Sometimes the madness of getting everything organised for the Christmas meal is so all-consuming, it’s nice to have a dessert you can literally just pull out of the freezer and serve – then sit back with a bubbly and enjoy it. This wonderful festive looking arrangement can be prepared a few days in advance, so on the day it’s just like plonking a tub of ice cream on the table – but a thousand times more impressive! You can be as creative as you like with the decorations in the ice bowl. The thicker you make the bowl, the longer it will take to freeze – but it also means it’ll last longer on the table! Be sure to pop a plate underneath the ice bowl when you serve it to protect your tablecloth. A very merry Christmas to you all.
2 litres of your favourite ice cream/s
Sliced fruit and berries, or flowers or Christmas decorations (I’ve used sliced oranges, pomegranate seeds and a Christmassy string thing. You can use anything you like – flowers, cinnamon sticks, fruit, leaves etc.)
2 bowls – one large, and one smaller that fits evenly inside the other
You’ll need two mixing bowls, more or less the same shape, with one bigger than the other so they almost fit together. It can be quite messy so I do this on the metal draining area next to the sink.
Start to arrange the decorations up the base and sides of the larger bowl, as much as will stay in place by itself. Fill the smaller bowl half with water and sit it carefully in the larger bowl.
Now you can add extra bits of pieces into the gap between the bowls to finish off the decoration. Pour or tip water into the gap between bowls so a layer of water fills up to the top.
You may need to add more water into the top bowl so it’s heavy enough that it sits low enough inside the larger bowl to make the water layer inside even.
Carefully transfer the bowls to an even surface in the freezer, and leave overnight. If necessary, use pieces of tape to hold the top bowl in place, so the edges are the ice bowl stay even as it freezes.
To remove the ice bowl, stand the bottom bowl in warm water for a few moments to loosen, then remove the actual ice bowl carefully.
Using an ice cream scoop or spoon dipped in hot water, fill the ice bowl with big scoops of ice cream. Put the whole lot back into the freezer until you are just ready to serve (cover with glad wrap) for up to a day – this makes it much easier than trying to race against the heat of the day scooping when you’re serving.