Ice Cream Bombe – Bastille Edition

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Lately I’ve been in the type of baking mood where I just want to try all the new things. This week I set out for myself two tasks: make a batch of puff pastry for next week’s project and make an ice cream bombe to celebrate Bastille Day (no wonder I have no time for adulting).

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A bombe, or bombe glacée, is a french dessert of ice cream moulded in a hemispherical shape to resemble a cannonball. There’s really no recipe to it–you just pick out two or three ice cream flavors and use the very formal technique of smushing them in between different sized bowls and invert on a platter. That’s the idea, anyway. The reality looks more like being up to your arms in melted ice cream all week, the kitchen floor now permanently sticky despite multiple moppings. Though I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a little fun…

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What I essentially wanted to do with this project was take Ina Garten’s mango, raspberry, strawberry bombe and give it a little midwest twist with Blue Moon and vanilla ice creams + a raspberry sorbet center for Bastille Day. It didn’t occur to me until halfway through though that Ina uses two different sorbets for the outer layers and that my using ice cream on the outer layer may yield different results. The problem is that sorbet is basically sugary juice water and therefore freezes way harder than creamy, fat-laden ice cream. To my surprise I actually got the thing to come out of the bowl but my takeaway is that I won’t use ice cream on the outside of a bombe again. I think it would work perfectly fine for a Baked Alaska or Charlotte Royale–something where you’re going to put something over the ice cream like meringue–but for a standalone bombe, I think a sorbet outer layer makes a nicer *read: less melty* presentation.

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I did take some pictures of the process but then I accidentally deleted them right before I sat down to type this post because it’s just been that kind of week (hence me just posting before-and-after style melting pictures). Thankfully, there’s a video on the Food Network website of Ina making her version and it’s very good, just expect it to be 2-3x harder than it looks in the video. Also expect the dinner party you serve it at to be 2-3x less chic than hers. Bonne chance et Vive la France!

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