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Get your hands on Marion's NEW cookbook, Always Delicious. Shop now (we ship worldwide!)

Get your hands on Marion’s NEW cookbook, Always Delicious. Shop now (we ship worldwide!)

Hot & Numbing Bombe Alaska

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A hot and spicy… dessert? Yep, Marion’s using Sichuan peppercorns and chilli to make the ultimate sweet treat. With heaps of tongue-tingling components, it’s a weekend bakeathon project, but totally worth it. Save this one for a special family occasion and wow your loved ones. 

WATCH THIS RECIPE

Hot & Numbing Bombe Alaska

PREP TIME
1 hour 45 minutes + overnight
COOK TIME
40 minutes
SERVES
8 people
Ingredients

Sichuan Peppercorn Vodka

3 tbsp green Sichuan peppercorns

1 cup vodka

 

Hot & Numbing Fudge Brownie

1½ tbsp green Sichuan peppercorns

145g salted butter

250g white sugar

200g dark (70%) chocolate

2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp sea salt

3 eggs

1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour

 

Spicy, salty sprinkle

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp sea salt

 

Hot & Numbing Ice Cream with Spicy Peanut Praline

1 cup blanched peanuts

2 tbsp green Sichuan peppercorns

1 red birdseye chilli, finely sliced

1 cup caster (superfine) sugar

1/4 cup water

1L vanilla ice cream

 

Sichuan sugar syrup

3 tbsp green Sichuan peppercorns

6 birdseye chillies

3 cups white sugar

½ cups water

 

Spicy Sichuan Italian Meringue

3 large egg whites

½ lemon, juiced

¾ cup Sichuan sugar syrup

1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns

 

Important: Complete steps 1–9 the day before you wish to serve. On the first day, prepare your Sichuan Peppercorn Vodka, make and cut your Hot & Numbing Fudge Brownie (the base can remain in the fridge until assembly time), and ensure your Hot & Numbing Ice Cream with Spicy Peanut Praline is made and in the freezer.

 

Steps
Step 1

To make the Sichuan Peppercorn Vodka, place the peppercorns and vodka in a bottle. Allow to infuse overnight. Also ensure you have made your brownie and it is in the fridge, and your Hot & Numbing Ice Cream is in the freezer. The next day, strain vodka into a clean bottle.

Step 2

Let’s make the Hot & Numbing Fudge Brownie next. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F and position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan with baking (parchment) paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).

Step 3

Toast the peppercorns in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Use a mortar and pestle to roughly grind them (you don’t want a fine powder here). Take a teaspoon of the ground peppercorns and mix with the remaining ingredients for the spicy, salty sprinkle. Reserve the remaining peppercorns.

Step 4

Place the butter, sugar, chocolate, vanilla bean paste, chilli powder, reserved ground peppercorns and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally until the butter and chocolate has melted. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl. Crack in the eggs, one at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition.

Step 5

When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated. Use a spatula to continue vigorously mixing until you see the brownie batter pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin, making sure it is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the top with the spicy, salty sprinkle. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until just set in the centre. Remove from the oven (leave the oven on and increase the temperature to 180°C/350°F) and allow to cool completely. Cut the brownie into a circular base that fits into the bowl you’ll be using to mould your bombe alaska (my bowl was about a 4-cup capacity). Once cool, wrap the base and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble. 

Step 6

On to the Hot & Numbing Ice Cream with Spicy Peanut Praline. For the praline, spread the peanuts on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside and cool then coarsely chop. Line a medium-sized baking dish with baking paper then spread peanuts over in a tight, single layer. Scatter over the peppercorns and chilli.

Step 7

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cook for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is a deep caramel colour. Working very quickly as the sugar can easily burn, swirl the pan so the caramel is evenly golden then pour over the peanut mixture on the tray. Take care as the caramel is extremely hot. Allow the caramel to completely cool and harden. Break up the firm praline and blitz the praline in a food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Step 8

Take your vanilla ice cream out of the freezer and allow to soften slightly. Empty the ice cream out into a large bowl. Mix through the praline mixture. Use a large spoon to mix everything together as best you can. Return to the freezer.

Step 9

On the day of serving or the night before, line your 4-cup capacity bowl with cling film, leaving plenty of overhang. Spoon in the Hot & Numbing Ice Cream, then top with the round of Hot & Numbing Fudge Brownie (it should be the same size or a tiny bit smaller than the bowl you are using). Fold the excess cling film over the brownie and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Step 10

To make the Sichuan sugar syrup, place sugar and water into a deep saucepan and place on high heat. If you have a digital thermometer, place into the syrup and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 115°C (239°F), otherwise cook for about 6–7 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened. Keep continuously moving the syrup around the saucepan without adding in any utensils to help prevent the sugar syrup from crystallising. Just before the temperature hits 115 degrees, add in the chilli and Sichuan peppercorns (take care, as it will bubble). Strain immediately over a clean bowl or jug.

Step 11

On to the Spicy Sichuan Italian Meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites. Turn onto medium-high speed and whisk for about 3 minutes until the eggs are white and fluffy. Slowly add in the lemon juice and continue whisking for another 2 minutes.

Step 12

Turn the mixer speed down to medium. As it’s mixing, slowly pour ¼ cup of the sugar syrup into the egg mixture and mix for 1 minute. Add in another ¼ cup and mix for another minute. Then repeat with the last of the mixture. Once all of the syrup is mixed in, turn speed up to medium-high, then keep whisking for a further 3 minutes until the mixture is super glossy and shiny.

Step 13

Assembly time! When ready to serve, place the strained, infused vodka into a small saucepan over medium heat to warm. In the meantime, unmould your ice-cream dome onto a serving plate. Use a spatula to spread the Spicy Sichuan Italian Meringue all over the dome so that all the ice-cream and brownie are completely covered. Use the flame of a blowtorch to ‘cook’ and toast the outside of the meringue so that it is golden brown all over. Sprinkle over the whole Sichuan peppercorns.

Step 14

Take a stainless steel (not plastic!) ladle and scoop up some warm vodka from the saucepan. Use the flame of a lighter or your gas stove to carefully set the vodka in the ladle alight (CAUTION: take care here not to burn yourself or catch alight any materials within close range). Pour the flaming vodka over the meringue. Slice into portions and serve.

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