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Sugar Snap Pea Baked Alaska with Thai Basil & Orange Almond Pound Cake

Prep Time
1 hour
Total Time
5 hours
Skill Level


For the pound cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 ounces marzipan
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ⅓ cup half-and-half
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup orange juice

For the ice cream:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1/2 lb whole sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup packed Thai Basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites from large eggs, about ½ cup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

The Method

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl until creamy. Add marzipan. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat almond extract and half-and-half into butter mixture. Stir 1 cup of flour mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in milk. Add remaining flour mixture and stir in orange juice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and give batter a final mix.

Pour batter into prepared sheet tray, using an offset spatula to spread it very thinly and evenly. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cake in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Use a ring cutter to cut out discs of cake that fit the tops of standard muffin pans. Set the discs aside.

For the ice cream:

Heat the milk, cream, sugar, and ¾ cup basil in a medium-sized pot over low heat. Once it just begins to give off steam and bubble a tiny bit around the edges, remove from heat and cover. Let sit 30 minutes to steep. Prepare an ice bath and bring a pot of water to a boil. Submerge the snap peas for 1-2 minutes, then remove with a strainer and transfer directly to the ice bath. Let sit until completely cool, then strain and dry thoroughly.

Transfer snap peas and reserved ¼ cup basil to a food processor, and pulse until they become finely chopped. Add the egg yolks and blend, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until completely smooth and no green bits are evident.

Return the fresh herb mixture just to a scalding-hot temperature and remove from heat again. While whisking the yolk-pea mixture, add a small spoonful of the hot milk mixture. Add another, while whisking, and another, and another, until about one cup of the milk mixture has been incorporated. Transfer all the yolk mixture to the saucepan with the milk mixture. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 8 minutes). Use a mesh strainer or colander to strain the mixture over a mixing bowl. Let it take as much time as it needs to strain through, and capture the fresh herbs and any remaining bits of peas. Seal in a plastic container and chill at least 6 hours, or overnight. Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn following the machine’s directions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the fresh citrus juice.

Working very quickly, divide the ice cream into the wells of muffin tins that have been oiled or sprayed with non-stick spray. Top each with a disc of pound cake, cover the whole muffin tin in plastic wrap and freeze until totally solid. After several hours, pop each ice cream mold out using a spoon, and individually wrap each one in saran wrap. Store in a freezer bag until you are ready to use.

For the meringue:

Combine egg whites and salt in mixing bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until opaque and loosely foamy. Increase speed to high and add sugar in a slow stream down side of mixer. Beat until stiff and shiny.

To plate:

Place one individual ice cream and cake mold on a plate or bowl with the cake side facing down. Cover liberally with meringue to create an almost cloud-like appearance. Use a blow torch to torch the outside of the meringue. Garnish with sliced almonds and orange segments, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephanie Goldfarb

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 24g l Servings: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70 | Total Fat 3.5g (sat fat 2g trans 0g) l Cholesterol 20mg l Sodium 50mg l Total Carbohydrate 9g | Dietary Fiber 0g l Sugars 7g l Protein 1g l Vitamin D 0% l Calcium 2% l Iron 0% | Potassium 0%

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