Friday, January 11, 2008

My Christmas Challenge

Well, I went home for a few weeks at Christmas and decided to occupy my time, I’d make cakes for people. So I had my mom put up some ads, and asked her to put pictures of cakes from Bon Appetit or something, just to grab attention. I was thinking little cutouts that would go around the text, but my mom really wanted to grab people’s attention. Before I even got home, I had an email requesting the Peppermint Ice Cream Cake that was in the ad….hmmmm. And she wanted it the day after I got home. So thence began my first ice cream cake.

I read the recipe on, and I decided that it wouldn’t be all that difficult; especially if I could find peppermint ice cream already made (if not, I’d have to throw in crushed peppermints and some extract into vanilla). Check one: Blue Bell peppermint ice cream, in a lovely pale pink shade with bits of green and red peppermint candies in it.
Oh and I forgot to mention that the ice cream cake from the ad was only ice cream and cake. So layers of cake and ice cream, then ‘frosted’ with ice cream. That would make it even more difficult, as ice cream melts and isn’t so easy to ice. So I tweaked that part and decided to do a cream cheese frosting. So now the main problem, which ended up being a problem till the end (I’m not sure how it turned out, after I gave it away to its rightful owner/purchaser), was that to keep the ice cream layers from melting, it’s gotta stay in the freezer, but then the cake freezes. And you don’t want to spend too much time spreading the ice cream layers between cake because then it will melt and take that much longer to freeze. Because of this, my ice cream layers weren’t extremely smooth, but I’m not sure if you could tell that in a slice or not.
And I was a little pressed for time; had I had enough time, I would have cut the cake into layers and let cool completely, to minimize ice cream meltage. So, below I have a basic assembly and you can pick cake/frosting recipes you like and mix with ice cream.

Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

1 chocolate cake in a standard loaf size
Peppermint ice cream
Cream cheese frosting (plenty of it)
Peppermint candy to decorate

So first, make your cake according to instructions and when it’s cool enough to cut, cut into three layers. Make sure you let these cool fully. When they’re ready, prepare some sort of pan to put them in with ice cream in the freezer. I put parchment paper on a 9x13 backing dish, then lined it with two layers of cake and quickly cover both with a layer of ice cream. It’s ok if it’s not perfect, you can touch up later. So put that in the freezer until the ice cream has gotten back to its normal state. While you wait, make the cream cheese frosting. Before you take the layers out of the freezer, make sure everything is prepared so you can work fast. I got a tray and parchment paper for the cake. When you take it out, fill in any gaps with more ice cream, then stack the layers so it goes cake, ice cream, cake, ice cream, and cake. Now it’s time to ice. Just spread it all over and make sure you can see any parts of the cake, it’s ok if it goes in a bit at the different layers, my ice cream didn’t line up with the cake. And finally decorate with whatever candies you have. Leave it in the freezer, until about 30 minutes before eating, so the ice cream (and cake) can soften.

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