A Passion for Chocolate

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Birthday Ice Cream Cake

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by Heather Harris-Brady

My wonderful son asked for an ice cream cake for his birthday, chocolate chip cookie dough, to be exact. Because every year I’m thankful that I can celebrate his birthday without the three days of labor it required the first time, I am happy to go the extra mile for the dessert.

I am not a big fan of ice cream cakes myself, so I had to find a way to get past the things about them that bug me and come up with a tribute to teenage dessert excess. Behold.

Ice Cream Cake, Serves 8

One 8″ square chocolate cake layer

One recipe hot fudge sauce

One half-gallon ice cream

Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with aluminum foil, leaving some long tails down along the sides. Take the ice cream out to soften. Cut the cake layer into strips about 1/2″ wide. Completely line the mold with them. You should have about 1/4 of the cake left when you’re finished. If you’re making this for an over-21 crowd it would be nice to spike things up here and sprinkle the cake mold with kahlua or some such jazz.

When the ice cream has softened, scoop it into the cake-lined mold. Smooth it down as you go and push it into all the corners so your cake will be nice and solid.

Cover the top with the remaining cake strips. Press the top down lightly with your palms and then put it in a deep freeze for a few hours to set firm.

Grasp the foil hanging down on either side of the pan and lift out the cake. I like to turn it upside down on the platter but if that scares you just peel the foil off and set it on the serving dish.

With the hot fudge sauce at room temperature put a thin crumb coat all over the cake.

Put it back in the fridge to firm up and then do a second coat, adding any sprinkles or other tricks at this point. Stick it back in the fridge until serving time. The hot fudge will set up nicely, but will stay easy to slice through.

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The cake all around the outside gives you an equal bite of cake, ice cream and fudge in each forkful. It also neatly contains the ice cream so it’s easier to slice and serve like a regular cake. It’s also a nice little cost-saver. An 8″ cookie dough cake at our local shop is $19.99, this one tallies up at around $6.50.

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Hot Fudge Sauce

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by Heather Harris-Brady

This is my favorite hot fudge recipe. I’m showing here on ice cream but I actually made it to frost an ice cream cake (spoiler alert) which will be the next post – because it’s a birthday week here at the little house! And not just any birthday, it’s a golden birthday.

This is a nice, rich hot fudge that puddles nicely along a scoop. It’s more runny warm and thickens as it cools.

Hot Fudge Sauce, Makes about 3 cups

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can evaporated milk (you could use low-fat, but c’mon, it’s hot fudge)

1 egg

1/2 c. sugar

1/3 c. dark cocoa powder

2 t. vanilla

1 T. butter

 

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You can use a double-boiler but I don’t have one at the moment so I’m doing it directly on medium heat. Let the chips start to melt and whisk in the evaporated milk.

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It will look like a lumpy disaster but that’s okay. In a separate bowl beat together the egg and sugar.

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Then stir the cocoa powder into the egg mixture and pretend that I remembered to take a picture of it. Whisk the egg mixture into the hot milk. Continue whisking constantly for five minutes over the heat. If you’re using a double boiler you don’t have to whisk all the time. It will bubble up and get all dark and lovely.

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Remove it from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter.

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It’s ready to serve at whatever temperature you prefer.

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Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

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Peppermint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Roll

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These cake rolls are really versatile, as well as surprisingly easy and quick to put together. I’m going to use this recipe to show you the basic method, then you can go to town and customize it however you like.  The one above is packed with peppermint ice cream,  and I served with a hot fudge sauce. You can adjust the proportion of cake to filling, mine is slightly overstuffed but I was going for something cold and refreshing.

I have filled these with chestnut ganache for yule logs, filled them with ice cream, jam, mousse, you name it! As long it will firm up enough to slice it’s fair game.

The cake roll recipe is the basic sponge sheet from Paula Pecks’ The Art of Fine Baking. This little book is very unassuming from the outside, but it is a treasure and worth much more than many cookbooks twice its size. It’s out of print, but there are typically quite a few copies on ebay. Her sponge cake recipe is a great example. She found a way around the whole steaming it in a towel mess.

Basic Sponge Sheet, The Art of Fine Baking (Paula Peck)

4 eggs

1/3 c. sugar

1 t. vanilla

1/4 c. cornstarch

1/4 c. flour

Separate the eggs.  Beat the whites to soft peaks, and then beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating on high for five minutes until you get a VERY stiff meringue.

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In another bowl beat the yolks and vanilla together with a fork.

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When they are well-combined, fold in 1/4 of the whites to lighten them.

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Pour the yolk mixture over the remaining whites. Add the flour and cornstarch. Fold until combined.

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Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment. Grease and flour it lightly then pour the batter into the pan.

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Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until barely colored.

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Let cool. The cake will be light and very flexible.

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When the cake is cool you’re ready to fill it! In our parts the peppermint ice cream is only available around the holidays, and the kids love it. So I turned the cake out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and spread it with a 1/2 gallon of ice cream that I whipped in my Kitchenaid to make it easier to spread.

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Begin to roll the cake up from the end. When you’ve finished, wrap it tightly in the plastic wrap.

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At this point I returned it to the freezer for an hour to harden since I was working with ice cream. To finish the cake. Unwrap it and turn it out on a large platter.

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Any tan crust on the cake will probably peel off with the plastic wrap, leaving you with a lovely light yellow sponge exterior. You could easily just dust it with powdered sugar and call it a day, but if you want to dress it up you have lots of options. For yule logs I ice it with a batch of chocolate ganache, and draw some bark lines in it with a knife. I was going to something a tad lighter this time, so I covered it in stabilized whipped cream with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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I typically slice it at 3/4″ intervals, which will give you about 12 servings. I sauced the plates with some bittersweet ganache before I set the slices down.

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