It’s a wonderful time of year to be enjoying lots of lovely food. No doubt you’ve probably attended many Christmas parties already. We are having a quiet Christmas at home in Sydney and we have some loose plans for food (prawns, squid, salad, ham). On Tuesday morning I joined a Christmas breakfast which had fresh croissants, ham and cheese with fresh berries and yoghurt. It was so delicious and it was so calm and relaxing to sit around with a group of people chatting on Tuesday morning. I have yet to make croissants and so it’s mentally gone on my cooking list. Oh it would be nice to have croissants on Christmas morning. But time to slow down…I’ve come down with a sickness this last week so I’m trying to ease up on my ambitions.
My major Christmas endeavours was actually last weekend when we cooked dinner for some friends on Friday night. We had bruschetta as an entre and for mains we had the Watermelon and Pomegranate Salad with whipped Feta with a Gruyere, Silverbeet and Leek Tart. We were so glad to use some of our produce from our small, humble kitchen garden for our dinner. Basil for the bruschetta, lettuce leaves for the salad and the silverbeet for the tart (pictured). For dessert I made a Christmas Ice-Cream Bombe from Maureen McKeon’s book Crave (page 187). It’s been so hot and humid in Sydney the last couple of weeks so ice-cream dessert is just what the body craves. When we asked our friends which part of the meal they liked most we had mixed feedback – everyone liked a different element of the meal. I thought I would share with you the Christmas Ice-Cream Bombe. It takes a bit of time and more so when I decided to make the Candied Orange peel from scratch (what was I thinking????)
- 1 quantity of Classic Chocolate ice-cream (the Crave book has a recipe for making ice-cream but I just bought some!)
- 1/3 cup red and green candied cherries, or sweetened dried cranberries (craisins)
- 1/3 cup chopped mixed peel or Candied Orange Peel
- 1/3 cup raisins, chopped
- 1/3 cup golden raisins (ok so I just left this out)
- 1/3 cup currants
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon brandy, rum or sherry (I went for brandy!)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 21 fl oz whipping cream (about 600ml)
- 3/4 cup pure confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa power, preferably Dutch style
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
There is another chocolate topping to go over ice-cream but I decided not to do.
Ok, so if you have the interest in making the candied orange peel, follow along here. Otherwise skip down below for making the bombe. For something a little different, I will blog the instructions with pictures 🙂
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add peel from 6-7 orange (ones that have already been squeezed). Cover and simmer for at least an hour. Drain and allow to cool. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and pith, leaving skin about 1/8 inch thick.
Then cut the skin into strips. Boil 2 cups water and the sugar in a saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Add the peel to a boiling syrup and simmer for 20 minutes, or a little longer for larger pieces. The peel will become shiny and translucent. Remove from the heat and pack the orange peel into sterilized screw-top bottles. Pour the syrup over to cover and seal. Store in the refrigerator, or vacuum seal for a longer shelf life.
And that’s your orange peel!
Now for the Christmas Ice-Cream Bombe
Line the inside of a 12 cup bowl with a plastic wrap and chill. (I had a bowl in the house and I wasn’t sure if it was the right size or not – so I filled it up with 12 cups of water and it was full!) Gently spoon the thickened ice cream over the inside of the lined bowl to form a shell. Cover the outside of a slightly smaller bowl with plastic wrap. Place this bowl inside the other to help the ice cream mold to the right shape. Freeze until set, or overnight.
Fruited Ice Cream
Combine the fruits, spices, alcohol and water and allow the fruit to soak for 3 hours, or overnight.
Beat the cream until thick, then add half the confectioner’s sugar and the cocoa. Stire the fruit and its soaking liquid into the cream mixture.
Using clean beaters, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Beat in the remaining confectioner’s sugar. Gently fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture until combined.
Remove the plastic-wrapped inner bowl and pour the fruited ice-cream mixture into the frozen ice-cream shell. Freeze overnight.
My end result of the Bombe looked slightly different to the recipe book where the dark chocolate ice-cream completely surrounds the fruit ice-cream. You can see that I didn’t think I had enough chocolate ice-cream to go to the top of the bowl (actually I could have made it go to the top of the bowl if I had made the chocolate later thinner – I didn’t think I’d have that much fruited ice-cream). It still tastes the same but presentation can be worked on!