This morning we have visitors coming: my brother from California with his five children, my mother and father in law from New York, my sister-in-law from Arizona with her three kids, and later my niece from Nevada with her four children. (Post Edit: I just found out another niece with her three is on her way also. It's a good thing my mom and I live just 100 footsteps from each other so we can keep all of our company housed and fed. Plus, we don't miss out on any of the fun!) But there is one more visitor on the list. This top-secret visitor is coming especially to see West, but we are sworn to secrecy until after New Year's. I'm bursting with his good news, but I must tape my mouth shut for the remainder of 2009 and hold it in.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
But let's talk about the good news that I can share with you: this beautiful ice cream cake for New Year's Eve. I love making ice cream cakes for New Year's because I can make it today and it will sit happily in the freezer until I'm ready to serve it-at midnight or otherwise. An ice cream cake in the winter is so unexpected; I love the suprise value of a frozen dessert in the cold and snow. Just be sure to sit in front of the fire for this one. And you know, ice cream cakes are so delicious and easy to make, but ridiculously expensive to buy. I mean really really ridiculously expensive, don't you think? I'm glad you agree.
I start off with a Texas sheet cake baked in two rounds, which will yield two ice cream cakes. You can use a cake mix if you're rushed, but never ever use a brownie for the base. Trust me when I tell you that they freeze rock tooth-breaking solid. Choose any flavor ice cream, but this peppermint candy cane Dreyer's flavor is F-U-N for the holidays. Press softened ice cream into the same size cake pan and freeze both parts separately. Stack them together and run a knife around the ice cream to smooth the edges. Make a quick batch of ganache and cool it down in the fridge for an hour or two. It's basically spreadable hot fudge and it will make you go weak in the knees. Frost the entire cake and refreeze until serving time. Give it a little squirt of whipped cream just before serving, and if you're more organized than I am, you could even sprinkle some crushed candy canes on top. Imagine them here, please. I'll be back tomorrow with one more dessert for New Year's.
Candy Cane Ice Cream Cake
Estimated Cost: $6.00 for 10 servings
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 gallon favorite ice cream flavor or Peppermint Dreyers
1 cup cream
1 and 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
Grease two 8 or 9 inch rounds. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, soda and salt. In a saucepan bring the water, oil, butter and cocoa to a butter and whisk until smooth. Pour over flour mixture and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour into chocolate cake mixture an dstir until smooth. Scape into pan and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake from pan and place on plate. Freeze for at least two hours.
Line same cake pan with saran wrap. Place softened ice cream into pan. Freeze for at least two hours. Remove ice cream from pan and place atop cake. Run knife along side to smooth edges. Freeze again.
Make ganache by placing cream in large microwaveable bowl and microwaving on high just until cream simmers. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Place ganache in fridge and chill until cold, at least one hour. Frost cake with knife and refreeze until serving time. Serve with whipped cream.
One more make ahead dessert: Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Tart