Soooo....Mr.Sweetshack had a birthday Friday...and has been sick with the flu all week. His birthday cake request was an icecream cake. The man is very particular. He wanted chocolate cake with chocolate chip icecream and a chocolate cake layer on top. Vanilla icecream for "icing" on the outer layer, whipped icing borders and chocolate chips but NO buttercream (he is not a fan...). So, this is what he got:
On Friday. His actual birthday day. I gave the man 6 storebought mini-refridgerated petitfours and stuck a candle in them. Because I had been running errands all day. Because an icecream cake, while not difficult, can be complicated. Because it has many layers, requires working in short spurts, and, well...it's icecream. So yes, I, horrible wife that I am, gave my sweetie the storebought mini-refridgerated petitfours on his birthday because I ran out of time and his icecream cake was still...processing.
But no worries, we're good...I think I made it up to him on Saturday...
Now I want to share with you the method I have perfected (err...somewhat) over the years.
How to Make an Ice Cream Cake:
You will need:
No life. Or atleast a day or two to work on this in short intervals.
Cake mix, and ingredients required
Icecream - I use one flavor for the layer, and one to "frost/ice" with
Icing - you can make this yourself or use storebought (I used whipped icing for the borders)
Ganache - (optional) to write the message and decorate inplace of buttercream.
What to do:
Bake your cake. I used a boxed chocolate cake mix - reality check: it's going to be frozen, so "scratch cake" is kind-of a waste of time here...
Cool cake completely, then trim the tops so they are level (I used this tool found at most craft shops, but a knife works just fine). Wrap layers in plastic wrap, place in freezer.
Set icecream out on counter and let soften for approx. 30 minutes, until it is soft enough to scoop and spread.
Wash your cake pan, place a large layer of plastic wrap horizontally over the pan, gently press down allowing the plastic wrap to take the shape of the pan. Repeat with a vertical layer of plastic wrap. Scoop icecream into the same cake pan that was used for your cake layers (you know after you've washed it. Or don't wash it...whatever.)
Spread the icecream around in the cake pan (using an icing spatula) until it is smoothe and level. Fold the layers of plastic wrap over top of icecream layer, place pan in freezer to set for several hours.
Prep your cakeboard. After the icecream layer has had time to set, set out the second flavor of icecream, which will need to thaw for about 30 to 45 minutes (you want this to be soft enough to spread, like icing).
Stir the "icing" icecream until blended, then remove your cake layers and icecream layer from freezer, and begin to stack. I usually put a smear of "icing" icecream onto the cakeboard to help the cake layer adhere. Then carefully remove cake layer from plastic wrap and place on cake board. Place a thin smear of the "icing" icecream on top of the cake...
then carefully unwrap the icecream layer from the plastic wrap and place on top.
Ok. Moment of truth. For this particular icecream cake I used a sugar free cake mix. He asked for it. It behaved - weirdly. It shrunk away from the sides of the pan ALOT after cooling. So, when I stacked my cake, I noticed that my icecream layer was much bigger than my cake layers. It was protruding and would not have been pretty if I had left it how it was and just iced it anyway. Had to do some trimming. You may not need this step, just use your judgement.
I carefully trimmed the icecream layer by holding a knife against the side of the cake, turning my turntable slowly and sawing with the knife. The excess icecream pieces will fall to the cakeboard and you will feel compelled to eat them so they don't melt there. It's ok. Happens to the best of us...(so I'm told).
If you have a second layer of cake, place on top of the icecream layer now. (I usually only do 2 layers for an icecream cake - one layer of cake, one layer of icecream. But I was following a "request"). See? Told you. Particular.
You may find it necessary to now trim again, so that all 3 layers are flush with each other. You may not need to. I did. Whatever.
Now that your cake/icecream sides are even, you can "ice" your cake. I like to use a large icing spatula, and just pretend that the icecream is icing. Except that it melts. When you get a good base coat/crumb coat, place it back in the freezer for an hour or so. Also place your "icing" icecream back into the freezer (you want it to be soupy spreadable, not melted).
When you get time again, set out your icing icecream again and thaw to the same consistency. Or do what I did...I finally figured out that at this point it's much faster to pop it into the microwave for 30 second intervals (stirring in-between) until it reacehes the desired consistency. Working as quickly as possible, get a good even coat of "icing" icecream on the sides and top of your cake. This will be your final coat. Pop cake and "icing" icecream back into the freezer.
When you feel that your cake has set thoroughly, remove from freezer to decorate. I used a #22 tip and whipped icing for the borders. You can use storebought buttercream or whipped, or just make some yourself.
I had refridgerated the ganache I had leftover from making the flourless chocolate cake (if you did not make that...insert guilt trip and bakers' remorse here). So, I placed that into a piping bag with decorator tip #3 and used it to write the "Happy Birthday" message, then just did some streamers along the top. Because I thought it might need more chocolate, fat and calories...plus I had to make up for all of the lost sugar in the "sugar-free" cake mix =)
Here's how it looks cut:
YUM!! Sooo worth all the time and hassle. If you have questions, or if I've totally lost/confused you, please feel free to comment so I can help out.
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweet Tooth Friday