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Bombes Away! 3 Easy-Peasy Summer Desserts

If you’re searching for a no-fuss, showstopping dessert idea, look no further than your freezer. An ice cream bombe, or bombe glacée if you’d like to honor the dish’s French-y roots, is an icy spectacle made by layering ice cream or sherbet in a mold, then freezing and unmolding it to be a graphic ice cream cake of sorts. It’s a fancy retro treat that’s easy to recreate at home and perfect for large-format summer entertaining. Customize these ideas by swapping in difference ice cream and/or sherbet flavors, if you’d like.
Layered-SorbetPhoto: Courtesy of Erin Phraner.
Striped Sherbet Bombe
Serves: 10-12
3 cups lemon sherbet, softened
3 cups orange sherbet, softened
3 cups raspberry sherbet, softened
1 cup fresh raspberries
Pack the lemon sherbet into a 6 to 10-cup pan* using an offset spatula; smooth the top in an even layer. Transfer pan to the freezer; freeze 30 minutes or until sherbet is firm. Place orange sherbet on top and freeze at least another 30 minutes and then again for raspberry layer. Freeze for an addition 2 hours or until very hard.
Place raspberries on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze 30 minutes or until icy.
To un-mold sherbet, dip the pan up to the rim in warm water and invert onto a flat plate or cake stand (tap the top to release, if needed). Garnish with the frozen raspberries.
*We used an 8-inch brioche pan to give this colorblocked bombe its fabulous fluted appearance. Don’t have a brioche pan? A Bundt pan will work just as well (or a deep bowl, if you’re really in a pinch). Remember: A 6-cup Bundt pan will make a tall bombe; a 10-cup Bundt pan will make one that’s wider and shorter.
Mocha Ice Cream Bombe
Chocolate lovers, this one’s for you! We layered dark chocolate and coffee ice cream to create the nested look of this super-rich bombe, then cloaked the whole thing in our version of Magic Shell. Skip the coffee ice cream and go for another layer of chocolate if you’d like to be a purist (just pick one that’s a different color — maybe milk or white chocolate).
2 to 3 pints dark chocolate ice cream, softened
1 to 2 pints coffee ice cream, softened
1 (12-oz.) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
1 stick salted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
Shaved chocolate and/or finely ground coffee beans, for sprinkling
Freeze an 8-inch bowl until very cold; brush with vegetable oil and line with plastic wrap, leaving a 3-inch overhang. Put the chocolate ice cream in the bowl and pack it tightly using a spatula. Freeze 30 minutes or until ice cream is hard.
Spread the coffee ice cream in the hole and on top of the chocolate ice cream. Freeze at least 2 hours or until hard.
Put the chocolate chips, butter and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and combined, stirring as you go; let cool slightly. Invert the bombe onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; remove the plastic wrap. Spread the chocolate sauce over the bombe to coat. Freeze 15 minutes or until set completely. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with shaved chocolate and/or finely grated coffee beans, if desired.
Strawberry Shortcake Baked Alaska
We combined strawberry and vanilla ice cream to recreate the flavors of strawberry shortcake in this old-school frozen dessert. We used store-bought pound cake for our base but, if you’re fancy, by all means make a cake from scratch.
1 pound cake, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
2 pints strawberry ice cream, softened
2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened
4 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 granulated sugar
Cut the pound cake slices into 3-inch rounds using a circle-shaped cookie cutter. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet; set aside.
Using a spatula, pack strawberry ice cream into a round ice cream scoop (about 3-inch diameter) to fill half way. Pack the remaining space with vanilla ice cream; press and release onto a cake round to make a small domed baked Alaska shape. Repeat with remaining ice cream and cake rounds. Freeze at least 2 hour or until hard.
To make meringue topping, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Remove the tray of cakes from the freeze and cover each completely with the meringue, swirling with the back of a spoon. Freeze at least 3 more hours.
Preheat the oven to 500˚. Bake the cakes until the meringue peaks are golden, about 4 minutes.