This dessert recipe doesn’t really deserve to be called ‘ice cream’, it’s so fuss-free. Mix and freeze, that’s it. No custards, no tempering, no separating eggs, no washing up. All that delectable easiness, and your friends will still swoon. Of course, you don’t have to tell them how little time it took you. A little exaggeration never hurt anyone.
Working as a chef, I’ve spent most of my time perfecting egg-shaped quenelles or slaving over the precise batter consistency for macarons, so when I’m cooking at home I apply a simple equation:
can-katie-be-bothered? = wow-factor/effort
As long as the wow-factor/effort ratio stays above 2, Katie is very happy. If it starts looking more like a fraction, Katie usually ends up throwing a hissy fit mid-preparation and decides that watching re-runs of Charlie’s Angels would be a much more productive use of her time.
Admittedly I struggle to get through the endless supply of panettone I’m given at Christmas time. Quite a number of years ago I declared my undying love for the festive Italian bread, a proclamation I have since come to rue. It seems that my friends and family collectively decided that prettily-boxed panettone would be my Chrissie present until the day I die.
I now have a small army of the zesty bread that never EVER goes off. No matter how many bread and butter puddings or fruit toast breakfasts I make, the resilient little bread-cakes only seem to grow stronger. I am sure that some higher power descended upon my pantry cupboard one night and declared that they go forth and multiply. At the rate they’re breeding, they will soon colonise my kitchen.
The proper name for this dish is Cassata alla Siciliana (Sicilian Cassata) and it is usually chilled in the fridge overnight before serving. Being an iced dessert addict, I have modified this concoction by placing it in the freezer and adding honey to stop the ice cream from freezing too hard. Any liquor (Cointreau, Amaretto, Limoncello) or sweet wine would work just as well to keep the ice cream bombe at a lovely eating consistency straight from the freezer. This recipe is a part of the 10 with 5 recipe challenge – you’re only five ingredients away from deliciousness !
I have decorated this bombe with some young daisies from my garden. The flowers are totally edible, and I often like to use their petals as a sprinkling of confetti over salads, rice dishes and desserts. Young daisies have a sweet, honey flavour and will prettify even the ugliest of dishes.
panettone and cassata ice cream bombe
- leftover panettone (1/3 to 1/2)
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 1/8 cup honey
- 3 tbsp mixed candied, dried or glacé fruit or candied citrus peel
- powdered or icing sugar, to decorate
- Cut the panettone into slices and layer them into a small bowl lined with cling film. Make sure that the edges overlap slightly so that the ice cream doesn’t leak out the sides.
- Whisk together the ricotta, honey and your choice of fruits and peels (crystallised ginger is especially nice).
- Pour this mixture into the bowl, cover the top with cling film and freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight.
- To serve, invert the bowl over a plate or serving platter. Lift the bowl away, remove the cling film and dust a little icing sugar on top. If you’re feeling especially summery, why not sprinkle over some daisies for fun?