The Buckeye is the second most famous combination of PB and chocolate. Its flashier cousin the peanut butter cup is all about the neat edges and shiny perfection, while the Buckeye’s charm lies in its imprecise homemade aesthetic. This ice cream version is just as laid back and loaded with chocolate, ice cream, cake, and peanut butter.
The original Buckeye was born in the cul-da-sacs of Ohio during the 60s. The recipe (which hasn’t changed much) is simply peanut butter along with a handful of ingredients molded into a ball and dipped in chocolate. The little bald spot on top resembles the state nut – you guessed it – the buckeye.
Making a Buckeye ice cream bombe is fairly simple, the only special skill needed is a bit of patience. Below you’ll find some tips but there’s no need to sweat a few imperfections, it’s all part of the Buckeye’s appeal.
tips for molding
- Freeze the molds (the bowls) in advance to help prevent excessive melting
- Firm up ice cream that gets too soft to work with by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes. The longer it continues to get soft, the harder it is to fix.
- Press down on the ice cream when layering to remove air pockets
- Weigh down the small bowl if it doesn’t want to sit inside the peanut butter layer. Put a heavy can into the small bowl before placing the bombe in the freezer.
- Lining the mold with plastic wrap makes it easier to remove after freezing but it will leave some ‘wrinkles’ on the surface of the bombe.
- To unmold, hold the bombe in one hand. In the other hand use a cake round or small plate to push on one edge of the bombe until it slides out the opposite side.
The Buckeye Bombe
Inspired by the mid-western candy, the Buckeye Bombe has layers of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream molded in a giant sphere on top of a luscious cake base, and the whole thing is covered in a thick dark chocolate shell. A peanut butter lover’s dream come true!
- 1 layer chocolate cake
- 125g (½ cup)water
- 125g (½ cup) sugar
- 10g rum (optional)
ICE CREAM LAYERS
- 125g (4oz) dark chocolate
- 100g (½ cup) refined coconut oil
- 62g (3 TBS) organic light corn syrup
- 8” bowl
- 6” bowl (same shape as 8″)*
- 4” bowl or glass
- Make the rum simple syrup: combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir just until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and add rum (if using).
- Set aside to cool. Can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- Freeze the large bowl for about 20 minutes until very cold. Spread the peanut butter ice cream in the bowl in an even layer including the sides and all the way up to the rim.
- Press the smaller bowl gently into the peanut butter layer, cover with plastic and freeze for 40 minutes or until firm. If the small bowl won’t stay in place, weigh it down with a heavy can before freezing.
- Remove the small bowl.* Spread the chocolate ice cream on top of the peanut butter layer, leaving a couple of inches to fit the cake in on top. Cover and freeze while prepping the cake.
- Brush the cake all over with simple syrup. Place the cake in the mold.
It should cover the chocolate ice cream and fit inside the peanut butter layer at the rim (see photo below) Fill in gaps with more ice cream or if the cake is too big, trim to fit. Cover and freeze for two hours or until completely firm.
- Combine ingredients in a small heat-proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (or double boiler). Stir until the chocolate has melted into a smooth shiny sauce. Remove from heat, pour into a container and let cool at room temperate until it is cool to touch.*
- Have a wire rack ready on a cookie sheet. Place the bombe with the cake round under it on the wire rack and freeze for at least 15 minutes until firm.
- Place the 4″ bowl or glass on top of the bombe, slightly off-center. Quickly pour the chocolate shell sauce all over the bombe, it will set almost immediately.
Carefully remove the 4″ bowl and smooth out any rough edges. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard.
- To serve: Let the bombe sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Run a knife under hot water, and dry. Slice bombe into wedges, wiping the knife clean after each cut.
- Nesting bowls are a good option. If the bowls are different shapes it’s OK, the bombe will just look a little different (the slices won’t have even rainbow style layers)
- If the small bowl sticks, gently run a warm slightly damp dishcloth around the inside then wiggle it free. It may take a little patience but it will come out. If the peanut butter layer is too soft at this point, smooth it out and refreeze 5-10 min until firm.
- Give the chocolate shell mixture a couple of stirs every now and then so the heat is evenly distributed as it cools. It’s ready when it’s thick but still pourable and about the same as room temperature.
- Unmolding takes patience. If the bombe just doesn’t want to come out, briefly run a slightly damp warm (not hot) dishtowel around the outside. Do NOT dip in hot water, too much heat is likely to turn the ice cream into a sticky uneven mess.