This Mocha Baked Alaska is coffee-soaked chocolate cake and creamy coffee ice cream encased in a fluffy, toasted meringue.
I have also fallen in love with making homemade ice cream with my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker attachment! This is not sponsored (I wish), it is just an excellent budget-friendly attachment.
Basically, it is a bowl that you keep in the freezer and it comes with a paddle that is attached to the top of the mixer. You just put the bowl on your stand mixer, add the paddle, pour in your custard and 30-40 minutes later you have perfectly-churned ice cream.
I keep the bowl in my freezer all the time so that when the mood strikes, I am ready to make ice cream. It takes up a bit of freezer room, but I think it is worth it and you can always put stuff inside the bowl in the freezer if you need to.
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How to make homemade ice cream
Homemade ice cream is made by cooking a custard on the stovetop that consists of cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Once the custard is cooled, you pour it into an ice cream maker and churn it until it is the consistency of soft serve. You can eat that right away, or more commonly you put the mixture into the freezer to set completely.
The homemade ice cream in this Mocha Baked Alaska is coffee flavored. I rehydrated freeze-dried instant coffee granules before whisking them into my custard base. I used about 1 ½ tablespoons, which packed the right amount of coffee flavor.
If you like less, use less and if you like more, use more. But, beware that if you use caffeinated coffee, your end product will still carry that caffeine, making it unsuitable for after-dinner dessert if you’re sensitive to caffeine like me!
Mocha Baked Alaska ingredients
Mocha Baked Alaska can be made even easier by swapping the homemade ice-cream for store bought and the homemade chocolate sponge for chocolate cake mix. But, if you want to go all homemade, here’s what you’ll need:
- instant coffee
- cocoa powder
You can substitute self-rising flour for the same amount of all-purpose flour, but add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and an additional pinch of salt.
Work quickly when assembling and unmolding the ice cream with cake. Ice cream always melts faster than you think.
Mocha Baked Alaska
Coffee ice cream
- 2 cups half and half cream or heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 ½ tablespoon instant coffee mixed with equal parts warm (not hot) water
- 1 cup heavy cream
Chocolate sponge cake layer
- 4 large eggs
- 100 g granulated sugar (4 oz)
- 65 g self-rising flour (2 ½ oz) see notes for substitution
- 40 g cocoa powder (1 ½ oz) I prefer dutch process
- Pinch salt
Coffee simple syrup
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
Start the ice cream
- Combine half and half, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Whisk thoroughly to dissolve sugar granules.
- In a small heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and slowly stream in about ½ cup of the warm half and half mixture into the egg yolks. Then add that mixture to the half and half in the medium saucepan.
- Return to the stove and whisk continuously while cooking on medium low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (or reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Add in the instant coffee water mixture and whisk to combine.
- Place the heavy cream into a bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top of the bowl. Pour the warm custard into the bowl through the strainer. Discard any solids. Stir to combine.
- Cover and chill in the fridge until completely cool. If you’re in a hurry you can transfer the mixture to a plastic bag and set it inside a large bowl with ice. You want the custard to be thoroughly chilled before you put it in the ice cream maker.
- At this point, you can start your cake while the custard is chilling.
Make the chocolate sponge layer
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
- Beat eggs and sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment until light and fluffy and your beaters leave a trail when pulled up.
- Sift in flour, cocoa and salt. Gently fold in the sifted ingredients.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until you see the sponge begin to pull away from the edges of the pan.
- When the cake is done, invert it and peel off the parchment from baking to cool while making the coffee simple syrup.
Make the simple syrup
- Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm until all of the sugar granules are dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the instant coffee.
- Let cool slightly before spooning it evenly over the cake. Leave the cake cool completely.
Finish the ice cream
- Once cooled, pour the custard into your ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- I used the Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment and it took about 30 minutes to churn on the lowest setting.
- Next, using a large cookie scoop or spoon, fill the bottoms of silicon molds ¾ full. I used the largest of this set, which is a half circle with about a 3-inch diameter.
- Punch out 3 inch circles of the chocolate sponge cake and place a circle in the mold to cover the ice cream.
- Set the mold in the freezer to completely set, at least four hours or overnight. Leave them in the freezer until your meringue is ready. Make the meringue according to serious eats’ instructions.
- Working one at a time, pop out a frozen ice cream and cake disk and set it on a serving plate. Cover with meringue. I piped mine with a large round tip, but you can also spoon it on and make a spiky design by tapping and pulling away with the back of a spoon.
- Then, freeze completely until serving. When ready to serve, toast the meringue with a kitchen torch or flambe the entire thing using alcohol. Here’s how to do it. Make sure to roll up your sleeves, tie back your hair and have a fire extinguisher nearby! Serve immediately.