Saturday, February 23, 2008

Glace au Four


Here it is finally - the recipe I promised to make during last year, but never got around to. Well, now I have! Glace au four is basically ice cream in the oven. Which sounds strange, doesn't it? I think it's called Baked Alaska in parts of the world, too. What it is is a cake bottom, ice cream, and then meringue. It's just in the oven long enough to brown the meringue, and not to melt the ice cream.

This particular recipe is probably a bit different from most. It has a crunchy caramelly cake layer, rather than the more common sponge cake, and it has a layer of strawberry preserves between the ice cream and meringue. I got it from Cissi, a close friend during my university years, who actually had a food blog for a while, but it's not active anymore. (Truly a shame, she was miraculous in the kitchen!)

This is not difficult at all. You do need to pipe the meringue carefully though, or it won't work as insulation. No holes! And choose the dish carefully. Here, I can buy ice cream in 500 ml blocks rather than in containers, and those work especially well here. My chosen dish is just large enough to accomodate two of those blocks. You want a fairly snug fit. Or, as long as you pipe the meringue tight enough, you can probably go free-form with this... but I don't dare try! :)

If you don't happen to have brick-shaped ice cream, I'd let regular ice cream soften a little, scoop and pack it on the cake, and the re-freeze for a while so it's still very cold before the oven. Again, haven't tried, can't guarantee it, but it *should* work.

Glace au Four
Serves 5-6

For the cake:
75 g melted butter
250 ml (1 cup) rolled oats
125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flour

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Mix all the ingredients, and bake in a small oven-proof dish for 20 minutes.

Let the cake layer cool completely and raise the oven to 275°C.


Make a meringue from 3 egg whites and 75 ml sugar (6 tbsp). Beat the egg whites until foaming, and add the sugar gradually. Keep beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.

Cover your cake with ice cream - I use 2 500-ml packets. Cover the ice cream with good strawberry or raspberry preserves - homemade is of course ideal. Carefully pipe the meringue on top, making sure there are no holes. The ice cream and preserves must be completely sealed in.

Pop in the oven to brown for 3-4 minutes.

Recipe in Swedish:
Cissis Glace au Four


Zazzy said...

I make little individual baked Alaskas. A scoop of ice cream on a crispy cookie, coated with meringue and frozen hard before browning the meringue. Works beautifully and is a very pretty dessert for a dinner party.

torontoanna said...

That is so funny, I made "Baked Alaska" with taste- buddies, my cooking classes for kids here in Toronto. We did it as a party dessert for the last class of this session. The kids loved it and I presented it as a great dessert and a science experiment. It looks really fancy but is not very hard to make at all! We also made individual ones. Kids loves to eat their own creations! I will try your recipe as well, thanks!

Christina said...

Oh, my ... I haven't had Glace au four in a million years. Think mom made it in the ... 70's. Wow. It was good though.

Amy said...

Wow! That looks heavenly.

Anonymous said...

The base sounds really good, when I was young in Scotland my Mother made this, she called it Eskimo Pie (not very politically correct nowadays) and we used to have the strawberry jam on the sponge below the ice cream.
Thanks for your great blog -

Katie said...

It looks great. I know it as baked alaska. I have only seen it in individual portions before but I imagine a big ones makes a great impression

Jeanne said...

Oh how LOVELY this looks. I remember Baked Alaska being featured in the first recipe book I owned as a child and being endlessly fascinated by it. It took me until 2001 to finally make one myself and I was amazed at how simple it is, provided you take a little care with putting it together. Your post has reminded me that I'm way overdue to make this again!