Bombe au Chocolat

Adapted by
August 1999
Yield: About 16 slices, 8 to 16 servings
Tips: A "bombe" is a classic French dessert, usually consisting of at least two frozen layers of ice cream and/or mousse. This easy version, made in a loaf pan, is infinitely adaptable to your preferences. My loaf pan measures 9 inches by 5 inches by 2-3/4 inches deep. To fill it completely, I need 3 pints of an outer flavor, and 2 pints for the inner layer (I find it easiest to work with pints when making this). A nice dessert for any gathering in hot weather. Remember that a bombe must be made in advance; the ice cream/sorbet needs a chance to re- freeze. Tightly covered, the bombe should last in the freezer for 5 to 7 days. If you want to make this really easy on yourself, skip the outer and inner layering in the recipe. Soften 2 pints of ice cream as directed, and make it into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Freeze for about 30 minutes. Soften the sorbet as directed, and make it into an even layer on top of the ice cream. Freeze and serve as directed. This will give you a bombe with a "stripe" effect. Note, though, that the bombe will not quite fill the loaf pan, but once it's unmolded, no one will know that!


3 good-quality chocolate chip ice cream (see Note)
2 pints good-quality coconut sorbet (see Note)
Optional Garnish
Good-quality chocolate syrup
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Fresh raspberries or blackberries


Using a pastry brush or paper towel, lightly coat the inner surfaces of a 9 inch by 5 inch by 2-3/4 inch deep loaf pan with tasteless vegetable oil. Set in the coldest part of the freezer for about one hour. For the outer layer, remove 2 pints of the ice cream from the freezer. Remove the carton lid and plastic liner (if any) from one pint. Place in microwave at 50% (medium) power for 10 to 20 seconds, or just until softened. Remove loaf pan from freezer. By large spoonfuls, place softened ice cream into loaf pan. With back of spoon, begin to work it into a layer on the bottom and up the long sides of the loaf pan. Work quickly!! Repeat with second carton of ice cream. At this point, you probably won't be able to get the outer layer into any sort of reasonable shape--OK. Just do the best you can, don't spend too much time on it, and get it back into the freezer. After about 15 or 20 minutes, check on the ice cream; it should already be firming up. Leaving the loaf pan in the freezer, reach in, and, with the back of a clean spoon, re-shape the outer layer to be as even as possible. The ice cream should come up to the top edges of the long sides of the pan. If necessary, repeat this step at intervals until the outer layer is even. Freeze the completed outer layer in the pan for 30 minutes to one hour. For the inner layer, remove the two cartons of sorbet from the freezer. Soften the sorbet as above, and, working quickly, place it by large spoonfuls into the cavity of the pan. Compact with back of large spoon to prevent holes in the finished bombe, and make as even a layer as possible. The sorbet won't come quite to the top of the pan--OK. Return to freezer for about an hour. For the "top" (actually a continuation of the outer layer), remove the third pint of ice cream from the freezer, and soften as above. Working quickly, place the ice cream by small spoonfuls on top of the bombe, and spread into as even a layer as possible (you won't need all of the third pint to fill the pan completely, and this "top" layer will be thin). Return to freezer. After about one hour, cover tightly with aluminum foil; freeze at least 5 hours longer before serving. To unmold, you'll need a container at least 10 inches in diameter and 2-3/4 inches deep; it must be able to hold very hot water. Have a serving platter or board (I like to line mine with aluminum foil for easier clean up) and a dish towel ready. Fill the container with very hot water to a point where, if the filled loaf pan is put into the container, the water will come up to the top edge of the loaf pan. The container can be deeper than this, but if it is you will have to hold the loaf pan suspended in it so no hot water gets into the bombe. Remove foil from top of bombe; place in very hot water so water comes just up to top edge of loaf pan. Do not get any hot water into the bombe! Count a full 10 seconds. Remove pan from hot water; quickly dry bottom and sides. Invert onto serving platter and bang gently. If bombe does not come out of pan readily, it may be necessary to loosen it slightly from an edge of the pan, or to replace it in the hot water as above for an additional 5 or so seconds. Once it's out of the pan, replace it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm up again. To serve, remove from freezer 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Use a large, sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife; run the knife under very hot water and shake off before cutting each slice. I like to cut slices about 1/2 inch thick. Place each slice on a serving plate; if desired, garnish with chocolate syrup, lightly sweetened whipped cream, and/or berries. Serve immediately. Store uncut bombe in freezer, tightly covered. 


I like to use ice cream that does not contain food gums to make this, because I find it easier to work with in shaping and unmolding (this is the type of ice cream that is rock hard in the freezer). Obviously, the flavors I list are only suggestions. A couple of other combination possibilities: an outer layer of chocolate chip ice cream with an inner layer of raspberry sorbet; an outer layer of chocolate ice cream with an inner layer of pistachio ice cream; an outer layer of cinnamon ice cream with an inner layer of chocolate ice cream or sorbet, and an outer layer of chocolate ice cream with an inner layer of banana ice cream. Use your imagination! © Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.