Rainbow Bombe

Sorry, every other food blog in the world. But today, I WIN. 

Clearly, it's amazing, but if you're uncertain about what this majestic feat of rainbow actually is, let me enlighten you. It's a bombe, which is a kind of molded frozen dessert which gets its name from its resemblance to, well, a bomb. Since the French coined the term, it's bombe with an E, in your best French accent, please. 

So, this particular bombe is composed of an ice cream and rainbow buttercream-swirled interior, which is then covered all over with mini cake roll slices. Assembled jelly-roll style, these little spiral cake slices are filled with rainbow buttercream instead of stupid health-food jelly, which not only makes them superior in deliciousness, but also far prettier. 

And in case you didn't already guess, this food is officially...

Now, because I am still feeling pretty self congratulatory about the whole thing, indulge me while I talk about how I got the idea.

Well, you know that I love rainbows. And you know that I love ice cream. But a few things have happened recently that made this cake possible.

The first is that I recently made some delicious chocolate bombes for Colavita. Here's a sneak peek.

The recipe will be featured on their blog soon. The main thing you should take away here though is that I became obsessed with bombes. They are really not so hard to make, but they impress people so much that you'll feel like a domestic goddess. I like showing off, so this was a great thing for me.

The second is that I received a review copy of The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig. In the book, there is a fictional bakery called Rainbow Cake (yes, I love this book). I wish this bakery existed in real life. In the book, she references making a bombe with little jelly rolls all over the surface.

So, I'm thinking: bombes. Rainbow cake. Cake with jelly rolls all over. Hmm. 

And then it came to me: I had to make a rainbow bombe with jelly roll style cake slices all over it. So I abandoned every single thing I was supposed to be doing for the rest of the day and made this cake. 

The recipe might seem kind of complicated, but really, this wasn't hard to make. It was just sort of involved. But I think when I detail the steps below with pictures, you'll see that it's really not that intimidating. 

It's totally worth the time it takes, because just look at it!

And once you cut into it, it's magical inside, too! Because in addition to the ice cream, I swirled in all of the extra buttercream that I had leftover (a little of each color). 

You can't tell me this isn't happy food.

Approved by unicorns, but suitable for children and adults. Say hello to the happiest ice cream cake you have ever met. 

Rainbow bombe 

Printable version here
For the cake 
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Jelly roll pan
parchment paper 

For the buttercream
2 sticks butter
6-8 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
cream or milk, to thin, if needed 

Food coloring in the colors of the rainbow 
6 separate bowls or ramekins

Other things you'll need: 

1 half gallon ice cream, your favorite flavor
A freezer-proof bowl (I used a 6-cup capacity pyrex bowl)
plastic wrap 

First, go ahead and make the buttercream (it's easiest this way). In a stand mixer, cream the butter for 2 minutes on high. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, until you've reached your desired spreading consistency. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Add a little more sugar if it's too thin, a little milk or cream if it's too thick. Divide the buttercream into 6 equal amounts in separate dishes. Tint each one the different colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. Cover with plastic and set to the side.

Next, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set to the side.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until light. Add in the vanilla and milk, and stir to combine.

Stir the dry ingredients in, incrementally, mixing on low speed and scraping with a spatula after each addition. 

Spread the batter on the prepared baking sheet--it will barely make it to the edges, but make sure that it is a solid layer with no translucent portions (you might not spread all the way to the edges), and bake for 5 to 10 minutes--you're not looking for golden here, but just for the cake to spring back slightly when you touch it. Too browned and it will crack when you try to roll it.
Generously (very generously) dust a clean tows with confectioners' sugar. Turn the cake on to the towel and roll it up. The recipe I used asked that I remove the parchment, but I kept it on because I forgot and it was fine. Choose your adventure. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes. 

Now, it's time to make some magic. 
Unroll the cake. If it gives you any resistance put it in the fridge for a few minutes and try again--that should help. Cut the cake into six strips: first into long thirds (going with the "grain" of the rolling) and then cut in half horizontally.
Spread icing on each one of the strips. You will have a little extra buttercream, and this is a good thing. Set it to the side. 

Roll each portion, jelly roll style. I lovingly thought of these as my little "rainbow-rritos". A few small cracks, no problem (perhaps this attitude is why I am not a professional pastry chef?)

Let the little rolled portions cool in the freezer for 30 minutes so that they can firm up. 

Slice the rolls thinly--I sliced mine about 1/4 inch thick. 

 Line a bowl with plastic wrap (I used a 6-cup capacity pyrex bowl). Press it deeply into the bowl to mold to its shape.

Place the little spirals at irregular color points all over the surface. I kind of mashed some into place, trying to fill every space on the surface. If you have pieces that look "ugly" on one side, like the slices from the end, face the pretty side down, as it is the one that will show. 

Place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes or so, so that they can firm up again.
Scoop ice cream into the bowl, filling it nearly to the top. Add the leftover buttercream between scoops so that it will be swirled throughout. 

 Use the leftover cake swirls to press into the bottom of the bowl. Wrap the plastic around it, and freeze for several hours. 

When ready to serve, remove from the freezer, turn out from the bowl, and pull of the plastic wrap.

To cut, run a knife under hot water then dry it off before cutting to make clean cuts. Serve immediately after cutting, and keep any un-served portions in the freezer. 


Enjoy, and for crying out loud, have someone else do the dishes.

Yay for you!

Have you ever made a bombe?