An impressive party dessert for adventurous cooks.
For the ice cream layer
- 1 container cherry or raspberry ice cream
- 1 container pistachio ice cream
For the cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened plus more for the pan
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the meringue
- 12 egg whites (or 15 ounces pasteurized egg whites from a carton–see notes)
- 2 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 ounces 40-proof or higher spirit (I used brandy, but rum would also be appropriate)
For the ice cream
- Line six 3-inch metal domes with plastic wrap. Work with one mold at a time, placing the mold in the freezer as you add the ice cream.
- Using an ice cream scoop, add approximately 1/3 cup of cherry ice cream to the first mold. Using a second small piece of plastic wrap, press into the mold until the sides are evenly covered to a depth of about half an inch. The ice cream should be flat across the top with a hollow in the middle. Set aside the piece of plastic wrap for the next mold.
- Using another piece of plastic wrap, press a 1/3 cup of the pistachio ice cream into the hollow. Cover the mold with the plastic wrap you used to press in the second flavor of ice cream and put it in the freezer. Repeat with the remaining five molds.
- Freeze for at least 8 hours, or better yet, overnight.
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch x 13-inch cookie tray, line with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
- Cream butter, sugar and salt on high speed in a stand mixer. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine milk and vanilla extract.
- Sift together flour and baking powder.
- Alternating between flour mixture and milk mixture, add half of each at a time, mixing after each addition. Pour the batter onto the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
- Bake the cake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden and the center is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a flat surface.
- When the cake is completely cool, using a 3″ round cookie cutter, cut out 6 circles. Reserve remaining cake for another use (I like trifles) or eat it while you assemble the rest of the dessert. If not eating same day, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set it on the counter so it doesn’t dry out.
For the meringue
- In a large pot, boil 1 inch of water. Set a large bowl over the water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Add the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until a thermometer reads 155 degrees.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the meringue until it forms stiff peaks and the bowl is room temperature.
- Add the meringue to an 18-inch piping bag fitted with a large star tip, if desired. You can also spread the meringue on with a spatula if you prefer.
- Working with one mold at a time, set a cake round on a heat-resistant, high-sided plate or bowl, unmold the ice cream onto the cake round and peel off the plastic wrap. Pipe or spread the meringue onto each ice cream round, making sure that no ice cream is visible beneath the meringue.
- Pour one ounce of brandy in each of six shot glasses and set one glass on each plate.
- Remove the desserts to the table immediately. Turn down the lights. Light the alcohol in each shot glass with the kitchen torch and pour over the meringue-coated ice cream. As the alcohol flames out, you may want to finish with the kitchen torch for even browning.
- This recipe requires special equipment: 3″ metal dome molds, 3″ round cookie cutter, a piping bag with large star tip (optional) and a small butane kitchen torch. If you’ve never flambed before, I would also recommend having a fire extinguisher handy. Better safe than sorry.
- If you use egg whites from a carton, you can skip step one of the meringue recipe and go straight to whipping your meringue.