Chef Billy Oliva is making this classic dessert with a homemade walnut sponge and apricot compote.

Ingredients for Walnut Sponge

  • 8 oz. Egg Yolks
  • 5 oz. Sugar
  • 8 oz. Egg Whites
  • 6 oz. Sifted All Purpose Flour
  • 5 oz. Chopped Walnuts

Ingredients for Apricot Compote

  • 1 lb. dried apricots (roughly chopped )
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla pod split lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Zest of 1 orange

Ingredients for Banana Ice Cream

  • 1.5 pints milk
  • 1.5 pints heavy cream
  • 12oz. sugar
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 6oz. puree banana

Ingredients for Italian Meringue

  • 1 lb. Sugar
  • 4 oz. Water
  • 8 oz. Egg whites

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Directions for Walnut Sponge

  1. Combine egg yolks with 2oz. sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until thick and light in color.
  2. In another bowl beat egg whites with remaining sugar to medium peaks.
  3. Gently fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
  4. Fold sifted flour and chopped walnuts into egg mixture.
  5. Spread batter on parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 425 degrees
  6. For 10-15 minutes.
  7. When cooled completely cut into 3inch rounds and set aside.

Directions for Apricot Compote

  1. Put all compote ingredients into heavy bottom pan and bring mixture to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer till apricots are cooked and liquid forms a syrup.

Directions for Banana Ice Cream

  1. Place milk, cream half the sugar and vanilla bean in saucepan and bring mixture to boiling point.
  2. Blend egg yolks with remaining sugar.
  3. Temper the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture.
  4. Add banana puree and heat slowly till mixture thickens to coat back of spoon.
  5. Stain mixture and allow to cool in ice bath- refrigerate overnight.
  6. Prepare mixture in ice cream machine – reserve in freezer till assembly.


  1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring mixture to 240 degrees.
  2. Put egg whites in bowl of mixer and start to beat when sugar reaches 230 degrees – whip egg whites to soft peaks.
  3. Start to add sugar syrup to egg whites in steady stream and continue beating to all sugar syrup has been incorporated into mixture.
  4. Continue beating till mixture has smooth consistency and firm peaks.

Italian Meringue

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Place walnut cake rounds on a serving plate.
  3. Top walnut cake rounds with apricot compote.
  4. Scoop a generous portion of Banana ice cream onto apricot compote.
  5. Place Italian Meringue in pastry bag and completely cover the ice cream, walnut cake and compote with meringue.
  6. Place the dessert on rotating cake stand. Spin the stand slowly while using cooking torch to slightly brown and crisp the meringue.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 4 minutes to soften ice cream.

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