Jul 5, 2010

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

This dessert is as quintessentially American as the last one was quintessentially French. Chocolate cake, ice cream, hot fudge sauce--how could you resist? Fortunately, you don't have to resist. In fact, if you bake a full recipe of chocolate cake, you can have extras, filled with a different kind of ice cream, so you can indulge yourself over and over.
This is the first chocolate cake I've made with my new bag of Italian cocoa. It's deep and dark, and it smells heavenly. The cake itself is a repeat of the chocolate cake we used for the German Chocolate cake, way back in September 2009. Actually, that was just before the debut of the Heavenly Bakers, so some of you haven't made this cake yet. It's the perfect base for an ice cream cake because, being made with oil instead of butter, it can be refrigerated--even frozen--with no harm done to its texture.
You can see how pourable the batter is. In fact, you might be a little alarmed at how thin the batter is, except that Rose tells you that it will be like "thick soup."
The German Chocolate cake is made in two 9-inch pans. The ice cream cake recipe, however, is made in a 10-inch pan, so it uses only three-quarters of the recipe. I was far too lazy to do the arithmetic, so I just made the whole recipe. I filled the cake pan and had enough batter left over for 11 cupcakes. If I'd known it could have made a dozen, I would have been more careful apportioning the batter.
Now we come to the part that always makes me crabby--slicing the cake in half, or--in this case--slicing it into three-quarters and one-quarter. I suppose it's possible that I'd become adequate at this if I did it a lot, but that would make me crazy, so it's not a good trade-off. It's worse than cakes with piping, because you can always ignore the piping step and pile on whipped cream instead. But if a cake has to be cut, you can't just ignore that step. Especially if you're making a sandwich.
I went back to the toothpick method. All I had was frilled toothpicks, but I thought that might work better. The knife is imbedded in the cake. My hand looks defeated. Although the toothpicks look like they're at about the 1/4-mark, I ended up slicing a very thin slice off the top, and then transferring this ultra-thin slice into the springform pan, which served as a mold.
This layer is supposed to fit snugly into the pan with just a little encouragement, but mine had a little hillock that I couldn't get rid of. I figured it wouldn't matter in the end.

After the cake is cut in half, composing the cake goes back to being fun. I put two pints of softened vanilla bean ice cream on top of skinny bottom layer. My personal choice would have been strawberry, but Jim doesn't like strawberry ice cream (how is that possible?), so I humored him with vanilla bean. My daughters used to call this "ant gut" ice cream; they thought that was extremely humorous.
I was a little bewildered by the whole notion of composing the cake in the springform pan, which seemed overly complicated. But once I started doing it, it was clear that it would be necessary in order to end up with an even layer of ice cream. You can see what would happen if you didn't do it by looking at the cupcakes that were filled without using a mold--they're not nice and even at all.
Still, they're kind of adorable, and great for a quick snack. I just wrapped them individually in plastic wrap, and tossed them in the freezer. They're considerably better than Eskimo Pies.
This is how the cake looked after being assembled in the springform pan, and just before being put in the freezer overnight. I made the hot fudge sauce so quickly that Jim didn't even have time to take a picture of it. It's a great recipe to have on hand.

Doug: "This is a keeper. Please make it again."
Mary: "Delicious. I love the hot fudge sauce."
Karen: "A perfect birthday cake, with the ice cream already in it!"
Jim: "The cake is great by itself, but even better with the ice cream."


Lois B said...

I've made ice cream cakes before, but never in a spring-form pan. This gives you a much tidier result.

Marie, have you ever considered using a Wilton cake lever for dissecting a layer?

Jim said...

I apologize for the late posting - Marie is still in Montreal, and she set the blog to post automatically but it didn't. I didn't take a look at it until late morning (Minneapolis time) because I was cleaning up after the party (JOKE! JOKE! - actually, I was mowing the lawn); I took care of the posting then.

Katya said...

Jim & Marie, you guys are such a good team. I wish mine looked half as neat as yours, Marie.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if this recipe is in your book? I would love to have the recipe for it.... I need to make a cake for this coming weekend to celebrate my dad's and my birthday.


Jenn said...

It happened to me too when I set the blog to post automatically and it didn't.
I love this cake as well. The cake is freezing now and will post later after I take the picture :).

Vicki said...

I held the same vanilla ice cream in one hand and strawberry in another, tying up shopping traffic in front of the grocery store freezer! Agony deciding among the Haagen-Dazs flavors. Love the little cupcake love muffin sandwiches!

evil cake lady said...

The little crooked cupcake is so cute! Jim, good thing you've got Marie's back, and remember, if you need to hide the beer bottles the neighbor's bushes are right there.

Melinda said...

This is a kind of all in one birthday party cake or an adult sized Eskimo pie. Wonderful! It has been so hot here, this would go down a treat.
I like the idea that Jim is partying while you are away! A wild poker party, Jim?

faithy said...

Hey, your Haagen-Daz packaging is different..looks nicer than ours sold here..lol! And lovely cake and i too just made cupcakes out of the extra batter too! My husband doesn't' like strawberry ice cream either!

Monica said...

I laugh so hard with Jim's comment! Montreal must be a blast - You need to tell me all the cool spots that we can go to when we go there for vacation in Aug.

Lois, I have used the Wilton and I'm still cutting the cake off-sided - I must be doing something totally wrong.

Marie.. you choose the best store-bough ice cream.. I love HD Five line.

And totally agree, best hiding place the neighbor's bushes!

Alpha Baker Joan said...

I love the little cross hatches on top. Your cake looks great.

Hanaâ said...

Your cake looks great. How accommodating of you to use vanilla ice cream :o) I’m not a big ice cream fan, so I passed on this week’s recipe. But that hot fudge sauce looks so good… I could eat it with a spoon (ice cream is optional, right?).

Btw, I use a Wilton cake leveler. It’s the best $3 you’ll ever spend. Another option is (if you want to avoid slicing a cake): bake 2 thin cakes :o)

Mendy said...


Indulge yourself over and over huh? ;)