4 great places to get baked Alaska in Dubai
One secret to good cooking is considering contrasts of flavour, texture, aroma and colour. Less often, our palates are delighted by contrasting temperatures. Just think of cooled yoghurt on hot grilled lamb. Or the unexpected explosion of joy when you bite into deep-fried banana with a dollop of ice cream.
Baked Alaska offers this exact warm-cold sensation. It’s typically made from sponge cake and ice cream, topped with peaks of caramelised meringue. The short cooking time, plus the meringue ‘lid’, prevents the ice cream from melting. So when you get beyond the warm casing and sponge layer, there’s a creamy cold centre waiting for you.
As for the name, it’s said to have been coined, or at least popularised by famed chef Charles Ranhofer, from New York’s Delmonico’s Restaurant in the late 1800s, to mark the US’s purchase of Alaska from Russia. Whatever the origins of it’s title, this dessert time treat is like no other and must be tried soon.
If you’ve enjoyed Eton Mess or strawberry-meringue nests, you’ll agree that the two ingredients are quite the pair. That’s why regulars at Caramel rate their tasty offering highly. It’s made with vanilla sponge cake, fresh strawberries, meringue and strawberry ice cream. This is a fruity, funky way to try this fabulous dessert.
Where: Caramel Restaurant & Lounge
Contact: +971 4 425 6677, website
What do you get when you fill a dome of Italian meringue with a chocolate brownie and vanilla ice-cream that’s been frozen for at least 24 hours? This dainty dessert bomb. Riva’s Head Chef, Arnaldo Ramos, replaces the sponge cake with a brownie and the result is fantastic. Sprinkles of honeycomb, raspberries, blackberries and a fruit coulis add extra deliciousness.
Where: Riva Beach Club
Contact: +971 4 430 9466, website
Baker & Spice
There’s a medley of flavours in this take on the dish. Think vanilla sponge cake, passion fruit, chocolate ganache, and toasted coconut ice cream covered in torched meringue and coconut shavings. Ditch any guilt by starting with something savoury that’s light and healthy like the seasonal soup, a salad or spinach falafel.
Where: Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar
Contact: +971 4 425 2240, website
Bread Street Kitchen
For a “celeb chef” take on the dessert dish, head to Gordon Ramsay’s place. This version features chocolate ice cream, rather than vanilla, while the sour Morello cherries add some titillating tartness to the mix. Our suggestion for mains before? You can’t go wrong with one of the popular British classics, like Beef Wellington, Fish and Chips or the wholesome Shepherd’s Pie.
Where: Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Atlantis, The Palm
Contact: +971 4 426 2626, website