Please ignore the lack of knitting content. I have finished objects, but they are currently pictureless. Until they have pictures, please continue to ignore the fact that they have been done for at least a day, in some cases possibly more (ok, fine, a single day. I'm not that productive).
Until then, let's talk about ice cream cake. I know it is December, but it isn't cold everywhere, and what can I say, I love cake and ice cream. This cake I made for a friend's birthday, but I don't see why it could be made any old time.
A confession. My first ice cream cake was a bust. It was tasty, but both the ice cream and the frosting were goopy beyond belief, and remained soft no matter how much time I left it in the freezer. This one was much better, though there is still room for improvement. There is always room for improvement.
Step 1. Make a cake. I used Joy the Baker's Vanilla cupcakes. This resulted in a lot more cake than I needed. I made the full recipe and divided it into 2 9-inch cake pans and baked it for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester came out clean (hey, it was 2 weeks ago!). I then let the cakes cool on racks in the fridge.
Step 2. Make ice cream base. Now you can use any base you want, but I was feeling appropriately holiday festive. I made eggnog ice cream from the Ben and Jerry's ice cream cookbook. Between this and the cupcakes that was all of the eggs in the house, a nice round dozen. If your base requires heating, then make the base the same day you make the cake and do assembly the second day.
Step 3. Churn ice cream. In my ice cream maker, I usually let it run between 30 and 40 minutes. The machine distinctly changes in pitch (like an engine having to work hard) when it is finally ready. Scoop into a bowl and put in the freezer for no more than an hour. While it was churning, I did step 4.
Step 4. I took a 9-inch springform pan and lined it with two overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. I then put one cake in the bottom (flat side up).
Step 6. Frosting. I'm lazy and I didn't want to mess with buttercream. Really cold buttercream frosting to me often tastes greasy even if it would be perfectly fine at room temperature. So, for this cake I whipped some heavy cream with a single tablespoon of sugar and some nutmeg and cinnamon until I had hard peaks. I then quickly spread it on the cake. I only used about 1/2 cup of cream, but I probably should have made more.
Notes for next time: I didn't need this much cake. It was tasty, but the cake to ice cream ratio was a little off. This made (probably mixed it a tiny bit too long) a pretty dense cake when chilled, which made it harder to cut. It would have been easier to use a single 9-inch layer and cut it in half. For a showier cake, I would make a single red velvet cake and a creamy vanilla ice cream for the middle.
For ease, you can use store bought ice cream and a cake mix. Most of the recipes and instructions I found were of the softened ice cream on cake mix variety, and there is nothing wrong with it. If I were softening ice cream, I would leave the block out for 4-5 minutes and then put it in a cold bowl and use my stand mixer for another 2-3 minutes. Easy?
Other easy decorating ideas are toasted coconut or crushed cookie crumbs pressed into the sides. They can hide a world of sins and while I liked the ease of the whipped cream frosting, it wasn't the prettiest frosting job I've ever done.