So, I decided I would try to make it a little easier for him to enjoy the Easter goodies by making an ice cream cake.
(I did not, however, get great pictures of the finished product because of the recovering child, and a family that was rather eager to dig in!)
The recipes for each of these is linked or posted below
Chocolate Cake (homemade or from a mix)
Chocolate Ice Cream (homemade or store bought)
Chocolate Fudge Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Whipped Cream Frosting
Go nuts! Sprinkles, crushed up candy, mini chocolate chips, crushed Oreos, fresh fruit, etc.
Make the Cake
I doctored up a chocolate cake mix. Although, I really do love my Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe, so if I'd have had more time, I may have gone for that.
I made the cake about two days ahead of time. I baked an 8"x3" round cake, which was more than I needed. Baking just one typical 8" cake layer would be enough, I think.
Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, and freeze it before assembly. (That makes it easier to pick it up and move it around.)
Make the Ice Cream
Even if you're not making your own ice cream, you need to "shape" the ice cream into cake-sized disks a day or so ahead of time. (If you're using store-bought ice cream, skip below the homemade ice cream recipe.)
(Yield: about 1 quart)
2 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the half-and-half over medium heat until bubbles just form along the sides of the pan.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and sugar.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the cream for about 30 seconds or until hot to the touch, but not boiling. Add the chocolate (and cocoa powder, if desired), and let set for about 30 seconds. Whisk until it is a smooth, dark, yummy chocolate.
When the half-and-half is warmed, slowly add about 1/2-1 cup of the warmed half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, whisking the entire time, to keep the yolks from curdling.
Then, pour the now slightly warmed egg yolk mixture very slowly back into the half-and-half that remains on the stove, again whisking the entire time. Add the chocolate mixture, again whisking the entire time.
Bring this custard mixture up to 160-degrees. Remove from the heat and cool until lukewarm.
Pour into a food storage container, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Mix with an ice cream maker until it is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
Create Ice Cream Layers
If you're using store-bought ice cream (which is really, really, totally fine), set the ice cream out of the freezer, and stir it often for 30-45 minutes or until it becomes soft-serve ice cream consistency.
If you're using the homemade kind... you would do this straight out of the ice cream maker.
Line a cake pan (the same size you used for your cakes) with plastic wrap. I made it like a + with one long sheet horizontally and one vertically.
Pour or spoon the ice cream into the pan, and spread as evenly as possible. You may want to tap the cake pan bottom, gently, on the counter top to help even the layer.
Now, truth be told, the OCD in me had a hard time wrapping this layer in plastic wrap knowing the sides and top would then be bumpy. However, in the end, it was not a big deal because you have to trim the sides anyway, and the top/bottom kind of melts into the cake or the fudge.
Make the Fudge Sauce
Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce
Yield: 2 cups
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or baking chocolate)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate, butter and vanilla, and stir until smooth.
Cool the sauce to lukewarm before serving.
Assemble the Cake
However, when I made the cake with all three 1" layers of cake, and my ice cream which was more like 1.5" tall... it was too big to fit into the freezer. (As you can see above.)
So, I took off the lowest layer of cake. But then when it started to melt, it started to puddle. If the cake had been under it, it could have just melted into the cake a little.
*Note: Because I removed that bottom layer of cake, I also had an extra challenge in that now my bottom layer was fudge sauce, which is sticky, so cutting the pieces was not easy.
Make the Icing
Yield: approx. 3-3.5 cups
4 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
With the mixer on medium, slowly pour a thin stream of the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture, lightening up the cream cheese until it is well-combined. Stop to scrape down the bowl, if necessary. You do not want any chunks of cream cheese.
Frost and Decorate the Cake
(Click the link for a complete tutorial on How to Frost a Cake.)
this blog post from iambaker.
At this point, I recommend putting the cake back in the freezer yet again for about 15 minutes.
Now, if my little guy wasn't sick, I would have also added some fun, colorful sprinkles around the edge. Everyone loves sprinkles!
Again, sorry for the lack of great pictures of the finished product.
I recommend taking the cake out of the freezer about 15-20 minutes before serving. Use a big, sharp knife to cut this cake. It is not easy to get through the thick layers of cake.
I can honestly say this was a HUGE hit. Rarely do my in-laws go back for seconds with my desserts. They have willpower when it comes to sweets... unlike me. They all went back for more. Even though, it is rich! That fudge sauce is amazingly rich! Whew!
I have a feeling more ice cream cakes will be to follow!! Stay tuned. (And maybe I'll get better pictures next time.)
Click the Links Below to See:
Amazing Chocolate Cake Recipe
Other Chocolate Recipes and Ideas
More Summer Recipes and Ideas