Ice cream cakes are for those special occasions when one scoop of ice cream just isn't enough. And by that I mean birthdays! Summer birthdays especially deserve a decadent frozen treat like ice cream cake to help celebrate. They are spectacular make-ahead cakes that just about everyone loves.
Though ice cream cakes may seem difficult to make they are actually quite easy. All that is needed is a little time and a big freezer. You'll want to work with cold tools and keep each component frozen as you work on the next piece. A cake is baked in the normal fashion, cut to shape and frozen. Ice cream is made (or bought) and frozen in the same pan used to make the cake to ensure uniformity. (A spring-form pan works well for this) You'll want to work with cold tools and keep each component frozen as you work on the next piece.
Once all of the pieces are made and frozen the cake is put together and kept cold until time to serve. Viola!
Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Cake
For the chocolate cake:
1 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans or 1 spring-form pan. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin).
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
For the coffee ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups whole coffee beans
Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is warm but not boiling. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Once the mixture is warm, remove from heat add the remaining cream and vanilla extract, cover and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, strain liquid removing the vanilla and coffee beans. Prepare the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Scoop into spring-form pan or 9 inch round lined with wax paper. (Best to use the same pan you made the chocolate cake with). Once completely frozen, about two hours, you can remove the ice cream and leave it in the freezer wrapped in the wax paper until ready to use.
For the ganache:
10 oz dark chocolate
7 oz heavy cream
Finely chop the chocolate and put into a bowl. In a small pot, bring the double cream to boil. Add chocolate and stir to melt.
Putting it all together:
Level one of the cake layers and place it on the cake plate. Carefully place the ice cream layer on top of the base cake layer and remove the wax paper. Press down gently on the ice cream with a wide spatula to anchor the ice cream into the cake. Place in freezer to keep the ice cream from melting.
Place second cake layer on top of the ice cream layer and press it down gently. Place entire cake back into freezer to allow coffee ice cream to harden, about 15 minutes. You can use a slightly wet off-set spatula to smooth out the ice cream layer, making it even with the cake layers.
Spread the chocolate ganache over the cake. Freeze until ready to eat.