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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Baked Brownie Bombe Alaska

WARNING!  Do not attempt this recipe at home in an open plan kitchen/dining room!!  This is what i did, and i can tell you now, the stress of the whole thing almost gave me a coronary!  Although you can do all of your preparation before your guests arrive, it is best to assemble the alaska just before putting in the oven, otherwise the brownie bottom will be too hard to eat after being in the freezer for hours.

Just to throw in a little hurdle to my already giant challenge, I decided to do individual baked alaska's for everybody, but i can tell you now, they looked brilliant and well worth the effort!  I was very pleased with my final product (as a first attempt anyway!)

Here's my recipe:

Brownie Base:
 - 1/2 cup unsalted butter
 - 1 cup cocoa
 - 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
 - 4 eggs
 - 1 tsp vanilla extract
 - 3/4 cups plain flour
Ice Cream Centre:
 - Vanilla Ice cream
 - Chocolate Hazelnut Ice cream
(Or whatever ice cream you would like to use)
 Meringue Top:
 - 4 egg whites
 - 3/4 cup caster sugar

1)  Preheat the oven to 180'C and grease/line an 8inch baking pan.

2)  Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3)  Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth.  Whisk in the vanilla, then gently fold in the flour.

4)  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake until the cake tester inserted into the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached - about 40-45 minutes.  Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into individual sized portions to use as your base.

5) Make your meringue top by beating your egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add in your caster sugar, whilst continuing to beat the mixture until egg whites become thick and glossy and stiff peaks are formed.

6)  Start to assemble your alaska's by layering vanilla ice cream, followed by chocolate hazelnut ice cream on top of your brownies.  Then, completely cover the entire brownie/ice cream with meringue mixture, being sure not to allow any gaps showing.  Using the back of a spoon, create peaks on your alaska.

7)  Be sure to have the oven heated at 220'C, then place your alaska's on a tray and bake on the highest rack in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until your meringue starts to brown.

8)  Serve immediately!

9)  Relax.  It's all over.  :-)

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