Salted Honeycomb & Smoked Almond Beehive Baked Alaska
IngredientsServes Makes about 6 Baked Alaskas
½ cup + ¼ cup (125 + 60 ml) granulated sugar, divided
¼ cup + ⅔ cups (60 + 150 ml) clover honey, divided
1½ tsp (7 ml) baking soda
1 tsp (5 ml) Maldon sea salt flakes
4 cups (1 L) good quality store-bought vanilla ice cream
½ cup (125 ml) smoked almonds, roughly chopped
1 store-bought pound cake, cut into ½-in (1 cm) thick slices
4 large egg whites
edible flowers, berries, herbs or pea shoots, for garnish
- To make salted honeycomb, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine ½ cup (125 ml) sugar and ¼ cup (60 ml) honey. Let sugar dissolve while gently whisking constantly, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and bring to a lazy simmer, whisking often, until mixture reaches 300 F (150 C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 3 to 5 minutes. Take care not to overcook, as honeycomb will taste burnt.
- Remove saucepan from heat and immediately whisk in baking soda and salt. Be careful, as mixture will steam and turn into a thick foam. Pour this foamy mixture immediately onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit at room temperature until cool, about 1 hour. Use a sharp knife to chop honeycomb into no smaller than bite-sized chunks and shards. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside.
- Place ice cream in a bowl and let soften slightly. Stir in smoked almonds and about half the chopped honeycomb until well combined. Transfer to freezer for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, cut 2.5-in (6 cm) rounds out of pound cake. You should get at least 6 rounds. Feel free to fit together a few pieces if needed. Transfer rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Dollop about ¾ cup (175 ml) ice cream onto each piece of pound cake and shape into a tall dome. Place ice cream-topped cakes in freezer until completely frozen, about 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, make meringue. In a small saucepan, heat remaining ⅔ cup (150 ml) honey until it reaches 242 F (117 C) on an instant-read thermometer.
- Meanwhile, whip egg whites in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment over medium-high speed, until it forms soft peaks. Add remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) sugar and continue to whisk until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly pour in cooked honey in a very thin stream. Once it is all added, increase speed to medium-high and continue whisking until meringue is cooled, shiny and holds a peak, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place meringue in a large piping bag fitted with a plain round tip.
- To serve, working with 1 ice cream-topped cake at a time, place cake on a serving plate. Pipe honey meringue around cake and ice cream, starting from the plate and working your way up in concentric circles. Alternatively, you can spread a thick layer of meringue all around the cake and ice cream. Caramelize meringue using a culinary torch. Garnish with extra salted honeycomb candy, edible flowers, berries, herbs and/or pea shoots. Repeat with remaining cakes and serve immediately.