This coconut, ice cream and meringue concoction from the culinary wonderland of the 50s is like eating a holiday. For those of us feeling more than a little glum about our return to work and the indoors, this is a culinary antidote; perhaps the edible equivalent of afternoon naps, walks on the beach and drinks at dusk. And it’s a dessert, which automatically makes anyone feel better. I’ve kept to the convenience ethos here, skipping the oven cooking of the meringue component of a traditional Alaska and just used a blow-torch to crisp the meringue. You could take this one step further and sidestep the making of the sponge and just use a good store bought version. If you haven’t set your eyes on a bottle of Malibu since your 18th birthday use a light white rum or skip this altogether for an alcohol free version.
1/3 cup (75g) sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
30g unsalted butter
2/3 cup (100g) self-raising flour
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
750g vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tsp coconut essence
1 cup shredded coconut
750g good quality chocolate ice cream
350g caster sugar
1/2 tbsp liquid glucose
MethodPreheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan with baking paper. Beat the eggs with electric beaters for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Gradually add the sugar, beating constantly, until dissolved. Set aside. Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Sift the flours and cream of tartar into a bowl. Fold half the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then fold in the milk mixture. Fold in the remaining flour mixture, then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Cool the sponge cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Slice the cake in half lengthways.
Grease and line 8 x 1 ½ cup capacity moulds with cling film. I just used small 12cm diameter kitchen bowls for this. Cut circles of sponge to fit the base of each mould and press down gently. Do not discard the rest of the sponge.
Combine the vanilla ice cream, coconut essence and shredded coconut in a bowl and stir to combine. Divide the ice cream between the moulds, filling them about half way then place the moulds in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to harden. Combine the chocolate ice cream and Malibu in a bowl and stir to combine. Pull the moulds from the freezer and scoop the chocolate ice cream mixture over the coconut mixture. Return the moulds to the freezer. Place the remaining sponge pieces over the top of the chocolate ice cream mixture.
To make the meringue, add the caster sugar and liquid glucose to a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally for at least 15 minutes (or if you have a sugar thermometer it reaches 120C). Whisk the eggwhites until soft peak. Drizzle in the sugar syrup whisking continuously. Continue whisking until the meringue reaches room temperature.
Before serving remove the moulds from the freezer and carefully invert them onto serving plates. Spoon the meringue over the top of the mixture. Use a blow-torch to lightly brown the meringue and serve.