top and cover in the meringue mix. We have covered our ice cream in meringue and then using a piping bag covered in peaks.

Place in the oven until the meringue is browned. Serve immediately.

:: Mince Pie Cookies

(Makes 30 cookies)

250g unsalted butter, softened

140g sugar

1 egg yolk

1 clementine, zested

300g flour

410g fruit mincemeat from the jar or use left over Christmas pudding

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and place greaseproof paper on two baking trays. In a large bowl, place the butter and the sugar and mix until creamy, add the egg yolk and the zest of the clementine and beat until thoroughly mixed. Sift in the flour and fold through and then add half of the mincemeat. Keep stirring until the mix is all wet and has come together.

Lightly flour your hands. Make a dough ball and place biscuit size clumps of dough onto the grease proof paper, keep them well spaced out as they will spread out in the cooking process. Place a dollop of the mincemeat on top before popping into the oven.

Cook for 10 minutes into the oven. Remove once golden. The mincemeat will make the centre all gooey which is the consistency you want.

You can serve this warm, or you can cool on a wire rack and store in an air tight container.

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