Happy 4th of July! Sure, I may be a few days early, but that’s part of the beauty of this dessert… that it can be made days ahead of time. Another part of the beauty of this dessert is, well, the beauty of the dessert!
I’ve known for months that this year’s Independence Day treat would be inspired by everyone’s favorite patriotic popsicle, the Bomb Pop. The ice-cold striped snack, layered with bold, crisp flavors of blue raspberry, lime, and cherry left me with many possibilities. The more I brainstormed, the more excited I got, leaving me with way too many dessert ideas. I finally narrowed it down to two red, white, and blue desserts, and decided to make both of them. Luckily, I will have an apartment full of visitors for the weekend who, I’m hoping, will help tear through these dishes (and the refrigerator full of other dessert leftovers, too!).
As I have two fabulous, patriotic desserts to share, I decided to post one a few days early (possibly giving an inspired reader a chance to make a quick copycat before Monday?). During the bulk of my brainstorming, I focused mainly on dishes that showcase color, as it was important to me to display red, white, and blue in an exciting, attractive way. As I was scribbling notes in my recipe journal, I glanced at where I’d written “Bomb Pop” on the page and noticed an accidental flourish resembling an “e” at the end of the word “Bomb”. A bomb explosion went off in my brain. A layered ice cream cake, or a “bombe glacée,” would be a perfect way to playfully mimic a Bomb Pop, showcasing the three flavors and colors, and also playing off the title of the treat itself!
Bombes are mainly made up of ice cream or sherbet, but some versions include a cake layer, mine included. I layered homemade lime and homemade sweet dark cherry ice cream and enveloped both in a layer of bright blue raspberry cake. I chose Swiss cake roll slices because I thought that the white buttercream swirls would pop against the blue cake. And maybe also because I was somewhat hesitant as to how, exactly, a blue raspberry flavored cake would taste and wanted some vanilla buttercream to fall back on in case the cake wasn’t as pleasant-tasting as I’d hoped. Luckily, the flavors of the cake and both ice creams came out wonderful, the cohesive dessert creamy and refreshing… a perfect tribute to the Bomb Pop and a sweet way to celebrate (two days before) the 4th.
Inspired by: Red, White & Blue Bomb Pops
Blue Raspberry Swiss Cake Roll
4 eggs ¼ teaspoon raspberry extract
¾ cup superfine sugar ¾ tablespoon blue gel food coloring
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1-2 drops purple gel food coloring
1½ tablespoons whole milk 1 cup all purpose flour
½ tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cider vinegar ¼ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons blue raspberry syrup
–recipe yield: 9-12 slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9½x13½ pan with buttered parchment paper. Beat eggs for five full minutes, then, slowly beat in superfine sugar and vegetable oil. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, lemon juice, vinegar, raspberry syrup, and extract. Gradually add the liquid into egg mixture while continuing to mix on a high speed. Add food coloring until desired color is reached.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In small batches, add the sifted dry ingredients into the batter, mixing after each addition. When completely combined and smooth, pour the batter into the prepared pan, tilting the pan to evenly distribute the batter. Tap the bottom of the pan against the counter top to allow any air bubbles to escape before placing into the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cake is spring-y to the touch.
Lay out a pastry cloth or tea towel next to a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle cloth with a confectioner’s sugar and smooth it into an even layer. Immediately upon removing it from the oven, turn out the cake onto the sugared cloth. Remove paper from the cake and gently roll cake and cloth into a tight log, starting at a shorter end of the cake. When cake log is rolled with and wrapped in the cloth, place it on the wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Best Vanilla Buttercream
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon salt
2½-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
–recipe yield: about 2 cups frosting
In a large bowl, beat together butter and salt until soft and creamed (about 2-4 minutes). Add in about half of the sugar and the almond milk, and beat until combined. Add in the remaining sugar, as well as the vanilla, and beat until smooth. Drizzle in heavy cream while continuing to beat until desired fluffy consistency is reached.
When cake roll is cool, gently unroll it and pull away the cloth. Spoon frosting onto the surface of unrolled cake and smooth in an even layer, leaving a thin, border unfrosted. Gently roll cake back into log and wrap securely with plastic wrap. Freeze for 4 hours before cutting into slices with a serrated knife.
Lime Ice Cream
Adapted from “Key Lime Ice Cream,” Food.com
10 ounces frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
zest and juice from 2 limes
14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon key lime extract
Line a 9×9-inch pan with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer. In a medium bowl, whisk together limeade concentrate, zest, juice, and condensed milk. Set aside. In a large bowl, whip the cream on a low speed until just slightly thickened. Add both vanilla and lime extracts while continuing to mix. When medium soft peaks form, fold in condensed milk mixture. Spoon the combined mixture into prepare pan and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Sweet Black Cherry Ice Cream
Adapted from “Spumoni Ice Cream,”
The Prepared Pantry
½ pint dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons cherry preserves
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure cherry extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red gel food coloring
Line a 9×9-inch pan with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer. Rinse and remove pits and stems from cherries. Pat dry and give cherries a thorough, rough chop, or pulse a couple times in a food processor. Combine chopped cherries and preserves in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the whipping cream on a low speed until just slightly thickened. Gradually pour in the condensed milk and both cherry and vanilla extracts, and continue to whip until soft peaks form. Add food coloring until desired color is reached. Gently fold the cherry-preserve mixture into the cream. Spoon the combined mixture into the lined, chilled pan and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
Line a round-bottomed bowl (preferably aluminum) with plastic wrap. Using a serrated knife, cut chilled cake roll into slices about 1-1½ inches thick. Arrange slices in the lined bowl into a layer at the bottom of the pan and up the side of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm, at least 30 minutes.
Remove the lime ice cream from the freezer to allow it to soften for about 10 minutes. Then, take the cake-roll lined bowl out of the freezer, remove outermost layer of plastic wrap and smooth the lime ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread ice cream into an even layer to cover the bottom third of the inside of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour. Repeat the softening process with the cherry ice cream, and spread it into the bowl onto the chilled lime ice cream and cake rolls. Allow the cherry ice cream layer to reach another third of the way up inside the bowl, leaving the very top third portion of the bowl empty for the last layer. Re-cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze for another hour or so until firm. Repeat the softening and smoothing process with the third and final layer of lime ice cream. Smooth it into an even layer reaching the very top of the bowl and sides of the cake slices. Re-cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze til completely set and firm, 4-5 hours or overnight.
About 10 minutes before ready to serve, remove the bowl from the freezer and discard plastic wrap. Invert the dessert onto serving plate and peel away and discard plastic wrap. If the dessert doesn’t release from the bowl with ease, run a kitchen towel dampened with hot water across the sides of the bowl before attempting to pull it away. To serve, submerge a sharp knife into hot water before cutting into slices.