Sunday, January 9, 2011

Layers of Flavor

I'm not feeling so hot today. So while I had huge aspirations of making Mario Batali's meatballs and giving that espresso creme brulee another shot (I finally got the butane!), it's not going to happen. Instead, I'm going to share an amazing recipe my good friend Sue brought over on Friday night: ice cream layer cake.

It's originally a Rachael Ray recipe, which Sue doctored up to use some of our favorite flavors. And I can think of many more combinations that would be just as heavenly! This cake is super simple because because most of its components are ready-made and store-bought. Although I'd love to use homemade ice cream, which would give it an even richer, creamier texture. I'll add that to my ever-growing list of things to make.

Ice Cream Layer Cake
1 cup heavy cream
1 (12 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 marble pound cake, cut into half-inch thick slices (Sue used chocolate pound cake)
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened (Sue used peanut butter ice cream)
20 chocolate wafers, plus 4 crushed wafers (Sue used vanilla wafers)
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened (Sue used peanut butter again)

In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Put the chocolate chips in a heat-proof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over them. Let sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a fork about 2 minutes, until ganache is smooth.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing a 4-inch overhang on all sides.

Pour half of ganache into lined pan and spread to evenly cover the base. Cover ganache with a layer of tightly packed cake slices. Spread vanilla ice cream over pound cake. Cover ice cream with half of wafers. Spread remaining ganache over wafers. Top ganache with remaining wafers. (At this point the recipe says you should freeze the cake for 30 minutes to let it firm up, but if you can work quickly enough you can forge ahead. Just don't be a slow poke - you don't want that first layer of ice cream to completely melt.)

Spread chocolate ice cream over wafers. Top with another single, tightly-packed layer of cake slices. Trim a few slices to fill in all the gaps. Cover cake completely with overhanging plastic wrap and freeze at least 5 hours or overnight.

To loosen the cake from the pan, open the plastic wrap and invert onto a flat serving platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Top cake with crushed wafers before serving.

In Rachael's sort of irritating words, it was "Yum-o!" Sue's choice of peanut butter over vanilla and chocolate ice creams was right on because there's really nothing better than the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. But next time I want to use mint ice cream! I also think strawberry (for a sort of chocolate-covered strawberry effect) would be delicious. Imagine sliced fresh strawberries served on top! Perhaps when I have a slice after dinner tonight I'll post a picture for you to drool over :)

1 comment:

  1. I can't remember ever properly having an ice cream cake, but how much better can any food get? ICE CREAM+CAKE!

    Have you ever tried the Dreyer's brand Dulce de Leche ice cream? Most brilliant ice cream ever made, by the way. I'd imagine that might be great with some cinnamon related cake, like yellow cake with cinnamon. The whole concoction could be like one giant snickerdoodle. Or strawberry ice cream with white cake, or butter pecan with pound cake. Endless possibilities if you ask me!