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Watermelon Bombe Two Ways — Beginner and Expert

With its layers of colorful ice cream and pretty shape, a bombe is a stunning Summer dessert. Bombes are made by spreading softened ice cream into a mold, one flavor at a time. After the entire dessert is frozen solid, the bombe is unmolded, sliced, and served. A watermelon bombe is such a fun and popular style that I've found two recipes for you to check out. The first, more simple version involves sherbet and chocolate chips. The second, more sophisticated variation involves ice cream and chocolate wafers. Both make a visually cool dessert so get the recipes when you


Beginner Watermelon Bombe

Beginner Watermelon Bombe

Beginner Watermelon Bombe


  1. About 1 pint lime sherbet
  2. About 1 pint pineapple sherbet
  3. About 1-1/2 pints raspberry sherbet
  4. 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Line a 1-1/2-quart mixing bowl with plastic wrap.
  2. Press slightly softened lime sherbet against the bottom and sides of bowl. Freeze, uncovered, until firm.
  3. Spread pineapple sherbet evenly over lime sherbet layer. Freeze, uncovered, until firm. Lime and pineapple sherbet layers should be thin.
  4. Pack raspberry sherbet in center of sherbet-lined bowl. Smooth the top to resemble a cut watermelon. Cover and freeze until firm, about 8 hours.
  5. Just before serving, uncover bowl of molded sherbet. Place a serving plate on the bowl and invert.
  6. Remove bowl and peel off plastic wrap. Cut the bombe into wedges; press a few chocolate chips into the raspberry section of each wedge to resemble watermelon seeds.

Serves 8.

Expert Watermelon Bombe

Expert Watermelon Bombe

Expert Watermelon Bombe


  1. 2 pints pistachio ice cream
  2. 1 pint vanilla ice cream, recipe below
  3. 1 quart watermelon sorbet, recipe below
  4. 4 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, broken into 1/4-inch pieces
  5. 1 six-inch-round layer Vanilla Sponge Cake, recipe below


  1. Line a 3-quart metal mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the edges overhanging. Place lined bowl in freezer for 10 minutes; this will be the mold. Chill the bowl of an electric mixer as well.
  2. Place pistachio ice cream in the chilled mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, beat on low speed until ice cream is spreadable, about 30 seconds. Remove chilled mold from freezer. Using a rubber spatula, coat inside of mold with all the pistachio ice cream, making a 1/2-inch-thick layer. Return mold and clean mixer bowl to the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Place vanilla ice cream in chilled mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until spreadable, about 30 seconds. Remove mold from freezer. Using the rubber spatula, coat pistachio layer with the vanilla ice cream, making a 1/4-inch-thick layer. Return mold and clean mixer bowl to freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Place sorbet in chilled mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until sorbet has softened, about 1 minute. Fold in wafer pieces. Remove mold from freezer. Pack sorbet into center, making an even layer that comes to 1/3 inch below the top of the ice cream layer. Cover sorbet portion with sponge cake; trim cake if necessary. Return mold to freezer until completely hardened.
  5. To serve, place a serving plate upside down on top of the mold. Holding plate against mold, invert both. Place a hot wet kitchen towel over the mold. Remove the metal bowl. Immediately before serving, remove the plastic wrap.

Serves 12.

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 vanilla beans
2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups very cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Gently scrape out all the seeds.
  2. Place vanilla-bean scrapings and pods in a medium saucepan with milk. Scald the mixture, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Alternatively, whisk together in a medium bowl.
  4. Return milk to stove, and bring just to a simmer. Using a measuring cup or ladle, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly on low speed until blended. Keep adding milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it has all been added. Whisk until combined.
  5. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. The custard should retain a line drawn across the back of the spoon with your finger.
  6. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Remove pan from heat, and immediately stir in chilled cream to stop the custard from cooking. Pour through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl set in the ice bath, and stir occasionally until cooled. (Discard vanilla-bean pod and strained seeds.) Stir vanilla extract into cooled custard. Cover bowl, and transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  7. Pour custard into an ice-cream maker, following the manufacturer's instructions. Churn until the ice cream is just set, but not hard.
  8. Transfer soft ice cream to an airtight plastic container; freeze at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Watermelon Sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon white creme de menthe, or Campari (optional)
3 cups ripe watermelon flesh

  1. Place sugar and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When sugar has dissolved, remove pan from heat, and stir in creme de menthe, if using. Chill the syrup.
  2. Remove seeds from watermelon flesh. Place flesh in the bowl of a food processor; process until liquefied, about 2 minutes. Add puree to chilled syrup; stir to combine.
  3. Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Store, frozen, in an airtight container.

Makes 1 quart.

Vanilla Sponge Cake

For the Watermelon Bombe, use a half batch of this recipe: Divide the batter between two six-inch-round layer-cake pans, and bake for thirty-five minutes. Use one layer for the bombe, and freeze the second layer for later use.

Unsalted butter, for pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, and butter again. Flour the pan, and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Transfer the egg-yolk mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment.
  3. Combine egg whites and salt in the mixer bowl, and beat on medium speed until whites hold soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy, about 1 minute.
  4. Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold the reserved flour mixture into this new mixture. Transfer the batter to prepared pan, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool; turn out cake, and wrap it in plastic wrap until ready to use.

Makes one 9-inch-square cake.

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