To Make an Ice bowl


The ice bowl is a most effective way of keeping ice cream in good condition while serving it, and looks stunning on a bed of flowers or leaves. I have come across the idea before, but suspect that Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe in Ireland originated it. Here is her method of making it, as described in The Ballymaloe Cookbook. She points out that for domestic purposes, it can be used two or three times if carefully wiped out with a damp cloth each time and then refrozen.

Take two bowls, one about double the capacity of the other. Do not use aluminium. Half-fill the big bowl with cold water. Float the second bowl inside the first. Weight it down with water or ice cubes until the rims are level. Adjust so that the smaller bowl stays in a central position by sticking pieces of flour and water paste on to its rim to widen it enough to hold it in place. The water should come within ½ in / 1 cm of the top.

An alternative method is to float the smaller bowl so that its rim is ½ in / 1 cm above the rim of the big bowl. Place a square of fabric over the top and tie it on with string under the rim of the lower bowl, as one would tie on a jam pot cover. Adjust the small bowl to a central position. The cloth holds it in place.

Put the bowls in the freezer, if necessary adjusting the position of the small bowl as you put them in. Leave for 24 hours.

To turn out the ice bowl, remove the cloth or wedges. Twist and shake the ice bowl free, and turn it out carefully. If disaster looms and the ice bowl splits, press it together firmly, and put it back in the big bowl to refreeze for about 15 minutes.

The ice melts at the base where it touches the serving dish so that a thick bottomed bowl is best. Serve, with the ice cream in it, on a folded serviette, to absorb moisture.