I love Christmas time. It can be stressful – like when the entire extended family unexpectedly descends on your house Christmas Day. And it can be disappointing – like when Santa gives you Action Woman instead of the beautiful, tutu-clad, Active Sindy you asked for. Yup, Christmas can bring out the Grinch in the best of us. But still, I love Christmas.
I love setting up the tree, getting out the decorations and remembering where I bought this one, or when I made that one.
And I love Christmas food. All those delicious things that we have only once a year (and then eat as leftovers for days afterwards – there’s really nothing better in this world than left-over trifle for breakfast!). I have a few tried and true recipes that I make every year. My specialty is Chocolate Bombe Noel, a rich, chocolate-y, ice-cream dessert packed full of dried fruit, glace cherries, and white chocolate drops. It’s frozen in a bowl then turned out, so it looks like figgy pudding, only yummier, and much more suited to a Southern Hemisphere Christmas dinner.
Mum’s been making Chocolate Bombe Noel since I was a kid, so when I moved out I rang her to ask for the recipe, but — horrors – she’d lost the book! I decided that Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without it, so I turned to the library for help. Luckily, Mum remembered the book was Margaret Fulton’s Book of Ices and Cold Desserts, but the library didn’t have it! This was before I’d even dreamt of becoming a librarian, and I’d never heard of Interloans, so imagine my surprise and delight when the librarian told me that they could get it from another library in New Zealand.
The book duly arrived from Invercargill, and I’ve made Chocolate Bombe Noel every Christmas since. Even when it meant driving across town on a 30 degree day with rapidly melting ice-cream that had to be raced to the freezer ready to be shared with family after dinner. Even the year I was pregnant with Number Two who was due on November 11; I figured I might be a little busy in December, so I made it early – and the Young Lad arrived a week later.
Today the Young Lad helped me make this year’s bombe – although helping mainly involved putting on an apron and looking on while I worked. And blocking his ears when I started up the electric beater. Miss Missy helped with licking the beater.
Although we don’t have Margaret Fulton’s Book of Ices and Cold Desserts, we do have a couple of her Christmas recipe books. If you’re looking for some last minute Christmas dinner inspiration, we have plenty of Christmas themed recipe books to give you ideas. We also have some ice-cream recipe books you might like to check out.
For those of you who are interested in the recipe, please see the comments
I have an ice cream maker (a real one; not one whose container needs to be kept in the freezer) and I’ve been wondering if I should sacrifice 4 eggs to make a litre for Christmas. But because I can’t be bothered hauling out the ancient Kenwood Chef (to beat the ingredients) I’ve been telling myself I’d be the only one interested Now you’ve made me feel I should make the effort!
Home-made ice-cream for Christmas is always worth the effort! My recipe calls for 3 egg yolks – I have my egg yolk/white balance finely tuned: ice cream uses 3 yolks, sweet pastry for flan uses 1 yolk, and pavlova uses 4 whites. Perfect! But if I want to make trifle, I end up with whites that I have to use in something else. Since I’m the only one who likes trifle anyway, I usually don’t make it, which means I miss out on trifle for breakfast 😦
Lurker 1 here- this ice cream really is a treat- it can be boozy or teetotal depending on your point of view. I use peel, but missbeecrafty prefers to omit that. Every one we have made it for has loved it.
I am very down with an ice cream recipe!
sounds like a great idea…. has anyone got their own family favourite icecream recipe to share?
Well, there is still time to whip up a batch for Christmas, so here is my version of Chocolate Bombe Noel (I’ve changed it a little over the years, of course I think my version is even better than the original!)
125 g glace cherries, chopped
3/4 cup sultanas
60 g green glace cherries (or angelica if you can get it)
1/3 cup currents
60 g of your favourite dried fruit (I sometimes add apricots, glace ginger, or craisins, the recipe says pineapple, but I’m not overly fussed on it)
6 Tbsp orange juice + a little run flavouring (or 6 Tbsp rum, if you prefer! Everyone got extremely giggly the year Mum put that in!!)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
175 g dark chocolate, chopped
500 ml cream, plus extra to serve/decorate
1 cup white chocolate drops (the recipe calls for blanched almonds, but we have nut allergies in the family – and I think the white choc tastes better anyway)
Place the fruit in a bowl, stir in the orange juice and leave to soak.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a double boiler or heatproof bowl, using an electric beater, until think and mousse-like (I’m not exactly sure what “mousse-like” is supposed to mean, but I beat until pale). Gently melt the chocolate in a pan with 1 1/4 cups cream, then heat to just below boiling point. Beat into the egg yolk mixture. Place over a pan of simmering water and stir until thickened. (The recipe says to strain it at this point, but after the first time I haven’t bothered, and never noticed any difference). Cool.
Whip 5/8 cup cream and fold into the custard. Pour into a rigid freezerproof container, cover, and freeze for two hours. Remove from freezer (well, doh!). Stir well and mix in fruit, orange juice and white chocolate. Turn into a 7 cup pudding basin, cover with foil and freeze till firm (or until Christmas! This can be made well in advance).
Dip basin in luke-warm water and turn out onto a chilled plate. Decorate with whipped cream, and a sprig of holly.
Eat and enjoy!
Do let me know if you give it a try anyone.