Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

In my younger days I often chose the ice cream cake from the local Baskin and Robbins as my birthday cake. I was always a firm believer in cake AND ice cream, so finding a cake that was both was a real treat. I loved the ice cream cake so much that four years ago I attempted to make a couple of homemade ice cream cakes using genoise rounds as the cakes. I also used dry ice to keep the cakes frozen, and discovered--the hard way--that it is important to let a cake that has been living under dry ice for 24 hours sufficient time to soften before serving.

In short, I was excited to see what Rose had come up with.

July 4, 2010
Name of Cake: Truly A Better Ice Cream Cake
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: one layer german chocolate cake split and filled with about 2 quarts of store bought ice cream (in this case, peanut butter, rocky road, and strawberry)

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake 
rocky road sliver (with a hint of strawberry)

When I told The Jellos which cake was up next, they asked which ice cream I was going to use. This reminded me that Cookie isn't much for ice cream unless it is Rocky Road, and that Cabbage has a soft spot for peanut butter anything. I, on the other hand, was hoping for either coffee or strawberry. Clearly a compromise needed to be found.

I found it in the crazy antics of my own Mom, who was so indulgent towards my sister, myself, and my Dad, that she often made two dinners: one for my sister and I, and one for her and Dad. Every now and then, she would make separate dinners for my sister and I, totaling her dinners in one night to three. Clearly she's the best Mom in the world, and not just because she would literally slave over a hot stove just so we could eat our favorite foods. Anyhoots, I decided I could split the cake in three sections and everyone could get their favorite ice cream. This also would ensure that I wouldn't go home with half the cake!

The cake component is Rose's breakthrough German Chocolate cake, which uses oil instead of butter and is kind of like a sponge cake. The egg yolks are whipped up with the oil and cocoa powder paste, to which the dry ingredients are sifted in. Then, the egg whites are added, without prior beating, and the whole shebang is whirled around until it looks thin and soupy like a box cake. This cake batter only fills the pan 1/4 of the way but as it bakes it rises to the height of the pan, and needs to be unmolded immediately after removing from the oven.

I posted a lot of process photos when I made this cake for Brains's birthday, so if you like you can click through and take a look. I baked this particular cake in the middle of the night so I didn't take any photos.

For the ice cream cake, only 3/4 of the recipe is needed and is baked in a 10 inch pan. Multiplying all the grams by .75 didn't sound that appealing but thanks to my trusty calculator I got it done. Many Heavenly Cake Bakers chose to make the full recipe and bake the extra as cupcakes but that sounded like more work than I wanted. I'm not sure what I was thinking--hello! Extra cupcakes!

After the cake cools it is split--but not in half. It is split in 3/4 / 1/4 with the thinner layer being the bottom. Why? I don't know. This bottom layer gets smushed into a 9 in springform pan, and smushed is right  This way the ice cream doesn't get a chance to ooze out the sides.

I thought about several different ways to get the ice cream spread onto only 1/3 of the cake, and decided to just eyeball it. The store-bought ice cream needed to soften and get stirred up so as to deflate a bit--there's a lot of air that gets incorporated into a tub of ice cream. In order to execute my crazy plan I needed to spread out one flavor at a time, freezing the ice cream in between.

The first flavor I grabbed was the rocky road, and unfortunately I let it get too soft, so instead of being at a frosting consistency, it was more like melty ice cream consistency. I should have put it back in the freezer to solidify a bit but I didn't--I blame it on midnight lack of judgement.

Next up after an hour in the freezer was the strawberry section. I had to take away some of the rocky road ice cream that had spread past it's intended section before adding in the strawberry and put it back where it belonged. The strawberry was also a little too soft to hold up and there was a little comingling with the rocky road, but it wasn't really too bad. Then I noticed that I had done a very poor job of dividing the cake into thirds.

Lastly was the peanut butter, and I finally figured out the right spreading consistency for the ice cream. That, and there wasn't any place the peanut butter could ooze to. So that part was pretty easy.

Here's a photo of the insides of my cake, and I know, I did a terrible job of splitting the cake into thirds!

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

This is a shot of where the peanut butter and strawberry section meet, right after unmolding (hence a bit drippy).

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Before bringing the cake to The Jellos I made the hot fudge sauce. Now, I love hot fudge; I think it is my favorite mode of chocolate delivery. I found the lacquer glaze to be deliciously hot fudgy, and Miss Irene Thompson's Chocolate Frosting incredibly hot fudgy, and now we get an actual hot fudge recipe to make. It is good, and super easy, and yummy, but so far Miss Irene Thompson is the winner of my hot fudge heart.

Not that I'm complaining. I wish all the ice cream cakes of my youth came covered in hot fudge. That would have changed things.

I thought the cake was great--the cake component stays nice and soft even after being frozen overnight. If I ever have the hankering for an ice cream cake again this will be it, no question. But in all honesty my favorite part was the hot fudge!

Cookie fell in love with this ice cream cake, as it reminded her of hot summer days as a child in Southern California. She and her siblings would be running around causing a ruckus outside and the adults would bring out ice cream sandwiches. She told me this story last night as she ate the cake with a happy smile on her face, and then repeated the story to me a few moments ago over the phone. You can't beat a cake that helps someone remember good summer days as a kid.

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake


  1. What a great idea to do 3 different flavors! It's very nice of you to accommodate your friends.
    PS: Your mom sounds like she rocks :).

  2. Anonymous6/7/10 13:51

    Everyone should be jealous that I had the honor of eating this cake. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!! And I think it brought on the nice weaher that Portland is now having - summer days are finally here!

    thanks for the crumbling highway (rocky road hahahah)

    love you later

  3. I do like the way you have divided the ice cream into thirds. It looks like your favourite child likes peanut butter ice cream!
    The cake looks delicious. That dripping over the sides of the fudge sauce is so seductive!
    Your Mom sounds like a sweetie...but she needs to toughen up her love on you girls. Three different meals!? You are sooo spoiled!

  4. I'm with Melinda--it sounds like there was entirely too much spoiling going on in your house. You girls could have both turned out to be ax murderers, a well-known result of over-indulgent parents.

  5. Brilliant! I thought about layering different flavors but this is clearly the way to go. So funny you loved Basking Robbin cakes and I stuck to their Jamoca® Almond Fudge. It is still my all time favorite ice cream.

  6. Wow! that cake looks so good. I have a summer birthday and I remember one time my sister brought an ice cream cake for me and drove over an hour to get to the party! I guess I was a little spoiled too, ha! I agree that Jerm got the best 1/3 of the cake. That would have been my choice too. Though the strawberry with that hot fudge oozing elegantly (not two words you hear together that often) looks divine!

    love you,

  7. I really love the compromise of pleasing everyone and 1/3 of the cake!
    And the chocolate sauce looks so good... I'm craving it now!!! AGAIN!

  8. What fun! My hubby would have loved the Rocky Road. I didn't even think of using more than one flavor. Great idea.

  9. Great writeup and i love how you split it in 3 ways!! Looks like neapolitan ice-cream but only not in layers. :D So cool!! And the rocky road part look so good!

  10. Jenn, my Mom totally rocks! It was fun not having to make a decision and using all three flavors.

    Cookie, you are welcome crazy lady!

    Melinda, doesn't it? And my slice (strawberry) looks the smallest! I think it is the angle of the shot; when I was applying ice cream it looked like the rocky road and strawberry were about equal in size and eay over the midline, so the peanut butter got a thin strip along the edge. Of course, it was almost 2 am and I could have been delerious!

    I know, my Mom was crazy. I can't believe she spoiled us like that!

    Marie, heh, well...maybe the evil in evil cake lady stands for ax murderer!

    Vicki, layering would have looked so cool sliced! It probably would be easier than doing sections. Jamoca Almond Fudge is up there, but for me it will always be Gold Medal Ribbon.

    Joelf, how did your sister keep your cake from melting? You were totally spoiled and still are and you know it! If you were hot fudge, you'd ooze elegantly, too, my friend.

    love you later!

    Monica, at least the chocolate sauce is easy to make--you can have it anytime!

    Julie, thanks! The Rocky Road did look great sliced.

    faithy, thanks! Neapolitan ice cream layers would be so cool!

  11. ב''ה

    Wow, you've got a great mom! My wife very often makes one (blander) meal for the kids and another one for us. If one of the kids (irrationally) decides that they will not eat it my wife dutifully makes something else. It's just a matter of making sure at least the kid gets fed, I understand it. It is no less commendable though.

    I think this was the best hot-fudgy recipe of the book so far. The 99% chocolate did me in.

  12. now that is truly evil, because I would have to eat 3 pieces to get all the ice cream!
    what a wonderful ice cream cake...and that sauce....oh my

  13. Mendy, your wife sounds as awesome as my mom! She deserves on a tropical island.

    Chef, I know! Thanks :)

  14. omg, that's terrible. Mendy, what I was trying to say is your wife deserves A VACATION on a tropical island.