My roommate, Rich, had a potluck this weekend for his birthday. The night before, I couldn't think of what to make, so he suggested an ice cream cake! I always like making something new, so I was up for the challenge. And it was a challenge! Caution...don't try to make an ice cream cake only 4 hours before the party! It's actually not that hard, just make sure you leave yourself ample time to let everything freeze and set up. This is a perfect do-it-the-day-before kind of dessert. Here's how I did it (or should have done it)!
Ice Cream Cake
Makes one 9" round cake.
Your favorite cake recipe (enough for two 9" round cakes)
Yummy Ice Cream-at least 2 pints (I used Maggy Mudds Freestyle- Tarmack)
Frosting or ganache (3/4 cup soy milk, 12 oz. dark chocolate chips)
Step 1: Bake the cakes, cool and remove from pans.
Step 2: Take the ice cream out of the freezer for a little while to soften a bit.
Step 3: Line one of the clean, cooled cake pans with a couple layers of plastic wrap and spoon the softened ice cream into it, smoothing it down to make an even layer. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap.
Step 4: Freeze the ice cream for a LONG TIME (trust me, 2 hours is not enough). Overnight would be great.
Step 5: Once the cakes are completely cooled, trim the tops to make an even, flat surface. (note: slightly frozen cakes are easier to cut).
Step 6: Place one layer of cake on a cooling rack, lift the plastic wrapped ice cream out of the cake pan, remove the plastic, and place the ice cream layer on top of the cake, taking care to line up the edges. Top with the other cake layer. Put back in the freezer for a while.
Step 7: Make the ganache- Put chocolate chips in a large bowl. In a pan, bring the soy milk just to a boil and then remove from heat. Pour the soy milk over the chocolate, let sit for a few minutes, then whisk gently until all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the cake from the freezer and set the cake and cooling rack on a sheet pan. Slowly pour the ganache on the top of the cake, smoothing it out with a knife and pushing ganache over the sides. Try to make it as smooth and even as possible, on the sides and top of the cake. (Note- sometimes it helps to apply a smooth, thin layer of ganache over the sides and top of the cake first, let that harden, and then pour the rest of the ganache over the cake as described. This helps seal up the sides and any loose crumbs for a smoother finish.)
Step 9: Put the cake back into the freezer until about a half hour before you're ready to serve it to soften it a bit (or less, depending on how soft the ice cream was to begin with). You can transfer the cake to a nice serving platter at this point if you want.
Step 10: Eat it. Nom, nom, nom.