HCB: Ice Cream Cake


I’m seriously spoiling Tom.  The last three weeks he has, thru my baking two of his 3 favorite sweets covered. Cheesecake - DONE!  Ice Cream - DONE! Pie - still very scared of that one, but I’m sure I will cover it - eventually.

This weekend the Heavenly Cake Baker choice was the Ice Cream Cake, and I think like most of my baker group, we were all looking forward to it.  It was perfect for the 4th of July and it would have worked great into a BBQ event.  For us it was going to work great on a long weekend were we did not have any plans except stay at home (for me) and watch a lot of TV.  It also did not help that it has not stopped raining here in Florida since last Thursday. 

When I read the recipe, I knew I wanted to pair it with another ice cream option from my new ice cream book by David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop, which let me tell you so far it has not failed me with any of the choices I have chosen to make.  I wanted something totally out of the normal and the Zabaglione Gelato just called out to me plus it turn out to be a match made in heaven (Tom’s words) but, I do have to say the pairing of the dark chocolate cake with the Marsala based gelato was A-mazing.  

The cake base was done with the recipe from the German Chocolate Cake.  The plan was to half the recipe, since Tom was going to work right thru the weekend, and I was going to be in Orlando, Florida for a work related training most of the week.  I wanted have something small, that we could eat (and finish) during the weekend and not end up throwing out during the week - which now sounds totally ridiculous after tasting the cake - because you want to have AS MUCH as this cake around as you can have.

I stared with making the ice cream on Friday night, to make sure it was going to be ready for filling the cake on Saturday.  The ice cream took me about 15 minutes to put together and about 1 hour of chilling time before it went into the ice cream maker for 30 minutes of churning time.
Zabaglione Gelato
adapted from The Perfect Scoop

1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
big pinch of salt
1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 large eggs yolks
1/2 cup of Sweet Marsala

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Zest half of the lemon directly into the warm milk. While the milk warms up, pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until light and creamy. Slowly pour the warm lemon-infused milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the Marsala and stir until cool over an ice bath.  

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (I left it for 60 minutes), then freeze it in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 30 minutes).  Once its ready, store in the freezer for over 24 hours.   

One of the reasons why I choose gelato over regular ice cream was because of its texture. Unlike regular ice cream, gelato tends to have a creamy texture so it will never freeze into a hard solid. Which meant one thing: I had no need to take out and leave it until it softened in order to fill the cake.  I took it right out of the freezer when I was ready to spread it on the cake, and it was perfect.

On Saturday I set out to start the cake   

A side note here: I need to give Rose a virtual hug, for giving us her recipes in weights, because it makes it so much easier to half the recipes - Plus, it also helps that I have the BEST APPLICATION EVER on my iPhone in order to do the most complicated math equations in my kitchen - because math and me just are not the best of friends.  So, if you have a iPhone, run and get the Kitchen Pro application - you will be using it constantly, because, its like having a math genius at your beck and call in the kitchen.  

The cake went pretty easy, even when I had a “uh, uh” moment.  I mixed the hot water with the chocolate and put aside, then using a hand mixer (I decided not to even pull the KA for such a small amount of batter) I mixed the eggs and oil and here I thought, wait! this is not right… read the recipe again and realized that I needed to mix the eggs and oil INTO the warm cocoa mixture.  Too late now, I added everything together and hoped for the best.  Then finish it off by adding the dry ingredients and you end up with a very heavy batter.  I baked mine in a loaf pan, since I wanted a long, rectangular ice cream cake.

It was ready about 35 minutes later and I did not even need the timer, since the cooked chocolate smells coming from my oven alerted everyone that the cake was done!  I took it out, unmolded it and let it rest for a about 30 minutes at room temperature.  Then I popped it into the freezer for about another 60 minutes, in order to make sure it was sturdy enough for the cutting - like Marie, I need all the help I can get when it comes time to split a cake into layers. Having the cake be solid helped quite a lot.  

The splitting went pretty fast and while a bit crooked it worked perfectly. Another trick I did in order to save me the unmolding headache once the cake was done.  Was to line the whole pan with saran wrap in order to just pull it out once I was ready to serve it - it worked like magic.

And serve we did.  I let the cake stand in the freezer overnight and then sure enough served it for Tom and his best friend after a quick lunch on Sunday afternoon.  After I served it and they had 2 pieces each, I realized that I had totally forgotten the chocolate snowball sauce! They decided that they could have a third piece and wait for the sauce to compare the difference!
Tom: “There is no need to buy ice cream or ice cream cake ever again - now everything can be made from scratch!
Keith (Tom’s BF): “This is so good! I will be happy to take some home, even if it melts on the way!”
Me: I love this cake, LOVE IT.  Tom and I were literately keeping count in how many piece each of us ate in order to keep in even.  Since I’m in Orlando, I know he is going to polish off the last piece, probably tonight. Little does he know that I have some more Zabaglione ice cream stashed away and I plan to make another one of these when I get back home this weekend and there will be NO SHARING. Because, how can you share something as glorious as this?

 Update: I have since found the recipe for the cake online.

Update #2 - After 53+ messages, I have crumbled (by popular demand) and sharing the Chocolate Snowball Recipe below: 

Chocolate Snowball Hot Fudge Sauce
(Makes 1 cup)
  • 56 Grams (2 ounces) of fine quality unsweetened or 99% cacao chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (sifted before measuring) (10 grams) unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup (132 grams) Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (116 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water heat the chocolate and butter (don’t let the bottom of the container touch the water). Stir often with a silicone spatula until completely melted.  Whisk in the cocoa and set aside.

In a small heavy saucepan, heat the sugar and cream over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to the boiling point and the whisk it into the chocolate mixture.  Add the vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Cover and keep it warm for up to an hour or refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.  Reheat just before pouring it onto the cake or serving as dipping sauce.