Torn from a notebook, folded in two, translucent and spattered, I have a recipe for a Light Tropical Christmas Cake -given to me by the grandmother of one of my friends. Fed with rum and containing a smaller proportion of dried fruit and pineapple, it is my cake of choice during the festive period. I’m not really a fan of Christmas cake or pudding you see, and usually look for an alternative; preferring spiced chocolate mousses, mulled fruits, flour-less roulades or ice cream.
If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m partial to a good ice cream and, Christmas is no exception. For Christmas ice cream sceptics, mincemeat is a good way to start -preferably using a jar of homemade stuff, a little boozy with plenty of orange zest. My favourites include a slightly sour cranberry ripple through sweet, custardy vanilla; Armagnac soaked prunes added to a rich chocolate or, if you really want to push the boat out, chestnut and brandy with some marron glace chopped and sprinkled over each scoop.
What I would really love to do, if I had the time, the temperament and funds for a beautiful antique copper mould, is create a Bomba Ice. Served on a pedestal, in the vein of Georgian show stoppers, I’d make it with maraschino or noyeau and stud it with burnished dragees and glace fruits. Such a thing would clearly need to be cut into portions with a sabre and served on the finest translucent porcelain.
So, when I found a flyer for Copoazu Ices’ ice cream cakes, you can probably imagine my absolute delight. With a more minimal approach to Bomba making -compared to my flamboyant Regency tastes at least, there are three types of Bomba to choose from: zesty pannetone; brandy rich Christmas cake and an indulgent chocolate Armaretti. Each of them have a baked base and three domed layers of ice cream -snow white Fior di Latte common to all.
For a recent pre-Christmas family gathering (with more traditional tastes), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try the Christmas cake flavour. The very idea of ice cream cake seemed to fill young and old alike with wonderment and joy. Removed from its box with a flourish with a New Year-like countdown for its thawing time, the Bomba was very well received.
The image above does little justice to the cake -but that is what happens when you serve yourself last and everyone else scarfs down their picture perfect portions before the melt begins. Milky, pure, Fior di Latte gave way to a wonderfully textured festive fruit cake layer. Spiced and a little malty, this was I think, my favourite flavour. At the centre, silky brandy and a sliver of rich brandied Christmas cake, went together beautifully.
Ten of us gorged on this cake; half of us took seconds and a greedy pair ate thirds! Rich, indulgent and festive; most importantly, enjoyed by all. Factions remain divided on whether each flavour should be enjoyed separately or a geological layer approach should be taken. Tempted? Invite plenty of people, clear some freezer space and place your order in a timely fashion with Rachel and Sophie. Hop with glee when your Bomba is delivered and make schemes into how not to be the one to serve.