Bombe alaska is one dessert that many don’t do at home. It’s not hard, just time consuming and needs freezer space. I made it once a few years ago and it turned out really well. It’s a fun dessert, filled with surprise, and looks impressive – like a toasted meringue pillow. B also loves bombe alaska, so I was looking for an occasion to make it again.
You can use any flavour ice cream you like. So I decided on my favourite – chocolate, of course. The outer layer is usually a standard meringue – egg whites whipped with sugar. I ‘modernised’ it by adding ground earl grey tea leaves to give a subtle difference. It didn’t seem quite enough, so I took the cake component out, substituting with melting moment matchsticks served on the side. As the traditional bombe alaska has liqueur in it, I also served dessert wine on the side.
I should have stuck to the original configuration of a bombe alaska, wrapping cake around the ice cream and re-freezing it before coating it with meringue and browning it. What a mess trying to plate 8 bombe alaskas at once – without the cake encasing it, the ice cream started to melt on the plates! I was so disappointed – I would have to serve it slightly melted. I should have thought this through more and at least chilled the plates beforehand. I was also unhappy with the final presentation – having to cover melted ice cream with the meringue so it wasn’t as neat as I wanted it to be. But the redeeming feature was that my guests really enjoyed eating it – not just the taste of the earl grey and chocolate, but being able to ‘scoop up’ the drippings with the melting moment matchsticks.
Luckily I had more of everything, so the next evening I decided to serve it in espresso cups. Much less stressful, but also less of a bombe alaska. Still made for a yummy dessert though!
You learn from your mistakes. Next time I’ll do the cake.
You can find the recipe here.