Hi, I have made Baked Alaska a few times but I'm single now so a big one will just melt, wasting it, or I will become a lot fatter if I ate it all! Can I cook a smaller one without the heat melting the ice cream in the middle and is it possible to get smaller sponge bases to make a smaller one? Thanks, Jim
NIgella's recipe for Baked Alaska (from Feast) is quite generous as it serves 8-10 people. It is possible to make smaller, individual baked alaskas and the ice cream should not melt on the smaller ones as the meringue acts as an insulator. But do make sure that your oven is preheated very well before assembling the alaska so that you can quickly put the alaska in the oven as soon as it is covered in meringue.
For the sponge base you can cut out 6 to 7 circles approximately 6cm/2 1/4 inches in diameter from the sponge and use these as individual bases. Make the meringue using 1 egg white, 30g (2 tablespoons) caster (superfine) sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar. Put a scoop of ice cream on the sponge base, quickly cover in meringue and bake for 5 minutes to just brown the meringue. Leftover sponge pieces can be frozen for future use. Wrap each one tightly in a piece of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and put in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. The sponge discs should ony need about 30 minutes to thaw at room temperature.