Spumoni Ice Cream (It’s da Bomba!)

As you already know, a number of people in my life have birthdays in August. Mom, Grandma, Uncle, my Friend the kitchens’ Taste Tester, my Friend the Entertainer, my Grand-Nephew, and the Oldest of the Boys Upstairs were all born in August. Well, in their honor, and since this is the last day of their collective birthday month, why not go out with a bang? Today’s recipe is the Spumoni Bomba.

These past few Fridays, I shared recipes for pistachio, chocolate, and cherry ice cream. Not so coincidentally, these are the 3 flavors used to create spumoni ice cream, Mom’s favorite. Dad often brought home boxes of spumoni from the restaurant, with each individual serving conveniently wrapped in paper. Klondike bars? Who needed ice cream sandwiches when we had boxes of spumoni in the freezer? Anyway, if we’re going to celebrate the end of Mom’s birthday month, spumoni is the only way to go.

Before offering instructions for creating the Bomba, as well as the traditional “loaf,” a few things should be mentioned. First off, I knew all along that I would be making spumoni ice cream and that’s why I chose to use the same base for all 3 flavors. I wanted all 3 ice cream layers to have the same creamy texture on the palate. Using a custard-based chocolate layer with a yogurt-based cherry layer and Mom’s pistachio layer, for example, just wouldn’t work. Secondly, “authentic” spumoni recipes call for a variety of candied fruit pieces to be added to the cherry layer. For me, these chunks do not freeze well and consequently ruin the texture of the ice cream. So, I dropped ‘em! Moving beyond the rejected candied fruit, this recipe will use 3 batches of home-made ice cream, with each batch equaling 1 1/2 quarts. Of course, the amount of ice cream required will depend upon the size of the bowls you use to create the bomba. If you don’t wish to make home-made ice cream, store-bought can be substituted. You’ll need to let the ice cream soften a bit before you add any fruits or nuts, if desired, and before you use it to make either the loaf or bomba. Lastly, unless you have 3 canisters for your ice cream maker, this is going to take more than 1 day to create.

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Magic happens when you slice into a bomba!

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Spumoni Bomba Recipe

Special equipment: a set of 3 nested mixing bowls, each decreasing in size. Mine were approx. 10″, 8″, and 6″ in diameter, and/or 1 bread loaf pan.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. While the chocolate-chocolate hazelnut ice cream is being made, cover the exterior of the middle-sized bowl with plastic wrap, place it in the largest bowl, and place both in the freezer until needed.
  2. When the ice cream has been made, reserve 1 cup of it and pour the rest into the largest bowl. Place the plastic-covered middle bowl into the first and press down, causing the ice cream to flow upwards between the 2 bowls. Stop applying pressure when the ice cream reaches the top of the outer bowl. Place both bowls back into the freezer for a few hours.
  3. Remove the middle bowl and plastic wrap. With an offset spatula, use the reserved ice cream to fill any cracks that the plastic wrap may have created in the surface of the chocolate layer. Cover the ice cream-covered bowl with plastic wrap and return it to the freezer.
  4. As soon as the ice cream maker’s canister is ready, begin making the pistachio ice cream.
  5. Cover the exterior of the smaller bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.
  6. Once the pistachio ice cream has been made, reserve 1 cup and pour the rest into the chocolate ice cream-covered bowl. Place the smallest bowl into the semi-frozen pistachio and press down, causing the ice cream to flow upwards between the 2 bowls. Stop applying pressure when the ice cream reaches the top of the chocolate-covered bowl. Place both bowls back into the freezer for a few hours..
  7. Remove the small bowl and plastic wrap. With an offset spatula, use the reserved ice cream to fill any cracks that the plastic wrap may have created in the surface of the pistachio layer. Cover with plastic wrap and return it to the freezer.
  8. As soon as the ice cream maker’s canister is ready, begin making the Maraschino cherry ice cream.
  9. When completed, use the cherry ice cream to fill the remaining cavity. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until fully frozen.
  10. To serve, place the bowl in a hot water bath briefly while running an offset spatula or knife along the outer edge of the molded ice cream.
  11. Quickly invert the ice cream bomba onto a chilled serving plate, sprinkle with the chopped nuts, top off with cherries, and serve. (See Notes below.)

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Variations

If you wish to go the more traditional route and create a spumoni loaf, use a bread pan as your ice cream mold. Fill to 1/3 with chocolate ice cream and place in freezer until firm. Next, fill another 1/3 with pistachio ice cream and return to freezer until firm. Lastly, use cherry ice cream to fill the rest of the bread pan, cover with plastic wrap, and return to freezer until firm. When ready to serve, follow the same instructions for unmolding the bomba.

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Notes

Looking at the pictures, you may have noticed that the bomba’s cherry ice cream center is larger (thicker) than the other 2 layers. If you want your layers to be more consistent, you can either use a set of smaller bowls or make/buy more chocolate ice cream to form the outer layer. As it was, I used the entire quart-and-a-half batch made by my ice cream maker.

As you also may have noticed, serving a bomba in a heat wave does have its risks and unless you’ll be dining in a walk-in freezer, you can expect some melting to occur. If possible, unmold the bomba onto an ice-cold serving platter and place it back in the freezer for a short while before serving.

Pictured was a “surprise birthday bomba, ” the recipient of which, my Friend the Entertainer, didn’t mind “the thaw” one bit and even waited patiently for the pictures to be taken.

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71 thoughts on “Spumoni Ice Cream (It’s da Bomba!)

  1. I like the way the sun is backlighting the just-sliced bombe in the manner of a religious experience. That pretty much sums it up for me regarding your ice cream creations.

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    • Truly serendipitous! We were rushing to get it plated, garnished, pictures shot, and presented on one of those “high heat” days — and Bea was helping. I was taking a bunch of pictures, hoping one would be good enough for the post, when the clouds parted and Voila! That’ll never happen again!

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  2. Fanfare and fireworks here methinks for this grand finale! Amazing, it´s years since I´ve eaten anything like this and have never attempted to make one. Stunning photos too and what patience your Friend the Entertainer has …. holding back with something like that waiting for you?! Congratulations on a month of stunning ice creams.

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    • Thank you, Tanya. If you’re going to celebrate a month of birthdays, it’s either go big or stay home. Of course, now that the gauntlet has been thrown down, I’ve no idea what I’m going to do next August. Well, I’ve got a year to plan.

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  3. AMAZING! What a finale! And what a great post, your efforts in making this and detailing the process is well noted! As well as that beautiful table setting. I LOVE spumoni! And totally homemade, wow!

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    • Thank you, Linda. The whole process was a lot of fun, from developing the cherry & chocolate ice cream recipes to presenting the bombe. And I, too, love spumoni — I am my Mother’s son, after all. I think, though, I won’t be blogging about ice cream for a while. I have a freezer full of rejected test batches to consume. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it..

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    • Thank you, Cecilia. You echo the thoughts of the bombe’s recipient. Yet, he waited while I snapped pictures. Let that be a lesson for us all: choose your birthday boys (and girls) carefully, especially when bombes are involved.

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    • Thanks, Roger, but don’t sell yourself short. It really isn’t that difficult, if you’ve got the cream and freezer space — and it does take up a lot of freezer space! But, it is a worthwhile project, especially when the recipient is as appreciative as this bombe’s was.

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    • Thank you so much. It had been decades, literally, since I last enjoyed spumoni and this was such a fun project. Best of all was the look in my Friend’s face when he saw the bombe. Priceless!

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  4. This is easily the most impressive ice cream recipe I’ve seen all summer. It looks amazing – and absolutely professional quality. Fantastic! And the weather is supposed to be perfect for ice cream the next few days. Enjoy! And happy birthday to all of your August family and friends. :)

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    • Thanks, Eva. Using the same base for the 3 flavors of ice cream really did make a difference and both confections, loaf & bombe, were very well-received. It was a worthwhile project.

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    • Thank you so much! It really is approachable. The worst or hardest part of the entire process deals with the amount of freezer space required, especially after the chocolate layer has been formed. There has to be enough freezer space to accomodate a chocolate-lined bowl, a 2nd bowl, and 2 ice cream machine canisters. I didn’t even consider that part of the process when I started. As a result, I had to enlist the basement freezer, meaning I made quite a few trips back and forth. Even so, the look on the recipient’s face made it all worthwhile

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  5. Tanto di cappello ( I take my hat off to you)!!! Really!!! Not only you came up with such a delicious and very elaborate ice cream recipe, your instructions are so well written that it seems so easy to make it. Exccellent!

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    • Thank you so much! The process itself really isn’t so difficult. You must have plenty of room in your freezer, however, to hold the bowls – empty & filled – and the ice cream maker canisters. And if you make it as a gift or for a special dinner, the look on the recipient(s) face(s) will make it all worthwhile. WELCOME HOME!!!

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  6. I’m late coming to this party, but this is the most wonderful post! The pictures, descriptions and recipes are so delicious you could eat them off the page. I’ve made several bombes in my day, though am too lazy to make homemade ice creams for them and instead mix layers of sorbet and ice creams with my own additions. They are so much fun to make, impressive to serve and great to eat. All of your ice creams sound and look terrific, and now I want to have spumoni and make a bombe again! I just found your blog yesterday and am having so much fun looking through it…a terrific blog! Cheers to you~Betsy

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    • Welcome, Betsy! I got the idea for making a spumoni bombe, coincidentally, after seeing a sorbet bombe being served. I wanted to make something special for a friend’s birthday and this was perfect although, next time, I’ll use smaller bowls. That was an awful lot of ice cream! Thanks for your kind words and now I’m off to check out your blog. Don’t be a stranger!

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    • Thanks, Ruth. It was such a hot day that afternoon and my friend was patiently “waiting in the wings,” not knowing what we were doing. Add to it, a young dog that was bound and determined to have some ice cream and it’s a miracle that we shot any pictures. All in all, though, it was well worth it. The look on my friend’s face, a real ice cram lover, was priceless. That’s one picture I regret not taking.

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    • Last August was ice cream month, Francine, and it culminated with the Spumoni Bombe. I made it for a friend’s birthday. It is quite a dessert! If you’ve a sweet tooth, you’re going to love this! :)

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  7. Pingback: Spumoni Cupcake - Lemons for Lulu | Lemons for Lulu

    • This was one heckuva confection, Kathryn. You should have seen the Birthday Boy’s face when he saw it. I hope he doesn’t expect anything so grand this year. That bombe is a pretty hard act to follow!

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  8. Pingback: It’s Mom’s Birthday and I’ve Got a Peach of an Idea! | from the Bartolini kitchens

    • Thank you dropping by and here’s some unsolicited advice: do NOT use those bowls to make a bombe. You’ll need well over a gallon of ice cream to fill them. That largest bowl is a bottomless pit! Start smaller. Trust me. :)

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      • Thank you :) Your comment made me laugh. I can only imagine starting and wondering where that ice cream “went” I will start small for sure. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for the tip ;)

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    • It was quite a confection but, to be honest, I used nesting bowls that were too large. That thing contained well over a gallon of ice cream. It was huge! I gave it to a friend for his birthday and, frankly, was happy to get the monster out of my freezer! Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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  9. Pingback: Tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt | from the Bartolini kitchens

  10. Wow, what a recipe! The bomba is da bomb! I’ve never made a bomba, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to it, but this sure is inspiration. Nor have I made my own spumoni, although that’s simple enough. I’m with you on the candied fruit, BTW – never saw the necessity for it. It just doesn’t add anything for me – kinda of detracts, actually. Great post – thanks.

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    • Thank you, John. Should you ever try your hand at making one of these, use bowls smaller than I did. That thing took more than a gallon of ice cream to create! My ice cream maker really got a work out. Being that large, though, was very impressive and the Birthday Boy was very happy.

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  11. Delicious stuff!! Wanted to pop in to thankyou for following me… Secondly my mom keeps telling me the difference between food and Real food. I showed her your blog. An she was like, ” Hah! This is one person who knows his food”. She is a fan now :D

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  12. I’m so glad I found your recipe! I’ve been searching for a fantastic Spumoni recipe for some time. Not sure yet when I’ll make it – probably soon! Thanks.

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  13. Pingback: Pistachio Gelato | from the Bartolini kitchens

  14. Dear John, ‘Summer is a coming in, loudly sing cuckoo. Sing cuckoo!’ Actually it’s still spring, but Summer is getting closer. And – I have an ice cream, maker too, so I’m going to try your pistachio ice cream as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if Summer cannot stay here forever, it’s good to know it’s coming to your neck of the woods. Makes its departure easier to swallow somehow. I do hope you enjoy the Bomba, Mary. It certainly is a hit around here when I make one. And the pistachio is a big hit in Zia’s area. My poor ice cream maker never gets any rest. :)

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