Friday, April 20, 2007

you're the bombe

I think that possibly, the Easter dinner we made on resurrection Sunday was one of my finest cooking moments. Yeah, I'm an ecumenical cook - I love my kneidlach for pesakh but I was pretty happy concocting a bizarre egg themed menu for Mr J.

This was one crazy cooking experience - we, the kitchen crew almost killed each other and we were cranky as all hell but we came back from some really grim moments (gnocchi dissolving in the cooking water) to pull it all off and boy was it stupendous. To start we had egg shaped potatoes all crispy and lemony, olives and cheese stuffed little round peppers. Then there were ovoid spinach and ricotta gnocchi with napoli sauce, a salad of three heritage variety eggplants, pumpkin, more potato goodness (the other gnocchi dough reinvented as fried poufes) and other things I can't remember.

And then,

there was bombe alaska.

I was nervous about this for days. Putting icecream in the oven?! Would it melt? Were we crazy? But actually it turned out pretty darn easy. I used this recipe and was so happy to discover Su Yin's blog. She is a very enthusiastic and encouraging blogger so I felt a little more confident and made some adaptations.

I made mandarin ice cream by mixing homemade marmalade through some vanilla ice cream. Packed it into a pointy bowl with a big ball of marmalade to be the "yolk". Froze for a few hours to get the right shape. Stuck it on a tray on top of some slices of dodgy swiss roll and slathered it in maple syrup. Stuck more swiss roll slices all over it. Glad wrapped it to squish it into one mass and froze overnight. Then you just gotta whip some egg whites n sugar, lather it on and bake it. Sadly we burnt the back a little bit but luckily there are some carbon fiends in my family who declared that side lovely in all its charredness. Oh and we set it on fire with brandy then poured fresh passionfruit pulp over the slices. It's apparently the flaming which makes it bombe alaska. Otherwise it's just boring baked alaska.

So yeah, the ice cream didn't melt at all - meringue is a really good insulator. The only changes i'd make in the future would be to use fresher cake and to avoid the burning of course. The swiss roll idea sounds gross but you get great stripes on the finished product due to the jam so it does work nicely. I think something very saucy on top is important. The passionfruit is good - a hot sauce would be very awesome I think.

Now I feel very very proud housewife of this effort and I'm gonna have to do some kinda retro dinner party to show it off to people who I'm not related to. I was hunting down 60s dishes thinking that was the bombe's era. Maybe it was but apparently this crazy baked ice cream idea goes as far back as 1804 when it was unimaginatively called omelette surprise. It was named for Alaska in 1876 to honour the newly acquired territory of the US. Oh nothing like a bit of conquering to get me in the mood for some baked ice cream!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Looks incredible!