Just in time for Valentine’s Day this weekend. A sweet treat. Mini chocolate Bundt Bombes Alaska. Inspired by a sticking bundt tin baking disaster. I well remember being taught as a child to always grease and flour a baking tin. As cakes were mixed it was often my job to rub scraps of butter paper over the tins. Those tins were carefully inspected to make sure every centimetre of the surface was well greased before I was allowed to dust them with a shower of flour, any excess dutifully tapped out. No doubt saved for reuse, as was the norm in any frugal kitchen.
That was a long, long time ago. Since then technology has brought all manner of non stick, teflon coated and even silicon baking moulds to the kitchen. I’ve become rather lazy, sometimes I grease, sometimes not. Wherever I can I rely on the baking paper alternative. It’s only when my tins become old and well worn that I revert back to greasing and flouring my tins. I’ve been the proud owner of my much loved mini bundt tins for over two years now, up until now they’ve never stuck. Not once. All my little teacakes have ever needed was a little twist to coax them out of hiding. Until this week. Oh the bitter disappointment! A perfect release for perhaps half my tray, the rest remaining obstinately and resolutely stuck. All it takes is one little caught edge to ruin a pretty little bundt completely.
My solution? Reconstuction and disguise. Carefully prising the cakes and their crumbs from the tin, I patched them together as best I could, filling the holes with softened icecream before popping them into the freezer for a good two hours. Smothered in a generous blanket of Italian meringue and caramelised under a hot grill for the merest minute or so they re-emerged, as a butterfly from its chrysalis, transformed into the sweetest, daintiest mini chocolate bundt bombes Alaska. Happy Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with sweetness and love.
Mini Chocolate Bundt Bombes Alaska
This makes a large batch. Store extra ice cream filled bundt cakes in an airtight container in the freezer for a quick and impromptu dessert. Smother with Italian meringue and place under hot grill just before serving.
For The Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 self-raising flour
2 cups (500 ml) good quality vanilla (or any favourite flavour) icecream
PREHEAT oven to 170 C fan-forced. Grease and flour a 12 hole mini bundt tin, tapping out any excess flour.
COMBINE water, sugar, butter, cocoa and bicarbonate soda in a medium saucepan and bring to a strong simmer but do not boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. You will need to watch the pan like a hawk at this point as the bicarbonate of soda will cause the mixture to fizz, keep stirring to stop it from overflowing.
TRANSFER mixture to a bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Then stir in flour, beating well to combine.
SPOON batter evenly into the prepared tin, until each hole is about three quarters full. A word of warning, the mixture will be a little runnier than a regular cake batter. When filled tap the tin gently on the kitchen bench to evenly distribute the batter.
BAKE for 15 minutes, middle oven rack position, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
REMOVE from the oven and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.You may need to give each bundt cake a little twist to help release it from tin.
LINE a small oven tray (which will comfortably fit into your freezer) with non stick baking paper. When completely cold, generously fill the centre of each bundt cake with softened ice cream. Place on lined tray and freeze until solid, for at least 2 hours or overnight is better
For The Swiss Meringue
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
WHISK egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl until foamy.
PLACE bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water) whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are just warm to the touch, about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.
REMOVE from heat and beat with with an electric mixer until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Fold through vanilla extract. Use immediately.
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen, to garnish
PREHEAT oven grill to high. Position oven rack to upper rung (I like to use second rung from top). Line a large oven tray with non stick baking paper.
WORKING IN BATCHES of 3 or 4 (depending on size of your oven tray), remove ice cream filled bundt cakes from freezer. Place spaced well apart on prepared tray, then using a palate knife, quickly pile a generous amount of swiss meringue over each, taking care to ensure each bundt cake is sealed to the edges and completely covered. Swirl decoratively to finish.
PLACE under hot grill for a minute or so until the tips of the meringue swirls are lightly golden and toasted.
CAREFULLY remove bombes from baking tray with a spatula and place on serving plates. Scatter over fresh or frozen raspberries. Serve.