- 400g good-quality chocolate Swiss roll (jumbo size)
- 390g jar cherries in kirsch-flavoured syrup
- 180g caster sugar
- 75ml water
- 2 large egg whites
- 300ml double cream
- 50g preserved stem ginger in syrup, chopped, plus 1 tbsp syrup from the jar
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 50g chopped mixed glacé fruit
- 30g marron glacé (optional), chopped
- 30g shelled pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- few redcurrant sprigs, to finish (optional)
- icing sugar to dust (optional)
Line a 2 litre bowl with a double layer of cling film, leaving some excess overhanging the rim. Cut the Swiss roll into 1cm slices and use to line the base and sides of the bowl, cutting a few of the slices into pieces to fill the gaps as necessary. Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Drizzle the Swiss roll slices with the kirsch syrup, saving a few tablespoonfuls for the top. Set aside.
Put the sugar and water into a small heavy-based saucepan and stir over a low heat to dissolve. Increase the heat to high and boil until the syrup registers 120°C on a sugar thermometer. Meanwhile, in a clean large bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
When the sugar syrup is ready, gradually pour onto the egg whites in a steady stream, whisking as you do so. Continue to whisk until the meringue has doubled in volume and the sides of the bowl no longer feels hot.
In another bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the ginger syrup and orange liqueur, followed by the meringue. Taste and sweeten with a little more ginger syrup if required. Stir through the cherries, chopped ginger, glacé fruit, marron glacé, if using, and chopped pistachios. Spoon into the Swiss roll-lined bowl and level the top.
Cover with the remaining Swiss roll slices, cutting them to fit as necessary. Drizzle with the rest of the kirsch syrup, then fold the excess cling film over the top to seal.
Place a flat plate on top (one that just fits inside the rim) and weigh it down with a heavy tin. Chill for an hour, then remove the weight, wrap and freeze the bombe.
To serve,unwrap the bombe and place on a flat plate or cake stand. Decorate with sprigs of redcurrants dusted with icing sugar if you like, or serve it just as it is. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing.
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Christmas by Gordon Ramsay
Photography © Chris Terry