Following on from last week’s retro classics, I have two beautiful showstoppers for you to try out. Classics are called so for a reason: they are family favourites, taste amazing and stand the test of time. This week I have taken two of my favorite 80s-inspired sweet treats. I kept their signature flavours but tweaked the presentation.

Growing up, I remember – after I had inhaled my own ice cream – pestering my mum for a bite of her favorite: the Brunch.

Creamy strawberry ice cream coated with strawberries and a shortbread biscuit crumb – what’s not to love?

I’ve taken these beautiful flavours and whipped up my ultimate Brunch-inspired baked Alaska. My other recipe is the renowned 80s classic Black Forest gateau.

Keeping the cherries, cream and chocolate sponge, I’ve made a beautiful swiss roll cake, also known as a Charlotte royale. It takes a little bit of work but – oh boy – will it turn heads.

Summer is fast approaching and the evenings are getting longer so all we need is the weather to play ball and we can enjoy some tasty al-fresco dinners.

Either of these desserts would be the ultimate finale to a summer meal, and I hope you try them out. I think it’s only fair I make the baked Alaska for my mum to repay her for all the mini-tasters she gave me over the years!


Brunch ice cream baked Alaska

These delicious mini baked Alaskas have a familiar flavour. Do you like Brunch bars? Then you'll love these! \ Shane Smith

Makes eight

For the vanilla shortbread:

65g soft butter

30g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

90g plain flour

For the strawberry ice cream:

250ml single cream

180g condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

150g ripe strawberries

For the meringue:

4 medium free-range egg whites

170g caster sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

McCormack Farm edible flowers (for garnish)

  • 1 For the ice cream, mash the strawberries with the back of a fork to make a puree. Set aside.
  • 2 Whip the single cream until thick, then add the condensed milk and vanilla. Mix.
  • 3 Fold through the strawberries and pour the mixture into a container. Cover and pop in the freezer overnight.
  • 4 For the shortbread, preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line two trays with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • 5 Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until soft and creamy.
  • 6 Add the flour and mix until combined.
  • 7 Wrap the dough in cling film and pop into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
  • 8 Once rested, place the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of ½cm.
  • 9 Using a 9cm round cutter, cut out eight discs and pop on to the lined trays (these will spread a tad while baking, so allow for some space in between).
  • 10 Place in the preheated oven and bake for eight to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • 11 Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool completely.
  • 12 To assemble: preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan.
  • 13 Place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until soft and frothy (soft peak). Add the cream of tartar and gradually add the sugar while whisking. Keep mixing until thick and glossy.
  • 14 Place the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  • 15 Scoop out some ice cream and place in the centre of the shortbread disc, allowing some space around the edge for the meringue.
  • 16 Pipe the meringue around the ice cream, encasing it completely. You can create any design you wish.
  • 17 Place in the oven for a few seconds until the meringue turns a light golden brown – keep an eye on it as it changes colour very quickly.
  • 18 I added some beautiful McCormacks edible flowers for an extra special touch because why not?
  • 19 Serve straight away and enjoy.
  • Black forest gateau Charlotte

    Serves six

    For the swiss roll sponge:

    3 large free range eggs

    100g caster sugar

    75g self raising flour

    25g unsweetened cocoa powder

    Dash vanilla extract

    15ml hot water

    For the swiss roll filling:

    150g soft butter

    150g icing sugar

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    For the cake filling:

    100g fresh/frozen cherries, quartered

    370g full fat cream cheese

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    220ml double cream, whipped

    50g icing sugar

  • 1 For the swiss roll sponge, preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan and line a 9” × 12” swiss roll tin with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • 2 In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy.
  • 3 Add in sieved flour and cocoa and gently fold through to keep in as much air as possible.
  • 4 Add the hot water and mix.
  • 5 Spoon the batter onto the lined tray, spread evenly, pop into the oven and bake for seven to eight minutes.
  • 6 While it’s baking, place a parchment sheet on your work surface and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  • 7 Once baked, carefully turn the baked sponge on to the sugared parchment paper, remove the paper it’s baked on, and roll up the warm swiss roll. Leave to cool.
  • 8 To make the swiss roll filling, simply cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until soft, creamy and spreadable.
  • 9 Unroll the cooled sponge and spread the vanilla buttercream over the sponge. Roll the sponge once again.
  • 10 Pop the rolled sponge into the fridge to firm up before cutting.
  • 11 Line a bowl (4” deep × 7” diameter) with cling film, allowing some to hang over the edge.
  • 12 Once the Swiss roll has firmed up, cut it into 21 × 1” slices.
  • 13 Arrange 14 of these slices inside the bowl and keep seven for the base.
  • 14 For the cake filling, whisk the cream and keep cold until needed.
  • 15 Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar together until smooth.
  • 16 Fold in the quartered cherries and fold in the whipped cream.
  • 17 Spoon the mixture into the centre of the Swiss roll-lined bowl.
  • 18 Place the seven remaining slices of Swiss roll on the base to cover the cherry filing.
  • 19 Give the bowl a gentle tap to ensure the filing spreads well.
  • 20 Wrap in clingfilm and chill overnight.
  • 21 To serve, unwrap the clingfilm, pop on to your plate and carefully remove the bowl and clingfilm. This dessert is best served chilled.