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With the Christmas Season in South Africa falling in the hottest part of our summer, one always wonders whether the traditional warm Christmas desserts are suitable in this hot weather. So why not try Chef Catherine’s Bombe Cassata – it is sure to be a showstopper!

Bombe Cassata

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Note: For this recipe you will need both a 15cm and 20cm metal or glass mixing bowl. The bowls need to fit into one another. Line the inside of the bowls generously and neatly with plastic wrap, the plastic should stick out of the top so you are able to remove the frozen ice cream and mousse from the bowls.

For the ice cream insert:
3 cups vanilla ice cream
100g pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
70g milk chocolate chips
100g pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
100g dried apricots, chopped
70g glacé cherries
½ tsp cinnamon
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange

  1. Leave the ice cream at room temperature for 5-10 minute to soften.
  2. First mix the zest and cinnamon into the softened ice cream, then gently fold in the nuts and other ingredients with a spatula.
  3. Scoop the flavoured ice cream into the smaller bowl that has been lined with plastic. Flatten the top with the back of a hot spoon.
  4. Then freeze the ice cream for 4 hours or until solid.
  5. Remove the frozen ice cream from the bowl by submerging the bottom of the bowl in warm water and then gently pulling on the plastic.
  6. Tip the ice cream over onto a plate lined with baking paper.
  7. Remove the plastic off of the ice cream and place the ice cream back into the freezer while you make your mousse.

Manjari semifreddo
Semifreddo is an Italian dessert, a frozen mousse. Marjari is our dark chocolate of choice, a Valrhona product, it might be difficult to find but you may use another good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids.

5 egg yolks
110g castor sugar
300g Dark chocolate
500g cream

  1. Whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring intermittently, and set aside.
  3. Over a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale, fluffy and aerated.
  4. Remove the egg yolk and sugar mixture from the heat and add the melted chocolate – stirring with a spatula until combined.
  5. Then gently fold in the whipped cream.
  6. Pour half of the mousse into the large lined bowl.
  7. Then place the frozen ice cream dome on top of the mousse, pressing it down gently.
  8. Spoon the remainder of the mousse over the top, then smooth and flatten the mousse with a hot spoon.
  9. Place the bombe in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen solid.
  10. Once frozen remove from the bowl using the same process as with the ice cream, then place back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve your Bombe Cassata, remove it from the freezer and place on a serving plate, leave to soften for about 5-10 minute before serving, so that is not too hard.

Garnish your Bombe Cassata with chocolate sauce, whole roasted nuts and chocolates of your choice. If you are aiming for a more ‘Christmassy’ look, you could even add some glacé cherries. Enjoy your suitably festive, but cold, dessert!

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