Build a bombe?

How to build a Bombe?

In the Entertaining section of the August 2006 issue of Elle magazine I found an article “She’s the Bombe: Dessert queen Mary Canales sends ice-cream cake to finishing school”, including an update of the historically popular ice cream dessert, the bombe, reconsidered by the San Francisco chef Mary Canales. What’s the relationship between this and a 5000 pound machine?

One popular theory behind the name “Bombe” for the Enigma decrypting machine has been credited by author Wladyslaw Kozaczuk to Polish cryptanalyst Jerzy Rozycki*, who named the Poles’ machine after an ice cream dessert. While this is only one of several plausible explanations for the name, it is by far the most enjoyable.

Elle magazine also has an insert “How to Build a Bombe” which begins : “Blow your guests’ minds with a bombe, named after the round explosives of 19th century French anarchists…” which goes to show how difficult it is to ignore historical allusions!


There are dozens of recipes online for different versions of bombe desserts. Most involve layering ice cream or sorbet or sherbet inside a melon shaped mold, freezing, and then adding more layers of confections, either ice cream, sherbet, sorbet or cake, until the mold is filled.

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    Our documentary aired on American Public Broadcasting from 2006-2018.
    DVDs can be obtained in several ways: If you live in the Dayton area, DVDs are sold at the Museum Store at Carillon Historical Park, and at the book store at the Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center, West Third Street. For special orders, contact Debbie Anderson by Email