Friday, September 9, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake - September Cake Odyssey

We celebrated my girl's birthday recently and what is an automatic when it's someone's birthday?


My mom and I swap issues of magazines when we are done with them.  We were doing this years before recycling became mainstream.  Anyway, mom gave me her August issue of Southern Living about a month ago and while I was working up a sweat on the treadmill thumbing through the colorful pages one morning, I happened across a recipe for a beautiful Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Cake.  In that very moment, I knew this was going to be Jenna's birthday cake.

I cheated on a couple of steps of this recipe.  It called for making homemade chocolate ganache at the last minute and pouring it over the top.  I was entertaining company and didn't want to be bothered with that detail so I poured some warmed, high-quality hot fudge sauce on and it was just as heavenly.  Likewise, I omitted the crushed up chocolate cookies in-between the layers of the cake.  I just didn't feel like this ingredient was necessary.  Sometimes it's true what they say...Less is more! 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Cake
Here's What You Need:
1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
10 chocolate wafers, coarsely crushed

Devil's Food Cake Batter -
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup hot strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Chocolate Ganache
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
4 Tablespoons whipping cream

Here's What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.  Line them with parchment paper and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar at medium with a mixer until creamy.  Add the egg, beating just until blended.  Beat in the vanilla.  Combine the flour, cocoa, and baking soda.  Add to the butter mixture alternately with the coffee, beating until blended.  Stir in the vinegar.  Spoon the batter equally between the three baking pans.  Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.  Allow the layers to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool completely (about 1 hour) on the wire racks.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, be sure to have already set out the ice cream to soften a bit.  It will make it so much easier to work with.  Place one cake layer in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan.  Top with 1/3 of the ice cream.  This is where you are to sprinkle half of the crushed wafer cookies but I just drizzled some hot fudge sauce instead.  Do what you like.  Like what you do!

Repeat with a cake layer, more ice cream, more crushed wafers or drizzled hot fudge sauce.  Add the last cake layer and the rest of the ice cream.  I generously poured some more hot fudge sauce on top and stuck it in the freezer.  Once I knew the sauce was "set", I loosely covered the cake with foil.  Freeze for a total of 8-12 hours.

Let the cake stand for roughly 15 minutes before serving.

If you want to make the ganache, here's what you do:   Microwave the 4 oz. of chocolate and the 4 Tablespoons of whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl at High for one minutes or until melted.  Stir it at 30 second intervals.  Stir in up to 4 Tablespoons additional cream for desired consistency.  Immediately pour on top of the cake prior to serving. 

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