Baked Alaska – French Earl Grey Ice Cream and Passionfruit (Daring Bakers August 2010)

August 27, 2010

Baked Alaska


To skip this rant and onto the original post, scroll down…

*Edit May 2012: A “similar” recipe to this was recently discovered to have been used on the Seven Network’s reality tv cooking show My Kitchen Rules (season 3) by contestant Samantha Bui as well as published in the accompanying cookbook and on her blog (now erased). And by “similar” I mean the same earl grey ice cream, the same passionfruit brown butter pound cake and the same recipes with virtually the same ingredients and measurements. I believe the similarities are too blatant to be a coincidence. Naturally they all denied any wrongdoing.

I normally let things like this slide because it’s the ugly side of food blogging that we all have to deal with regularly but publishing two plagiarised recipes in a cookbook is wrong and credit should be given where it’s due. Legally we have no recourse but I’m not going to lie down and stay quiet about it for their benefit. Petty? Oh god yes. Satisfying? Oh god yes.

So let it officially be known that the original recipes of this Baked / Bombe Alaska (fyi not bomb MKR) belongs to Gourmet and David Lebovitz (and I had permission to use it through The Daring Bakers). As for the earl grey ice cream and passionfruit cake idea?

I DID IT FIRST!

Stick that in your pipe MKR.

Baked Alaska


*Ah feels better* Now onto the post!

I confess that I’ve been a little slack with Daring Bakers this year. A challenge there, a challenge here… and one that was half half done…all pretty much last minute rush jobs.

I also admit that it wasn’t just poor time management that was my downfall but rather because I’ve struggled to find inspiration with challenges this year. Nobody’s problem but mine. It was just hard for me to get in the mood for ice cream with two frozen dessert challenges in a row (these past few nights have been soooo cold! Wah wah wah). And now I was to face my nemesis, meringue, for the second time in three months. 

So on to the Baked Alaska. Classic dessert, but I’ve always preferred not to ruin my cake and ice cream with meringue, so it’s one that I’ve never thought to make. I’m such a meringue hater, oops. But this presented an opportunity to wield a mother-of-a-blowtorch that I, coincidently, recently purchased with a high level of glee from my local hardware store. Glee for my new weapon and glee for the tradie perve fest at Mitre 10. Yee ha! (I’m so tragic)

Butane Torch

I knew I wanted to do a French Earl Grey ice cream ever since I bought these awesome tea leaves from T2. If you had smell-o-vision, you would understand why I’m so in love with it. It’s the aroma with its ambrosial bergamot and big punches of fruity and floral notes. It smells peachy and zesty but the fragrance from rose and hibiscus is just as alluring. It’s fabulous stuff and in an ice cream, it’s superb. For the base, I did a passionfruit brown butter pound cake, which as a fruit flavour, I love with tea. The cake was originally quite dry, which would’ve been made worse in the freezer, but thankfully the extra moisture from the passionfruit pulp helped soften it.
 
 
Baked Alaska

My piping skills are atrocious so I just grabbed a palette knife and starting icing the thing. Now the fun part. You really need a giant-assed blowtorch for maximum toasting fun and to watch how quickly the Baked Alaska burned was a sight to behold. As for the dessert itself. No matter how hard I try, I really don’t like meringue especially when it is in a soft, marshmallowy form. I’ll just take the cake and ice cream separately thanks.

Baked Alaska


But what’s an Alaska… without fire?
Lets flambé! There’s something so camp about the word flambé but in any case, lets bombe this baby! All you need is alcohol that would put hairs on your chest. At least 40-50% alcohol content is fine, although the stronger it is, the longer it’ll take to burn out and your meringue would probably char to a crisp before sliding off from the melting ice cream. Anything 60% or 120 proof? Uh, stay away because you would literally be making an Alaskan (fire)bomb.

Bombe Alaska

Can you tell I like fire in the kitchen? But remember, fire is not to be trifled with so please proceed with responsibility and caution. That is my community announcement for the week. Cheerio!

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Baked Alaska - dissected

The requisite dissection shot – about 0.2 seconds before it all slid off and fell apart!
 

Note – Jump over to the Daring Kitchen website for the original and full recipe of the Baked Alaska. I’ll leave you with the recipes for the ice cream, cake and meringue.

French Earl Grey Ice Cream and Passionfruit Baked Alaska
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French Earl Grey Ice Cream
  1. 500ml pouring cream (35% fat content)
  2. 250ml milk
  3. 2 Tbl French Earl Grey tea leaves
  4. 4 egg yolks
  5. 100g caster sugar
Brown Butter Pound Cake
  1. 275g unsalted (sweet) butter
  2. 200g sifted cake flour (or 170g plain flour plus 30g cornflour)
  3. 1 tsp (5g) baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp (3g) salt
  5. 110g light brown sugar
  6. 75g granulated sugar
  7. 4 large eggs
  8. 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)
  1. 8 large egg whites
  2. ½ tsp (3g) cream of tartar
  3. ½ tsp (3g) salt
  4. 220g fine caster sugar
French Earl Grey Ice Cream
  1. In a pot over medium flame, heat the cream, milk and tea leaves together to a low boil, while stirring constantly to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom. Once bubbles start to form on the edges of the cream mixture, remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes for it to infuse. Feel free to adjust the amount of tea to the strength that you want.
  2. After infusing, strain the tea leaves out of the cream mixture.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugars until pale and thickened. While continuously whisking, pour in the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream. Tip the whole mixture back into the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of the spoon thickly.
  4. Strain into a container and cool completely, preferably overnight in the fridge. Then churn in your ice cream machine to manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Scrape into an ice cream container and freeze. For the Alaskas, place them in your desired moulds lined with clingwrap, level and freeze.
Brown Butter Pound Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.
  2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
  6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Note – for passionfruit cake, just mix through the passionfruit pulp from as many passionfruits as you want (I use about 2 tablespoons).
Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)
  1. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.
To Assemble Baked Alaskas
  1. Cut out round shapes from your cake at the same diameter as your ice cream moulds. Place ice cream disc on top of your cake and ice or pipe all over with meringue making sure not to leave any gaps. The meringue acts as insulation for the ice cream so make sure to plug all the gaps.
  2. With a blowtorch, torch the meringue all over until golden. Alternatively you could bake it in the oven until brown.
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/

Baked Alaska 

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

H January 23, 2013 at 17:14

How long do you bake the bomb Alaska for and what is the temperature?

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Citrus and Candy January 23, 2013 at 19:31

Hi H, the only baking that needs to be done is for the brown butter cake. All the details are stated in the recipe above.

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Anna December 8, 2012 at 20:33

Looks amazing!

Can there also be ohter Fruit used in the Pound Cake? Would you recommend one?

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Citrus and Candy December 9, 2012 at 14:25

Hi Anna, I don’t see why any other fruit can’t be used. Just replace the amount of passionfruit with the same amount of fruit purée or syrup. I suggest something that’s naturally very strong in flavour and maybe a little acidic like passionfruit. Perhaps a few tablespoons from a tin of crushed pineapple, cooked over low heat to reduce the liquid and get it slightly caramelised (it’ll be like a hummingbird cake). Or perhaps cooked orange purée (recipe and method for that is in this post). Hope this helps!

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Anon May 2, 2012 at 01:16

How could 2 random people come up with the EXACT SAME idea for an earl grey ice cream and passionfruit brown butter cake baked alaska?! And with the same recipe ingredients and amounts? Clearly this is plagiarism and not a coincidence. MKR is such a shit show but this is just downright crap. Hope this gets sorted out for you soon.

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Citrus and Candy April 24, 2012 at 00:01

Hi Nici,

I don’t watch My Kitchen Rules so I had no idea! I’m not sure if it was intentional or not but unfortunately this kind of thing happens quite often (though never so publicly as on a cooking show lol). Maybe I’ll take comfort in knowing that Manu was a fan. Or so I’ve been told ;)

But I want to thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! I really appreciate it :D

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Vivian - vxdollface April 23, 2012 at 23:38

purrrrrrty! still have some french earl grey tea leaves in my canister, going to attempt to make this!

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Nici Blome April 23, 2012 at 19:13

I was shocked to see this recipe on My Kitchen Rules but the nerve of her to post it on her own blog! http://www.samanthabui.com/earl-grey-tea-bomb-alaska#more-839
But I guess they say mimicry is the highest form of flattery.

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Kenna September 1, 2010 at 15:16

Oh my goodness! I never knew baked alaska could be so petite and sophisticated! As always, beautiful photos. – ” target=”_blank”>http://www.everythinggal.com

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Indie.tea August 31, 2010 at 08:47

Your version of the 'challenge' looks and sounds magical…I've been looking for passionfruit recipes obsessively for the past few weeks, and this would be right up my alley :)

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Mei Sze August 31, 2010 at 07:08

Oh mi god…ever since I had earl grey icecream at Number 8, Melbourne, I haven't stopped raving about it..to drink it is one thing..to infuse it in icecream takes it to a whole new level..it was served with warm poached pear and some hazelnut soil.. kudos to you for making this icecream combo..yum yum..as i'm writing this, I'm just waiting for my alaska to freeze before I set it on fire.. the whole thing looks massive after I've applied the meringue to it (shudder)..not really a fan of meringues either…but fingers crossed, I get to snap a photo before it slides off into a puddle…

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@ZenChef August 31, 2010 at 02:09

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful photography! And what a recipe! One of the best baked alaska i ever seen, for sure. Bravo!

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Gastronomy Gal August 30, 2010 at 21:01

Amazing work Karen!!

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Matthew Masterchef August 30, 2010 at 13:20

Awesomeness 101. I got a blowtorch on the show and it is the bees knees. Use it on everything, from meringue to getting rid of the bubbles on a creme anglais

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Sarah - For the Love of Food August 30, 2010 at 11:43

Lovely looking bomb and Earl Grey icecream is a nice twist. Love the hardware store blow torch – now that's serious!

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Happy Cook August 30, 2010 at 07:48

They look so so perfect. Oh yes one need a blow torch for making this dessert indeed, have fun with you new toy.

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bake in paris August 30, 2010 at 04:37

Beautiful swirls and perfect browning meringue.. Thumbs up :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,
Kris

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Ladybird August 30, 2010 at 03:45

Lovely! The ice cream sounds superb, would love to try earl grey ice cream some time!

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Gummi Baby August 30, 2010 at 02:57

I would never have thought of infusing earl grey tea (one of my favourites) for icecream, thank you for the suggestion! Your alaska looks amazing!

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Adriana August 29, 2010 at 19:33

baked alaskas are one of my favorite things ever… and earl grey + passionfruit? sounds like an amazing combo!

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Jenni August 29, 2010 at 18:15

THis sounds amazing! Earl Grey is one of my absolutely favorite things ever. I had never thought about combining it with passion fruit! Do you mind shipping one of these little beauties my way? :) I like how you applied the meringue, too – I much prefer it that way than piping it on!

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Helen l grabyourfork August 29, 2010 at 06:01

Oh I like your new blow torch! Good times await! Earl grey tea ice cream is exactly my cuppa tea too – pun intended! lol.

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Katherine August 29, 2010 at 05:26

Karen that looks awesome. I love the shot of your blow torch the most. eheheh. I have to get to the hardware store to buy myself a super charged one. I love blow torching food. ehehehe. I am putting the earl grey tea ice cream on my to do list. Looks divine.

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thang @ noodlies August 29, 2010 at 05:16

wow, i love this daring august bakers challenge… loving all the interpretation so far.. well done

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Alice August 28, 2010 at 23:06

Wow. The flavour combination you have sounds incredible and so light and summery. I've never heard of French earl grey before and now find myself googling it and sorely tempted to buy some. For my first challenge I opted for the petit fours but your writing has also tempted me to try a baked Alaska sooner rather than later.

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Andreia August 28, 2010 at 17:59

Loved your idea of an Earl Grey Ice Cream, and the photos… great! Congrats.

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef August 28, 2010 at 14:17

I haven't had cause to enjoy a tradie perve-fest for a while. I think given that spring is almost here, I should put my almost expired Bunnings gift card to use to get some gardeny stuff, and uh.. treat myself :)

Yum, love the flavours you went with!

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Monika August 28, 2010 at 07:13

I'm a meringue hater myself too so I decided to make petit fours. These were awesome. Your Alaska looks great, though, and your new weaponlooks mighty! :)

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veena August 28, 2010 at 05:35

your baked alaska looks so good

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deeba August 28, 2010 at 03:02

Yee haw to you Karen, you need more weapons! WOW!! What a gorgeous post and that is the most beautiful weapon usage I have seen in modern times! Well done indeed, and now you leave me CRAVING for a blow torch. Love the flavour combinations … need a spoonful now!

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Asha@FSK August 28, 2010 at 00:38

You know, I wasn't going to get a blow torch… but, looking at that photo up there, it looks like a super cool gadget that I really, really must have.. not to mention that I am simply dying with envy at your flambe! way to go girl!!!

And oh! I love Earl Grey Ice cream…was plannig on making that for the last challenge but ended up making fruity ones :)

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Elissa August 27, 2010 at 20:07

Earl Grey and passionfruit make such a beautiful, sophisticated combination. Your baked alaska is so elegant!

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Kocinera August 27, 2010 at 18:54

Can I just say how much I love the idea of Earl Grey ice cream?! As I was reading your post, I was mentally calculating how much tea might be in my house at the moment, so I can give this ice cream a try. It sounds super, duper yummy!

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Shelley C August 27, 2010 at 17:39

Holy braveness, girlfriend – great job torching that dessert!! Sorry you aren't a meringue fan, but I hope you enjoyed the rest of the Baked Alaska – the cake and your ice cream flavor must have gone together so beautifully! Great work on the challenge.

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Mary August 27, 2010 at 16:15

Passionfruit and Earl Grey tea are 2 of my favourite flavours ever! Can you FedEx me one of these by any chance? Gorgeous photos, and now I need to go look up T2 tea.
:)

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mlle délicieuse August 27, 2010 at 15:46

I just tried T2's French Earl Grey for the first time tonight. I'm an Earl Grey fan in any case but this is something else – like you said, so much more ramped up in terms of citrus and floral aromas.

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jennifurla August 27, 2010 at 15:10

Wow, you blog and this post are just gorgeous – great job on this months challenge! You kicked butt

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shaz August 27, 2010 at 14:06

Beautiful sounding flavours. I managed to flambe mine too, after many unsuccesful attempts and no nlowtorch :)

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Aparna August 27, 2010 at 07:33

I really liked your flavour combinations and I think you've found some inspiration in this challenge. Maybe the blow torch helped some, but your baked alska is beautiful.

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citrusandcandy August 27, 2010 at 11:38

LOL perhaps my blowtorch was my muse :P Thanks so much Aparna! xx

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Rhonda August 27, 2010 at 06:08

you dont like meringue? gasps! lol .. well looks like u conquered that bitch of a nemesis this bomb looks fab! btw.. u can get blow torches in hardware stores? ive been looking for one for ages but theyre all sold out everywhere! will try the hardware store next

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katie August 27, 2010 at 06:05

Yum! What a delicous combination and not one I would have thought of putting together. Looks fantastic

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Poires au Chocolat August 27, 2010 at 05:56

Look gorgeous! I made some truly disgusting earl grey ice cream a few weeks ago – maybe I should give it another go. Hmm.

Love the flambe. Also, very jealous of your epic blow torch – mine is puny in comparison!

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citrusandcandy August 27, 2010 at 11:37

Oh no! Why was your last earl grey ice cream disgusting? I'm not an earl grey fan so it has to be subtle in ice cream but I truly think it depends on the tea you use. I think it works with this tea because it's so fruity and floral.

And with the blowtorch, my last one was like a lighter and the flame was so tiny. This was definitely a good upgrade :)

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Renata August 27, 2010 at 05:45

If you hate meringue and your alaska turned out so beautifully, I wonder what it would look like if you liked it only a tiny bit! I so much wanted to flamb

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Suz August 27, 2010 at 05:41

Ha, I love that you flambeed it. What a great idea! I wish I'd set fire to mine, but I don't think it would have been as successful somehow ..

Your finished piece looks just delicious. I love your photos (especially the ones with fire!) and your flavours sound wonderful. Great job!

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Kim August 27, 2010 at 05:33

Your Baked Alaska looks great! Makes me wish I had done one just so I could use a torch. Nice job on the challenge!

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Ellie August 27, 2010 at 04:20

Love the flavour combinations! Very nicely done, Karen.

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Laura August 27, 2010 at 03:42

Oooh, i love the fire

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Jacq August 27, 2010 at 03:40

hehehe i like fire! the flambe shot is awesome! one of my favourite things about making meringue is that it gives me an excuse to get out the blowtorch and burn away hehe

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Steph@LittlePotBelly August 27, 2010 at 03:33

Nice! Baked Alaska is one of my fav childhood memories…that flame used to get me so excited. The French Earl Grey ice cream sounds divine.

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chef_d August 27, 2010 at 02:33

French Earl Grey Ice cream sounds yummy. Note to self: buy a torch. Your baked alaska looks cool being flambeed! Excellent job!

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chelle August 27, 2010 at 01:44

Been a silent reader for ages. Love all your chocolate posts cos I'm a super chocolate fan myself. (: This post is just amazing. I get you on the meringue thing, I'm not a biggie fan for meringue, but it just looks so gorgeous with the flames surround it. (:

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citrusandcandy August 27, 2010 at 11:40

I admit, I love the look of meringue when it has been freshly whipped too. But thanks so much for dropping by Chelle and don't be afraid to say hi more :)

Oh and btw, the chocolate posts will be back soon enough LOL. Thanks for your lovely comments x

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john@heneedsfood August 26, 2010 at 23:39

Go the blow torch! I love playing with these. Good old Bombe Alaska, an oldie but a goodie. Love the flambe shot!

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Steph August 26, 2010 at 23:17

OMG i have giant blowtorch envy. FIREEEE! I have to try this french earl grey sometime. Love the addition of passionfruit to the pound cake!

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Fiona August 26, 2010 at 21:10

Those Alaskas are looking so Tricky!

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chocolatesuze August 26, 2010 at 21:06

mmm burn baby burn… “That's where I saw the leprechaun. He tells me to burn things!” hoho oh ralph

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chocswirl August 26, 2010 at 21:04

Awesome photos! Wow! Love the flaming one. I agree with you on keeping the components separate though. I figured out that Baked Alaska isn't on one of my favorites either.

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Ambika August 26, 2010 at 20:46

Gorgeous! Absolutely beautiful…what a treat for the eyes :)

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trissalicious August 26, 2010 at 20:39

That looks fantastic Karen! The first picture is stunning.

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