Ice Cream Bombe

Ballymaloe House Hotel Located in East Cork




  • 1 litre/34 fl oz (41⁄4 cups) Vanilla Ice  Cream
  • 500 ml/17 fl oz (generous 2 cups)  Blackcurrant Ice Cream
  • 500 ml/17 fl oz (generous 2 cups) Strawberry Sherbet


  • 300 ml/10 fl oz (11⁄4 cups) whipped cream
  • 110 g/4 oz (3⁄4 cup) Almond Praline Powder (page 26)
  • 225 g/8 oz whole strawberries, optional
  • fresh mint leaves or sweet cicely leaves
  • edible flowers or petals, such as violets, primroses, roses or cornflowers
  • fresh Strawberry Sauce (page 42), to serve 



Put a 2 litre/4 pint freeze-proof bowl into the freezer for about 10 minutes, so it becomes icy cold. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and let it stand for 10 minutes to slightly soften. Line the cold freeze-proof bowl with the vanilla ice cream in an even layer, put it into the freezer and after about 1 hour take it out and improve the shape if necessary. Return to the freezer for another hour. 

Repeat the process with the blackcurrant ice cream, moulding it into an even layer inside the vanilla ice cream case, leaving the centre free to fill with the strawberry ice cream. Return to the freezer for 1 hour and lastly fill with the strawberry ice cream. Cover the top of the bowl with a clip-on lid or baking paper and leave in the freezer to set overnight. 

Just before serving, place the whipped cream into a canvas piping (pastry) bag fitted with a star-shaped tip. To unmould the bombe, dip the freeze-proof bowl in warm water for a few seconds or just long enough so the moulded ice cream can be loosened from the bowl. With the aid of a flexible metal spatula, unmould the ice cream and invert it onto a serving plate. 


Decorate the bomb with a generous sprinkle of praline powder and pipe rosettes of cream around the bottom and on top of the bombe. Decorate with slices of strawberries, if using, sprigs of mint and edible flowers. Serve each slice with fresh strawberry sauce. 

FOR A WINTER ICE CREAM BOMBE Follow the same method, replacing the vanilla, blackcurrant and strawberry ice cream with chocolate, praline and coffee ice cream respectively. Decorate with candied angelica, Amarena cherries, gold leaf, almond praline and crystallized violets. Serve each slice with warm toffee sauce, Irish coffee sauce or chocolate sauce. 



8 (makes approx. 1.5 litres/21⁄2 pints/61⁄4 cups) 

  • 110 g/4 oz (1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz (1⁄2 cup) cold water 
  • 4 large (US extra-large) egg yolks 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • seeds from 1⁄2 vanilla pod 
  • 1.2 litres/40 fl oz (5 cups) softly whipped cream 

Place the sugar and water in a heavy pan. Stir so all the sugar comes into contact with the water and brush any sugar crystals on the side of the pan down to the bottom using a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Place
on a medium heat and bring to a boil. If you have a sugar (candy) thermometer, use it to monitor the temperature of the boiling syrup and cook to 120°C/248°F (hard ball stage).

If you do not have a sugar thermometer you can test if the syrup is ready by using a metal spoon: dip the spoon into the boiling syrup, then lift it out and hold over the pan. When ready, the syrup will fall from the spoon in a viscous stream and threads will remain after the last few drops of syrup fall from the edge of the spoon. 

While the syrup is cooking, put the egg yolks into a bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed until light and fluffy. When the syrup is ready, remove from the heat and, whisking all the time, pour it directly onto the egg yolks in a steady stream. Take care while adding the syrup: avoid pouring the syrup directly onto the moving whisk and aim for the syrup to hit the side of the bowl and run down into the yolk mixture belowWhisk the mixture until it thickens and cools to room temperature, this can take 10–15 minutes. If making a flavour variation (see pages 200–202), this is the egg mousse stage. 

Once cool, stir in the vanilla extract and the vanilla seeds. Finally, thoroughly fold in the whipped cream, making sure there are no ripples of cream in the final mixture. If making a flavour variation, this is the vanilla base. 

Transfer to a freeze-proof container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze. The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month but it is at its best the week it is made. 

Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. 



12 (makes approx. 2.5 litres/85 fl oz/101⁄2 cups) 


  • 200 g/7 oz (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 220 ml/7 fl oz (3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) water
  • 600 g/1 lb 5oz fresh or frozen blackcurrants, strings removed
  • 1 quantity Vanilla Ice Cream (page 198), before adding the vanilla 


Place the sugar and water in a heavy pan and bring to a boil. Add the blackcurrants, bring back to a boil and simmer until the currants burst; this takes just a few minutes. 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Purée the fruit using a handheld blender. Strain through a sieve and discard the seeds. 

You should obtain about 600 ml/20 fl oz (21⁄2 cups) of purée in total. 

Follow the method in the vanilla ice-cream recipe (page 198) up to the egg mousse stage. Instead of vanilla, add the blackcurrant purée to the egg mousse and mix thoroughly so there are no streaks in the mixture. Now fold the blackcurrant mousse into the softly whipped cream and freeze (see page 198). 

Reserve any surplus blackcurrant purée to serve as a sauce with the ice cream. 



8 (makes approx. 1.5 litres/50 fl oz/61⁄4 cups) 

  • 200 g/7 oz (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz (1 cup) cold water 
  • 900 g (2 lbs) strawberries 
  • juice of 1⁄2 lemon 
  • juice of 1⁄2 orange 
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz (2⁄3 cup) softly whipped cream 

Place the sugar and cold water in a heavy pan, put on a medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer the syrup for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to completely cool. 

Hull the strawberries, cut each berry in half and add to the cold syrup with the lemon and orange juices. Purée the fruit with the syrup using a handheld blender. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the whipped cream to the purée and thoroughly mix (I like to use a balloon whisk for this). There should be no ripples or streaks in the mixture. 

Pour the mixture into an ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Store the sherbet in an airtight container in the freezer. 



approx. 350 g/12 oz (2 cups) 

  • 170 g/6 oz (11⁄8 cups) whole almonds 
  • 170 g/6 oz (3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) caster (superfine) sugar 

Almond praline can be stored for several weeks in an airtight jar. This recipe also works well with lightly roasted, skinned hazelnuts. 

Line a baking sheet with baking paper. 

Combine the almonds and sugar in a low- sided, heavy pan and place on a medium heat. After 1–2 minutes, the sugar will begin to melt and caramelize around the edge of the pan. The sugar will not melt evenly, so use a wooden spoon to gently nudge the almonds and push them around. As you do this, the melting sugar will move with the nuts and the contents of the pan will more evenly heat. As the sugar melts and caramelizes, the almonds will begin to roast and make a crackling sound. Cook until the caramel is a deep chestnut colour, then use a wooden spoon to coat the almonds completely in the hot caramel. 

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the bubbling mixture directly onto the lined baking sheet. Allow the caramel and nuts to cool completely. 

Break the solidified almond brittle into small pieces; if it is quite thick. use the back of a wooden spoon or rolling pin. Pulse to a gritty powder using a food processor. Store in an airtight container. 

About the Recipe:

This recipe is from Ballymaloe Desserts by JR Ryall

Photographs: Cliodhna Prendergast

Publishers: Phaidon

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