09 May 2008

Done at Last!

I have finally, finally finished my semester. After some technical problems, my last paper is turned in and Zach and I are about to leave DC for the weekend for some much needed R&R. I think this ice cream cake is a fitting post to celebrate the end of the semester with (I actually really wish I had a piece with me at work).

So- ice cream cake-- it's definitely not something to leave to the professionals (and I use that term very loosely) at DQ as it's so easy to make at home. Plus- instead of only getting vanilla and chocolate ice cream with the chocolate crunchies in the middle, you can have whatever flavors you like. Feeling tropical- use mango and pineapple sorbet with a coconut filling (and using sorbet dramatically lowers the fat content). If you want to splurge, pick your two favorite flavors of Haagen-Dazs and use brownie bits for the filling. The combinations are only limited by what you can think up.

I made a vanilla and strawberry ice cream cake with coconut-graham cracker filling. The flavor choices were Zach's (but he knows that strawberry is my favorite). Last time we used chocolate teddy grahams for the filling (whacking them to bits with a rolling pin was a little traumatic as they are so cute) but the grocery store was out so I used the leftover graham crackers from my last Daring Bakers Challenge instead The recipe below makes enough to serve about 20, but you can easily adjust the proportions to fit the number of guests you have, or even just make an individual ice cream cake for yourself in a custard cup or ramekin (why save all the fun for when you have guests over?). The cake comes together really quickly, but don't forget that you have to let each layer freeze individually so it's easiest to put in the first layer the night before you need the cake, and add the filling and second layer the next morning. Then your cake will be frozen and ready to go that night.

Ice Cream Cake
Serves 20, recipe can easily be halved

1/2 gallon each of your two favorite ice cream flavors (or sorbet, frozen yogurt, ect.)
2 c. crushed graham crackers or your other favorite cookie
1 T. melted butter
2 T. brown sugar (only if using graham crackers, omit if using a sweeter cookie)
1/2 C. sweetened, shredded coconut

Other items: 10x13 baking dish, parchment paper, tin foil and saran wrap

- Take the lid and plastic off the ice cream container that you want on the bottom layer. Soften the ice cream in the microwave on 50% power until soft but not melting.

- Scoop the ice cream into the dish and place a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the dish over the top. Use your hands to press down on the parchment paper and create a relatively even layer of ice cream.

- Leave the parchment paper on top of the ice cream, as this will help prevent freezer burn. Wrap the dish well with saran wrap and freeze overnight or until very firm.

- Mix the crushed cookies, melted butter, sugar and coconut in a bowl. Soften the second ice cream flavor in the microwave. Take the base of the cake out of the freezer, remove the plastic wrap and parchment paper and sprinkle the cookie mixture on in an even layer.

- Scoop the ice cream out on top of the cookie layer and use the parchment paper to press it out into an event layer. Leave the parchment on and wrap the dish well in plastic wrap. Freeze until very firm and serve.

Note: Make sure you wrap the cake very well in the freezer as ice cream will pick up other flavors and smells very easily, which reminds me of an incident when I was studying in Vienna involving meatballs and my vegetarian roommates vanilla ice cream...


Cynthia said...

Yayyyy! Have a good trip!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yay! Ice cream cake!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yay! Ice cream cake!