25 June 2011

A Non Traditional Cake ... Really Non Traditional

Happy Birthday Lauren!! Yesterday was Lauren's 32nd and this year she decided to challenge my construction skills, patience, and ability to not eat ice cream the instant it comes out of the machine. I don't know how she found this, but What's Gaby Cooking had a crazy dessert she asked me to make. I've certainly made ice cream cakes before (in fact I think I made that particular one twice last summer) but this was something more.

I started with the brownies. I have to admit that I almost always use box brownies. I just have not found a recipe that makes better tasting brownies than almost any box mix. That is however, the only box mix I use. I poured the brownie batter in three 9" pans and after they cooled I wrapped them in wax paper and cling film. I had a busy week so I needed to make them well in advance and freeze them.

They really freeze very well.

That same night I started ice cream number one, mint chocolate chip. Both ice creams (yes both) were firsts for me. The mint chocolate chip was super easy to make. I have two recipes for it and decided to not use the custard-based recipe, which is usually what I use, but to make what is apparently a Philidelphia style ice cream:

3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
green food color

Heat the heavy cream until those small bubbles form around the edges. Do not let it boil. When you see the little bubbles, pull it off the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. After it's cooled to room temp add the peppermint and the food coloring. The food coloring isn't necessary of course, but mint ice cream just isn't the same if it's off-white, is it? I refrigerated the cream overnight and ran it in the ice cream maker the next evening. After it had partially firmed in the maker I added mini chocolate chips. It's always a little iffy adding solids to the ice cream maker. It hiccups a little and makes angry noises but hasn't broken yet.

It was very, very green. Also, I would recommend slightly less than a full tablespoon of peppermint extract. While it blended well with everything else in the dessert, on it's own the ice cream was rather too refreshing.

Then I made the chocolate chip cookies. Sure there are plenty chocolate chip cookie recipes out there; but why look anywhere other than the back of the Toll House bag?

There's just something about cookie dough that begs to be eaten, isn't there? I mean what's better than whipped raw eggs, butter, and sugar?!

Oh yes, when you add chocolate!

Yum! I also used one of my baking secret ingredients for the cookies. I don't use vanilla extract. I haven't since I really started doing a lot of baking. I only ever use real vanilla. It's not that inexpensive but I have been to Mexico a couple times in the last few years and while I do not bring back sombreros or tequila; I do bring home vanilla. Lots.

Also a side note to the makers of baking parchment paper. Love you, great product, but the size is a bit off. Have you ever worked with parchment paper? Sure the wideness is great if you're using it on a cookie sheet or something but when cutting rounds for anything less than a 12 inch cake pan you end up wasting so much. Case in point:

So I'm just saying, think about making a couple different sizes, eh?

Next was ice cream number two. I find it incerdible that after making ice cream for what, three plus years now? this is the first chocolate ice cream I've ever made. How is that even possible? Chocolate is my favorite! I guess it was worth waiting for though because this is seriously the best chocolate ice cream ever. Do you remember Jello Pudding Pops? If not I feel deeply sorry for you. No clue why they were taken off the market since they were some of the best things in the entire world. But if you have this ice cream you'd have an idea of how good they were.

1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Blend the sugar, cocoa and eggs until smooth

Bring milk to a boil in a heavy sauce pan. Unlike with the mint this time you actually boil it. Then slooowly pour it into the sugar/cocoa/egg mixture blending the entire time. My recipe book suggested using a food processor but I was too lazy to get mine down from its spot on the top shelf of the cabinet. And be careful, it will spatter.

Pour everything back into the saucepan and on medium to low heat stir constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk (I prefer whisk) until it thickens. I poured it back into the bowl again right away to help it cool faster. Once it was about room temp I put it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. One thing I like to do before putting these ice creams away to chill is to cover them with cling film; but not just cover like you do normally. I put the cling film directly on the ice cream.

This helps keep that nasty skin cooked milk things get. That's just gross. This one didn't go through the ice cream maker quite so well but I think it's because I hadn't let it freeze long enough.

The night before the birthday it was assembly time!! At this point you should have: 2 different ice creams, 2 9 inch cookies, and 3 9 inch brownies. Oh, you also need craem cheese frosting. Whip 1/2 stick soft butter, 8oz cream cheese, and powdered sugar to taste and ta da!

Step 1: Spread mint chocolate chip ice cream on top of brownie

Step 2: Press cookie gently on top of ice cream and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: Spread chocolate ice cream on top of cookie, press brownie gently on top of ice cream, and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2. Freeze overnight.

Step 4: Cover with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting.

Step 5: EAT!

I think the above shot is worth repeating but with some handy Photoshop labeling so you can see the various strata.

Hmm...hope you can see that. It's much smaller than when I viewed it in Photoshop. But awesome right? It tasted pretty good too I must say. And I am happy to report that unlike my last post, this cake caused no breakdown or emotional outbursts of any sort.

No comments: