Baking, at least for me, is a great way to say thanks and I love you. And while I love making cookies nothing really shows your devotion like a homemake cake.
But, Father's day is a challenge for baking. June can be hot (and you know it will be if you plan to spend the day baking). This year I think I've found the perfect solution - an ice cream cake courtesy of Elinor Klivans and her fun book "Chocolate Cakes - 50 great cakes for every occasion". The cake, "Mint Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream Cake" (see recipe below), is also a perfect match for my family. Ice cream cakes were a family gathering staple throughout my youth (although they were never homemade) and mint is a great summer flavor.
"Chocolate Cakes" has a bunch of other cakes to choose from (uh - 49 more to be exact!) that I can't wait to try; including the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake (which almost won over the mint cake) and a Pear and Chocolate Crumb Cake. And if the hot weather hits when you decide to bake, Klivans has a couple of other ice cream cakes that will save you from the heat while still enjoying a scrumptious chocolate cake!
Mint Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream Cake
From Chocolate Cakes: 50 Great Cakes for Every Occasion by Elinor Klivans. Chronicle Books (2010).
This is the cake to serve after a big holiday dinner or any time you want an especially refreshing dessert. It is like a giant after-dinner ice cream mint. The cake has two crunchy layers of crushed store-bought chocolate mint sandwich cookies combined with chocolate: one between layers of ice cream and the other topping the cake. The easiest way to crush the sandwich cookies is to put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to make coarse crumbs. It is best to do this in two batches. This method is preferred over using a food processor, which could turn the filled cookies into a paste.
Makes 12 servings
Mixing time 10 minutes
Baking 325°F (165°C/gas mark 3) for about 6 minutes
Chocolate crumb crust
- One 9-oz (255-g) package chocolate wafers, processed to crumbs in a food processor (about 2 cups total)
- 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
Mint chocolate crunch
- 2 cups (250 g) chocolate mint sandwich cookies (such as 20 Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Mint Milano cookies)
- 4 oz (115 g) semisweet (plain) chocolate, chopped
- 1 tbsp corn or canola oil
- 2 qt (2 l) mint chocolate chip or peppermint ice cream, softened just until spreadable
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C/gas mark 3). Butter a 9-in (23-cm) springform pan with at least 2 3/4-in (7-cm) sides.
To make the crust: In a large bowl, stir the wafer crumbs and melted butter together to moisten the crumbs evenly. Scrape the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Using the back of your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and 1 in (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan. Be careful not to make the crust too thick on the bottom where it meets the sides. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool thoroughly before adding the ice cream.
Make the mint chocolate crunch. Line a baking sheet (tray) with parchment (baking) paper. Put the cookie crumbs in a large bowl and set aside. Put the chocolate and the oil in a heatproof bowl (or the top of a double boiler) and place it over, but not touching, barely simmering water in a saucepan (or the bottom of a double boiler). Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crumbs and stir until the crumbs are coated evenly. The mixture will look shiny and form pieces that vary from about 1/4 in (6 mm) to 1/2 in (12 mm). Spread the crumb mixture in the prepared baking sheet. As it cools, it will turn from shiny to dull and become crisp. You will have about 3 cups (365 g) mint chocolate crunch.
Use an ice cream spade to spread half of the ice cream in the cooled crust. Smooth the top. Sprinkle evenly with half of the mint chocolate crunch. Spread the remaining ice cream over the crunch. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining crunch. Wrap the cake, in its pan, tightly in plastic wrap (cling film) and then in heavy aluminum foil. Freeze overnight or for up to 1 week.
To serve the cake, unwrap it, and use a thin, sharp knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Remove the sides, and use a large, sharp knife to cut the cake into slices.
Choices: Substitute chocolate or vanilla ice cream for the mint ice cream.
Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.