If you need something that will impress this Valentine’s Day, then I’m your guy. These mini-ish baked alaskas have a sweet pastry base, pistachio and white chocolate sponge, and a lemon curd and raspberry ice-cream centre, which is then coated in a super-marshmallowy meringue and blowtorched until golden.

Valentine’s Day baked alaska

Blowtorching is the best way to achieve that crisp crust, but if you don’t have a blowtorch, put them in a 200C (180C fan)/gas 6 oven for five minutes.

Prep 30 min, plus chilling
Cook 2 hr
Makes 6

For the ice-cream centre
1 litre good-quality vanilla ice-cream
225g raspberries, quartered
175g lemon curd

For the pastry
260g plain flour
130g cold butter, chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg,
beaten with a dash of milk

For the sponge
250g unsalted butter
100g white chocolate, broken into pieces
250g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, plus extra for brushing
250g self-raising flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g pistachios, roughly chopped

For the meringue
5 large egg whites

300g caster sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
¾ tsp cream of tartar
1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
3 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

Put the ice-cream in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, fold in the raspberries and curd, divide the mixture between six, 7cm- diameter, silicone cylinder moulds, and put in the freezer to firm up.

For the pastry, tip the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, water and vanilla until it just starts to clump together. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and quickly knead into a smooth ball. Flatten into a thick disc, wrap and chill.

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Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/gas 4. Grease and line an oven tray with baking paper. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.

Using an electric hand-held mixer, beat in the caster sugar, then the eggs one by one, beating well with each addition. Once fully incorporated, fold in the flour, vanilla and pistachios. Pour the mixture into the tray and bake for 27–30 minutes, until golden and springy. Transfer the tray to a wire rack to cool; turn up the oven to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6.

Line another baking tray. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to about 3mm thick and stamp out six 11cm discs, re-rolling the pasty if needed. Put the discs on the tray, gently prick the surface with a fork, then brush with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown; leave to cool.

For the topping, mix the egg whites, golden syrup, sugar, cream of tartar, salt and water over a bain marie and beat tio stiff peaks using an electric hand whisk. Remove the bowl, then add the vanilla. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large, round nozzle attachment.

Once the ice-cream centres are solid, carefully pop each one out of the mould and on to a large plate or tray.

Level the surface of your sponge using a cake leveller or serrated knife. Then, using a cookie cutter, stamp out six 9cm circles and put one in the middle of each pastry disc, using a little meringue as glue. Put an ice-cream cylinder on each sponge, again using some of the meringue as “glue”, then pipe meringue around the dessert. Put in the freezer until ready to serve.

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To finish, brown the marshmallow with a blowtorch.



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