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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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.
- 1 1/2 quarts home-made chocolate-chocolate chip hazelnut ice cream
- 1 1/2 quarts home-made pistachio nut ice cream
- 1 1/2 quarts home-made Maraschino cherry ice cream
- 2 tbsp roasted, chopped hazelnuts, for garnish
- 2 tbsp roasted, unsalted, chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- As soon as the ice cream maker’s canister is ready, begin making the pistachio ice cream.
- Cover the exterior of the smaller bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.
- 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..
- 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.
- As soon as the ice cream maker’s canister is ready, begin making the Maraschino cherry ice cream.
- When completed, use the cherry ice cream to fill the remaining cavity. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until fully frozen.
- 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.
- 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.)
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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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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