Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'da bomb!

Ice cream is quite possibly one of my most favorite desserts ever. Which is why when I read my Daring Baker’s challenge for the month of July I was ecstatic. Not only did I get to make ice cream, I got to make TWO ice creams. And a fudge sauce. AND a swiss role cake, which had been on my “to-bake” list for the past 2 1/2 years (literally, I’ve been wanting to make it since I first saw the recipe in my Cooks Illustrated Holiday Baking magazine from 2007).

Why ice cream + sauce + cake roll?? Well, we were tasked to make an ice cream bombe this month. And it was ‘da bomb! (tee hee hee)

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

The challenging part this month wasn’t necessarily making the dessert, it was figuring out which of the close to 200 ice creams from my new ice cream book I’d use! Two things helped save my brain from overheating thinking about the millions of possibilities in my head:

1. The Cooks Illustrated swiss roll cake I’d wanted to make was a chocolate roll with coffee mascarpone filling, so that helped guide the flavor profile of the final dessert.
2. I had a visitor this week that made the ice cream selection for me. Yea for other people making decisions for me!

So you ready to hear my dessert description??

Mocha fudge sauce sandwiched between tiramisu and white chocolate ice creams under a blanket of coffee-mascarpone cream filled chocolate cake rolls.

Translation: Coffee and sugar between fat, sugar, liquor and chocolate, fat, 
sugar under a blanket of fat, fat, chocolate, sugar and more fat.

You guys just gained about 5 pounds reading that description; imagine how much I gained eating it… But, but, but I had to. It was a Daring Baker’s challenge dessert. (Yes, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)

Now, for my "detailed" analysis:

* It was pretty freaking delicious. Even if it did look like a disaster once sliced (see "Cons" below)...

Cons: (not really bad cons, just things I'd change next time...)

* While I think I’d do something like this in the future, I doubt I’ll make every single ingredient from scratch. It just took so damn long! Each component wasn’t that horrible on it’s own, but making all the ice creams from scratch then having to assemble them (with the chilling time in between each layer) made this a multi-day project. It would have been a lot easier had I made it over a whole week or two.

* I used too much mocha fudge sauce (which FYI my recipe doesn't actually freeze) and not enough ice cream for the size of my bowl. Which caused the inside to collapse and ooze out fudge sauce. Not necessarily a horrible thing really. Just not the prettiest.

* The fudge sauce was also too overpowering in flavor. I made two really nuanced ice cream flavors (tiramisu and white chocolate) which tasted really good on their own, yet their flavor lost out with the competing fudge. Personally, I think it's best to make the bomb without the fudge inside and just serve the sauce on the side. If you're gonna use the sauce, just go with a plain 'ole vanilla ice cream.

* I don't like ice cream cakes and this reminded me of one. Why don't I like ice cream cakes?? Because the cake and filling get too damn hard when the ice cream is perfect and the ice cream is too melty when the cake is perfect. This cake is best served at room temperature and freezing it ruins it. In my opinion, use brownie squares instead of swiss cake roll for the most perfect ice cream bombe. Brownies straight from the freezer basically have the exact same texture as room temperature brownies.

You see how my swiss roll basically broke as I rolled it?? 
Yea, this cake was a b*tch to roll without cracking. But in the end, 
big cracks and all, it did't damage the integrity of the swiss roll. Phew.

Want the recipes?? Click below.

Ice Cream Bombe,  adapted from Daring Bakers challenge recipe


1 sponge cake roll, filled and sliced in ~1" thick pieces
1+ pints ice cream, softened
chocolate sauce, optional


1. Line inside of medium sized bowl with plastic wrap. Line with sliced cake rolls (see picture below).
2. Add first pint of ice cream. Place in freezer to harden.
3. Add chocolate sauce, if using. Allow to cool (or harden if using a different recipe)
4. Add second pint of ice cream. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer to harden, at least a 4-5 hours or longer.
5. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water.

Note: All the recipes I used for this challenge are below. To summarize my main critiques/ comments from the blog post above:
* I'd eliminate the sauce from the bombe and just serve it on the side
* I'd replace the swiss roll with brownies or another "crust" (oreos?!)

Pretty rolls lining a bowl

Chocolate sponge cake, from Cooks Illustrated


1/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting baking sheet
6 oz bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 TBPS cold butter, cut into 2 pieces
2 TBPS cold water
1/4 cup (Dutch-processed) cocoa, sifted
1/8 tsp salt
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cream of tartar


1. Prepare oven and pan: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 18 x 12 inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cover pan bottom with parchment paper and spray parchment with cooking spray; dust baking sheet with flour and tap out excess.

2. Prepare mascarpone cream filling (see below)

3. Melt chocolate in double boiler: Bring 2 inches of water to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Combine chocolate, butter and water in small heatproof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set bowl over pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and heat until butter is almost completely melted and chocolate pieces are glossy, have lost definition and are fully melted around edges, ~15 minutes. (Don’t stir the chocolate or let water come to a boil.) Remove bowl from heat, unwrap, and stir until smooth and glossy.

4. Prepare dry ingredients: While chocolate is melting, sift cocoa, flour, and salt together into small bowl and set aside.

5. Whip egg yolks: In bowl of standing mixer, beat egg yolks at medium-high speed until just combined, about 15 seconds. With mixer running, add half of sugar. Continue to beat, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary until yolks are pale yellow and mixture falls in thick ribbon when beaters are lifted, ~ 8 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down bowl once, about 30 seconds. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

6. Whip egg whites: Wash mixer bowl VERY WELL, making sure no grease remains (it’ll prevent the whites from whipping). Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add about 1 tsp of remaining sugar, continue beating until soft peaks form, 40+ seconds. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks when whisk is lifted, about 1+ minutes longer. DO NOT overbeat (they’ll look dry and granular).

7. Start preparing batter: While whites are beating, stir chocolate mixture into yolks. With rubber spatula, stir 1/4 of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining whites until almost no streaks remain. Sprinkle dry ingredients over chocolate mixture and fold in, quickly but gently.

8. Bake cake: Pour batter into prepared pan, using offset spatula and working quickly, smooth surface and spread batter into pan corners. Bake until center of cake springs back when touched with finger, 8-10 minutes, making sure to rotate pan halfway through baking time.

9. Cooling process (TIME sensitive!): Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. While cake is cooling, lay clean kitchen towel over work surface and cover with piece of wax paper. Cut another piece of wax paper and set aside. After cake has cooled for 5 minutes, run paring knife around perimeter of baking sheet to loosen cake. Quickly (but gently!) invert cake onto towel and peel off parchment. Place second piece of wax paper over the roll.

10. Rolling the cake: Starting at long side, roll cake and towel together into jellyroll shape. Cool for 15 minutes (no longer!), then unroll cake. Immediately spread mascarpone cream filling evenly over surface of cake, almost to edges. Reroll cake gently but snugly around filling. (Don’t worry if your cake is cracking a bit- just keep rolling! Mine had some large cracks but never fell apart…)

11. To store, wrap in wax paper and place in fridge. This recipe is also what’s used to make a yule log cake. If making yule log, trim ends of cake on diagonal and cover with ~1.5 cups chocolate ganache (to make the tree stump).

Note: the technique about rolling/ unrolling/ filling/ re-rolling really does help with the cracking, but don’t expect it to be absolutely perfect. I had some pretty big cracks in my cake when I rolled it (not sure if I over whipped the egg whites and/or overcooked the cake by a teeny bit). In the end it actually didn’t really matter all that much as it held together perfectly, deep cracks and all. Just be prepared for some possible frustration with this recipe.

Coffee mascarpone cream filling,  from Cooks Illustrated


1 1/4 cups heavy cream
5 TBSP sugar
8 oz mascarpone
2 tsp coffee dissolved in 1-2 tsp hot water


1. Mix heavy cream and sugar in bowl of mixer and using whisk attachment whip on medium high speed until whipped.
2. Add mascarpone and coffee and whip on medium low speed until combined.

White chocolate ice cream, from Perfect Scoop


8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream


1. Put chocolate pieces in large bowl and set mesh strainer over top.
2. Warm the milk, sugar and salt in medium saucepan until sugar is melted (a few minutes). Don’t overheat the milk.
3. In separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly add the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Stire the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scrapping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, ~5-8+ minutes (You want to gently heat the eggs to cook/thicken them but you don’t want scrambled eggs!)
5. Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate. Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the cream.
6. Place bowl over an ice bath (a larger bowl filled with water/ice cubes) to chill the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure to cover the surface of the mixture with the plastic, and place in fridge until very cold.
7. Freeze it in your ice cream maker.

Tiramisu ice cream, from Perfect Scoop


2 cups mascarpone
1 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/4 cup Kahlua
3 TBSP brandy or dark rum


1. Puree mascarpone, half and half, sugar, salt and liquors together in blender or food processor until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
2. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to instructions.
Note: the original recipe suggested you alternate layers of the ice cream with Mocha Ripple in your storage container. I used the mocha ripple for the sauce portion of my ice cream bomb, but feel free to use the chocolate sauce in this way instead.

Mocha Ripple, from Perfect Scoop

Note: I'd highly recommend cutting the recipe in HALF for use in this bombe. It ended up overpowering my dessert using the full amount.
Also note, this ripple doesn't really freeze. So expect it to ooze out of your ice cream bombe if you use it for that purpose.


1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
6 TBSP cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP coffee granules (or if using fresh coffee, replace water with strongly brewed espresso)


1. Whisk together sugar, corn syrup, water and cocoa powder in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges.
2. Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1 minute longer, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and coffee powder. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator before using.


Tamara Marnell said...

This looks AMAZING. It probably wouldn't be a good idea for me to follow suit, but maybe some mini rolls with just a dab of fudge sauce instead of an entire bomb would be nice to keep in the freezer for sweet-attacks.

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