To bombe at dinner, serve this easy ice cream dessert

September 16, 1992|By Waltrina Stovall | Waltrina Stovall,Dallas Morning News/Universal Press Syndicate

Iam sure you've heard about the woman who dropped a bombe on her own dinner party . . .

It was a sensation, of course. The bombe (pronounced "bahm") has long been a favorite of party-givers who want an easy dessert that will look great and appeal to the widest range of tastes.

Almost everyone likes ice cream, especially when it's gussied up by combining flavors, fruit, nuts, sauces, liqueurs and the like.

And unless you're a kitchen purist who does everything from scratch, ice cream bombes -- as well as ice cream pies -- are a snap to make. Once you understand the technique, you won't even need a recipe, but can combine ingredients to suit your own tastes.

The bombe, ice creams, sherbets or other frozen confections are simply layered in a mold one at a time and, for best results, each layer should be hardened in the freezer before the next layer is added.

For the bombe, ice creams, sherbets or other frozen confections are simply layered in a mold one at a time. For best results, each layer should be hardened in the freezer before the next layer is added. You can use a bombe mold, if you can find one in a kitchen specialty shop or department; or you can use any round-bottomed dish, bowl or pan that can go in the freezer.

The mix of ice creams and garnishes is where the cook's creativity comes in. Choices are virtually unlimited. Besides the commercial ice cream flavors available, you can customize your own by starting with softened vanilla and adding such ingredients as orange peel, raisins plumped in rum, cookie crumbs, chopped candy bars, liqueurs or fruit preserves.

For an ice cream pie, you also need to make -- or buy -- a crust, but since you don't have to unmold them, these pies may be even easier than bombes. Cookie crumb and nut crusts are especially good.

Spumoni is a molded Italian dessert of ice creams, nuts and candied fruits. The following spumoni is given a French accent by using Pernod, a licorice-flavored liqueur, instead of the more usual rum.

Cappuccino pie is also a popular ice cream pie. A little orange flower water is the secret fillip in it.

Spumoni bombe

Makes 9 to 12 servings.

1 1/2 pints vanilla or strawberry ice cream, softened

1 1/2 pints chocolate ice cream, softened

1 1/2 pints pistachio ice cream, softened

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons Pernod

1 cup candied fruit

1/2 cup crumbled Italian biscotti or other cookies

whipped cream and strawberries for garnish, if desired

Place a layer of vanilla or strawberry ice cream in the bottom of a bombe mold. Sprinkle with half the walnuts, Pernod, candied fruit and cookies. Freeze, then add the chocolate layer and repeat with all remaining sprinkling ingredients. Freeze again, then fill mold with the pistachio ice cream and freeze until firm.

Just before serving, dip mold into cool water briefly and use a knife to loosen the edges, then turn upside down on chilled serving dish. If mold does not release, a towel wrung out in warm water may be held against the bottom of the mold. Slice and serve.

Note: Candied fruit is only carried by most grocery stores during the holiday season, but look for it, and the Italian biscotti, year-round at specialty and gourmet markets.

Cappuccino pie

Makes 8 servings.

1 1/2 cups ground chocolate cookie crumbs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 quart rich vanilla ice cream

4 to 8 ounces very cold and strong espresso

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon orange flower water

2/3 cup chocolate syrup

1 tablespoon molasses

whipped cream

fresh berries for garnish (optional)

Mix chocolate crumbs and butter until well-blended. Press against the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pan, using the back of a spoon to smooth the mixture. Bake for 5 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Cool and chill.

Soften ice cream in a large mixing bowl and stir in strong espresso to taste. Add vanilla and orange flower water, then pour mixture into prepared crust. Freeze until solid.

Combine chocolate syrup and molasses. Pour over ice cream pie and return to freezer until set.

Slice and serve with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.

Waltrina Stovall is the food editor of Dallas Life Magazine.

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