Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday Dinner: Ice Cream Cake

I've definitely slacked on my Sunday Dinner posts lately, but I haven't been slacking on Sunday Dinners themselves. And that's what really matters anyway, right? As a matter of fact, a few weekends ago we celebrated Drew's birthday, with a special birthday meal for Sunday dinner.

Drew's last birthday was the kick-off of our Sunday Dinner ritual, so this year was not only a birthday celebration, but also our Sunday Dinner anniversary!

While the dinner turned out pretty good - coconut shrimp with sauteed vegetables and jasmine rice - the dessert was the show-stopper, homemade ice cream cake! {Ok, the dinner was just as good, but it was too messy and high maintenance to take pictures}

I got the recipe for homemade ice cream cake from Jesse's mom. She said that it was one of his favorites growing up. In fact, I made it for his birthday just two years ago. Now that I think about it, I bought my spring form pan specifically to make his cake, and ended up making the cake over at Drew's apartment because I needed somewhere to hide it from Jesse. Anyway, here was my first attempt at making ice cream cake:

Let it be known that I blame the icing for the AWFUL decorating job! It was that gooey gel stuff that's "meant for decorating." I hate it. I was an awesome puff-painter growing up, so it must be that stringy gel crap, and not my own skills. It's actually pretty depressing to see those pathetic, droopy letters! But back to this year because this post is not going to turn into a puff painting how to ... 

I decided to take another stab at making my own ice cream cake for Drew's birthday this year. This time around I skipped the decorating entirely and just stuck to making an awesomely delicious ice cream treat! I made the cake using a combination of Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's flavors. I started with caramel cone ice cream (HD), layered in milk and cookies (B&J) and topped it with java chocolate chip (HD). While all three flavors were really rich, it still worked ... probably because I love ice cream! :) Here is the recipe I followed, thanks to my mother-in-law:

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Servings: 12
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours

Equipment Needed
Food Processor
Spring Form Pan

1 box Nabisco chocolate wafers
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. butter
3 pints of ice cream, any variety

Using a food processor, crush chocolate wafers into fine crumbs. Remove crumbs and measure and place 1 cup of the crumbs back into the processor. Set aside remaining crumbs. 

Combine the crumbs in the processor with sugar and butter. Process until well combined. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of a spring form pan and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Place first pint of ice cream (chunkiest variety is best on the bottom) in a bowl and soften in the microwave. Remove crust from the freezer and spread the ice cream evenly over it. Sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining crumb mixture over the top and return to the freezer for 1 hour or until the ice cream is firm.

Repeat with each layer of ice cream, sprinkling the crumb mixture in between each layer. When finished, sprinkle the top with the last of the crumb mixture, nuts, sprinkles, chocolate candies, etc. Cover the cake and return to the freezer for at least 2 hours or until firm.

About 15 minutes before serving, remove the cake from the freezer. Run a knife around the sides of the cake, open the spring and remove the pan sides. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

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