Bombananza… a little Bob Schneider reference for you. Or in the words of Apu from the Simpsons, “Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it.” Don’t worry, I’m not blowing up anything. But I did make an Independence Day (ice cream/cake) bombe.
The 4th of July is not exactly my favorite holiday. It’s a reminder of mistakes I’ve made and also the fact that I’m still living in the US. I have more excitement for St Patrick’s Day. However, with a family gathering on the 4th, I decided that it would be the perfect occasion to make my baking challenge of the month, a Swiss swirl ice cream cake with an Independence Day twist: red, white, and blue.
I talked to my mom the morning before to brainstorm. The necessary components of the cake were the Swiss roll cake, two different (and homemade) kinds of ice cream, and a sauce. So what’s red? How about strawberry ice cream. And blue? Hmm… blueberry ice cream. White? Vanilla ice cream of course. But the example for the challenge used a chocolate cake, and my mom didn’t think blueberries should mix with chocolate. Okay… so back to blue.
After a few more ideas thrown back and forth, the verdict was out: vanilla swiss roll cake with strawberry ice cream (red/white stripes), vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream, and a layer of blueberries for a bit of crunch. So the blueberries are kind of replacing the sauce, I just didn’t know if a blueberry compote would be gross if frozen.
Upon making the sponge cake for the swiss roll, I decided to color part of it blue. Then when I cut the swiss rolls up to make my bombe, it’d have all three patriotic colors showing. Once the cakes were out of the oven, I rolled them up in a towel to cool and drove off to the grocery for a carton of eggs and a large bottle of heavy cream. I’ve had an ice cream maker for probably about 5 years and have only used it once. But lucky for me, the bowl was still in the freezer, ready to churn.
Once home, I went to the trusty allrecipes.com site to search for ice cream recipes. Nothing really appealed to me. So I chose to use the recipes in the cuisinart booklet that came with my maker. The most exciting part of this challenge was to finally use the vanilla pods I bought. I’ve never used one before but they provide such a good vanilla flavor. I made the vanilla ice cream first and since the recipe contained tempered eggs, I let that sit in the fridge while I whipped up the eggless strawberry ice cream. Since that one was quick, I let it churn in the ice cream maker first. It produced a deliciously creamy and flavorful strawberry ice cream. I scraped out the bowl and rinsed briefly so my vanilla ice cream wouldn’t taste of strawberries and set that one in the mixer to churn. It would not freeze. Damn.
All is not lost, I put the bowl with the liquid in the freezer for an hour while I worked on filling my vanilla swiss cake with strawberry ice cream, then I tried again. Shit. Still wouldn’t freeze. I thought maybe ice cubes in the liquid could help. Note to any of you who may have the same idea, it does not help. So I removed the cream and put it back in the fridge and put the bowl back in the freezer.
I thought maybe I should try to make the cream again since version number one now had trace amounts of water in it from the ice and that could cause ice crystals to form. This time, I used another egg-based recipe courtesy of David Lebovitz. With that completed and put in the fridge, I made some dinner and watched Harry Potter 3.
Tick, tock, tick, tock. Four hours should be enough time for the ice cream bowl to freeze, right? Note to those who may be thinking the same thing… it’s not. Thirty unsuccessful minutes of churning and I finally called it quits for the night. I’d just have to try again in the morning and if it still wouldn’t work, then I’d have to buy vanilla ice cream since there’d be no more time to try again.
Up at 8 am on July 4th, here goes vanilla ice cream take four. The bowl had had eight hours of freezing time and I could hear the liquid inside slush a little bit, but it wasn’t too bad and I didn’t have time to wait any longer. Hallelujah, the Ice Cream God was with me! It froze.
I grabbed my blue swiss roll and it was pretty hard. I let it sit in the towel all day and all night. It cracked and crumbled and I fussed and cried. Okay, I didn’t really cry, but I was pretty frustrated at this point. In a desperate attempt to still have red, white, and blue on the outside of my bombe, I put blueberries in the little spaces between my cake slices.
Time was just not with me on this challenge. I had two hours to assemble everything and take it to the family gathering. And when you’re working with two different kinds of ice cream and not wanting them to blend in with each other, you have to have a bit of time in between the layers for freezing. I just said “screw it,” (actually, I think I said something else) and layered up everything and hoped for the best.
It was a hit for all, except my dad, who seems to find fault in everything, didn’t like the frozen blueberries. They weren’t that hard, but maybe his old man teeth couldn’t handle them. Unfortunately the layers wanted to mingle with eachother, but the bombe still tasted delicious.
Grade for Swiss swirl ice cream cake – B