Ice Cream Cake
Two thin layers of chewy brownie enclose a thick layer of
ice cream; in the middle of the ice cream layer, there are softly-frozen
truffles. Slices of this dessert are served with ice cream toppings
and whipped cream. A great advantage of this ice cream cake
is that it must be made ahead of serving time. The components
are made individually, and can be frozen until youre ready
to assemble the dessert; the completed dessert is then frozen
at least 8 hours before serving, but it can be made up to a
week in advance. Youll need a springform pan for this,
8-1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall.
you can use many ice cream flavors for this cake, choose a good-quality
ice cream that isnt rock-hard directly out of the freezer.
I like to use a basic flavor---vanilla or coffee, for example---
as either allows for a nice visual and flavor contrast with
the chocolate truffles. You can use an ice cream that is all-chocolate,
but you wont get the nice contrasts described above. I
prefer to work with two pint containers as opposed to one quart
container, as I find it easier for this recipe. Great for a
8 to 10 servings
squares (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Tbsp. (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Tbsp. light corn syrup, preferably at room temperature
eggs, graded "large"
cups granulated sugar
cup all-purpose flour
ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
Tbsp. pure vanilla OR dark rum OR a combination of the two
quart good-quality ice cream of your choice (see introduction
that complement your ice cream selection
sweetened whipped cream
Brownies: Tear off four sheets of regular-weight aluminum foil,
each about 13" long. Line each of two 9-inch round layer pans
with a double thickness of the foil (the pans can be shallow),
pressing out as many creases as possible and folding any overhanging
foil over the pan edges. Lightly grease the pan bottoms with
vegetable shortening, being careful not to tear the foil. Set
medium heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolate and butter.
Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch
bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove
from heat and hot water, stir in corn syrup, and set aside to
cool for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees
separate medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
With large spoon, beat until well-combined and quite foamy,
about 1 minute. Add chocolate mixture, which may still be warm
(but not hot) and stir in. Stir in flour only until combined.
batter evenly between prepared pans and spread until level.
Bake in preheated oven 16 to 19 minutes, or until toothpick
inserted near center emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging
to it. Because these brownie layers are so thin, it helps to
insert the toothpick on an angle. Do not overbake. Allow to
cool completely in pans. Store airtight.
Truffles: Combine chopped chocolate and salt in small heatproof
bowl. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream until very
hot, stirring occasionally. Pour about half of hot cream over
chocolate (reserve remainder). Allow chocolate to stand for
a minute or two, then stir or whisk gently until smooth. Gradually
stir in remaining cream. (If necessary, place bowl of chocolate
over simmering water on low heat--water should not touch bottom
of bowl--and stir until melted and smooth, then remove from
heat and hot water.) Stir in butter pieces, a few at a time.
Gradually add vanilla or rum (mixture will be thin). Turn into
small bowl, then chill. When cold, cover with a layer of paper
towelling across the top of the bowl, then cover tightly with
plastic wrap (the paper towel prevents any condensation that
forms from dripping back into the truffle mixture). Chill at
least 8 hours, or overnight.
assemble: First, clear a large open space in your freezer. Next,
gently remove the brownies from their pans, but keep them in
the foil pan-linings. Be gentle here; the thin brownie layers
are fragile. If it isnt too much like work, try to peel
off the outer layer of the foil lining (the outer layer ONLY)
of each brownie layer. Freeze the layers for at least one hour,
though they can be frozen for much longer if you wish. Make
sure they are in airtight wrappings if youre going to
freeze them for any length of time.
a 13 by 9 inch pan with foil. Remove the truffle mixture from
the fridge. Scoop out portions of truffle equivalent to a well-rounded
half-teaspoonful, and place these individual portions on the
foil; youll have about 35 or 40 (the exact number doesnt
matter). Cover the top of the 13 by 9 inch pan lightly with
plastic wrap; freeze the truffles for at least one hour. Have
your ice cream on hand, but leave it in the freezer.
trace around the bottom of the springform pan on two sheets
of wax paper to form two circles, each 8-1/2 inches in diameter.
Assemble the springform pan. Place one wax paper circle in the
bottom of the pan (reserve the other). No more than 2 inches
up from the bottom of the pan, grease the sides ONLY with solid
a sheet of wax paper that is 13-1/2 inches long; the wax paper
should be 12 inches wide. Cut the sheet in half lengthwise,
so that each half measures 13-1/2 inches long by 6 inches wide,
then fold each half lengthwise, so that it measures 13-1/2 inches
long by 3 inches wide. Place one folded length, open side down,
along the sides of the assembled springform pan (the greased
sides help it stick) and flush with the bottom of the pan, fitting
it as neatly as possible to the pan sides so there are no "gaps"
between pan and wax paper lining. Repeat with other length,
fitting to unlined side of pan (there will likely be a bit of
overlap--OK). You should now have a pan lined on bottom and
sides with wax paper.
a cutting board with wax paper. Remove one brownie layer from
the freezer. Gently peel foil from sides of brownie layer, then
turn upside down onto wax paper on cutting board, and gently
peel foil from bottom. Place reserved 8-1/2 inch circle of wax
paper on top of frozen brownie layer. With point of small, serrated,
sharp knife, trace circle onto brownie. Remove circle of wax
paper. Cut just inside the traced circle on the brownie, cutting
away a small portion at a time. Make sure you cut straight up-and-down,
or the top of the layer will have a greater diameter than the
bottom (trim the layer as necessary, if this happens). Re-invert
the layer so it is top side up, and place it, still top side
up, in the bottom of the lined pan.
now on, you must work quickly. Remove both pints of ice cream
and the frozen truffles from the freezer. Remove the lids from
both pints of ice cream. Soften one pint by heating in the microwave
at 50% (medium) power for 10 to 15 seconds, just until ice cream
is softened slightly (you dont want it to melt!). By large
spoonfuls, remove ice cream from container and place on brownie
layer in bottom of springform pan. With back of spoon, spread
to form as even a layer as possible.
a ring of truffles around the outer edge of the ice cream layer,
touching the wax paper lining of the pan. Place the remaining
truffles all over the top of the ice cream layer, as evenly
as possible. Now, quickly soften the second pint of ice cream
as you did the first, and place by smaller spoonfuls all over
the top of the truffles. Again, spread to form as even a layer
as possible; dont worry if it isnt perfect. Now,
put it back into the freezer IMMEDIATELY; while doing so, remove
the second frozen brownie layer.
foil coverings gently and trim the second brownie layer as you
did the first, to form a circle a tad less than 8-1/2 inches
in diameter. Remove the springform pan from the freezer, and
carefully maneuver the second brownie layer, top side up, onto
the second ice cream layer (the wax paper on the sides of the
pan might try to crumple underneath the second brownie layer
as its going in, but show it whos boss, and tug
it upward gently to straighten it out. If necessary, trim the
second brownie layer a bit more on the sides to make it fit).
Place the wax paper circle you used for trimming the brownie
layers on top of the cake, and press down gently. Replace in
freezer IMMEDIATELY! Freeze for about 2 hours, then gently compact
the cake again (to eliminate any air pockets) by pressing down
on the top layer of wax paper. Cover the top of the pan tightly
with foil, and replace in freezer for at least 6 hours longer,
serving: Have ready the lightly sweetened whipped cream and
any toppings you like (for vanilla or coffee ice cream, I think
hot fudge sauce is a natural; warm it slightly). Have ready
serving plates, forks, and a large, sharp, serrated knife.
the ice cream cake from the freezer, and take off the foil cover.
Release the clamp that holds on the sides of the pan. Carefully
and gently, peel off the wax paper from the cake sides; if it
tears, dont worry, just make sure to peel it all off.
Insert a flat or plastic knife between the bottom of the pan
and the wax paper circle on the bottom of the pan, and lift
the cake up. Quickly and carefully transfer to cutting board
or serving plate (if you do put this on a serving plate, it
must have a center depression or flat area at least 8-1/2 inches
in diameter). Remove wax paper circle from top of cake.
as many slices as desired; remember, the first slice out is
always the toughest and looks the worst. If necessary for neat
cuts, run knife blade under hot water and shake off. Return
any unused ice cream cake to freezer promptly, covering tightly
with plastic wrap.
slices with topping, allowing some topping to pool on plate.
Garnish with whipped cream. Important: Allow to stand 5 to 7
minutes at room temperature before serving, so ice cream softens
just slightly. Pass more topping with the cake.
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