The holidays require us to pull out all the stops. The days are short and dark, and they need us to find ways to not only celebrate our spiritual beliefs, commit time to friends and family, but to brighten our days with fun food that we specifically label “holiday party time.”
I enjoy inviting my friends to dinner and making Italian comfort food like lasagna, baked ziti, or pirme rib, and then bringing out an assortment of Christmas cookies or my signature fudge. But still, the table needs something more, a bit of a splash, but not a heavy dessert, because by now, we’ve had appetizers, drinks, and a filling meal. To make sure that we’re all comfortable after dinner as we sit around a white christmas tree and talk. I love to make this ice cream bombe.
The ice cream bombe is the perfect ending to such a meal. It’s so easy to prepare, yet so very elegant and surprising. I’ve yet to meet the dinner guest that didn’t enjoy this treat. I always use a very high premium, high fat ice cream. You can use a store bought high quality sorbet, but this time I made my own pomegranate sorbet here, in my red to remember post.
The idea of a bombe is an ice cream (or sorbet) inside another ice cream, that when you cut it open you see the layers. It’s pretty, it’s elegant, and it looks harder to make than it is. It’s perfect for company because it makes them feel special. That’s important to me. Having friends over for dinner is the way I show people I care. This trait runs very deeply in me. But, my dilemma is usually that I bite off more than I can chew and I run out of time as far as dessert making. That happened today. I made a pie crust for a well-intended lemon meringue pie, that never got made. I already had the first part of the bombe done and all I needed to do was scoop in the sorbet that was also sitting in the freezer.
I’m going to suggest right now to get a bombe started and it may be just the time saver you need when guests are coming. The chocolate sauce is optional, but you can get that made in advance also. Just put it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. So, the next time you’re at the store, get the ice cream, sorbet (or make your own), some chocolate, then you will not be caught without a fabulous dessert that will make your guests feel the holiday love. And, for fun, serve your dessert with champagne.
Select your sorbet and ice cream. My two favorite combinations:
Vanilla ice cream with pomegranate or raspberry sorbet
Dark Chocolate ice cream with tangerine or raspberry sorbet
I think the simpler you keep the flavors, the more elegant it will look.
You can serve with a chocolate sauce, but a great accomplice may just be a Christmas cookie.
If you use a sorbet or homemade ice cream that has alcohol, do not use that as the outside layer, as it will not freeze hard enough.
You will need:
- 1 1/2 -2 quarts ice cream (high fat content, otherwise you need more ice cream, because non-premium brands contain more air and will deflate. High fat, premium ice cream keeps its integrity.)
- 1 quart sorbet
- Round bowl large enough to spread the whole quart one inch inside the bowl
- A smaller bowl that will fit inside the bowl
- Ice cubes
- Plastic wrap
- The ice cream will be the outside of the bombe.
- Press it in the a very cold bowl at 1 1/2 inches thick. Reserve some of this ice cream for the floor of the bombe. Put a piece of plastic wrap on the ice cream, smoothing it out. Use smaller bowl to help aid in shaping. Fill with ice cubes, place in freezer and freeze for several hours to over night..
- Remove bowl and fill with sorbet. If you need help in removing bowl, remove ice cubes and place hot cloth on inside of bowl. Fill with second ice cream or sorbet. Freeze for a few hours. Place bowl in a larger bowl of hot water for 1-2 minutes. Invert onto serving dish, place back in freezer. Remove 10 minutes before serving to soften.
You can decorate with cookie crumbles, sprinkles, shaved chocolate, very finely chopped nuts, candied citrus, etc., or a chocolate sauce. I used a bittersweet chocolate sauce. This sauce can be heated for a hot fudge sauce but for a bombe, take it to room temperature.
Chocolate Sauce (adapted from My Home to Your Home by Dori Greenspan)
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 1 cup high quality chocolate chips (Ghiradelli bittersweet chips )
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- Heat together in heavy bottomed sauced pan until boiling. Boil while stirring for a few minutes. Bring to slow simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk.
- Serve at room temperature or hot for hot fudge sundaes.