April 21, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake with Truffle Frosting

This cake only looks like it takes some special talent to make. I promise you. Have I ever mislead you before? If I have, I am sorry for any kitchen mishaps I might have encouraged.

But this cake... I declare with confidence is so very much simpler to make than it appears. Those varying layers in the above picture only look intimidating. This cake is mostly assembly, and requires basic skills only.

I asked Matt what cake he would like me to create for his birthday. I told him he could have any cake he could dream up. After a little thought, he told me he wanted to combine his three favorite desserts. Matt's favorite desserts are:

- Ice cream cakes
- Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

"I want a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with yellow cake and chocolate frosting!" he declared. Then he peered at me sideways as if expecting me to recoil in fear and dread. Instead, I exclaimed, "and it will have a cookie crumb layer made from Thin Mints!!"

unfrosted cake, assembled

A big smile spread across his face. That same smile still happens every time we pull this huge cake out of the freezer and dig in for another slice. It's a delight that we don't have to rush to eat this cake while it's still fresh. After all, it's frozen. We can take our time.

We will be very, very sad when it is finally gone.

What are your favorite cake flavors? What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I know that my dream version of this cake would be chocolate cake with Reeses Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and peanut butter frosting.

Use the technique described here to easily create your own fantasy ice cream cake. Only when you try will you know just how straightforward making this cake truly is! And, by the way, if you want to make it super super simple, go for some boxed cake mix to make the layers. It will be our little secret.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake with Truffle Frosting:

First, make the Yellow Cake:
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk

Grease and flour an 8"x8" square baking pan. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well combined, then for 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Then alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beating on low after each addition until just combined.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Drop the pan on the counter a few times to flatten and release air bubbles.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then release onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, place in freezer. The cake will stay in the freezer uncovered until it slightly firms up.

Meanwhile, take 1 gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Place it in the refrigerator to soften, 30 minutes.

While the ice cream is softening, place 1 sleeve of Thin Mint Cookies in the food processor. Process into fine crumbs.

Remove the cake from the freezer. Carefully, using a large bread knife, use gentle sawing motions to cut the cake layer into two equal layers.

Now line your 8x8 inch square pan with enough cling-wrap to extend far up and over the sides of your pan. Place one cake layer back into the pan (cling-wrap will be underneath it and going up the sides).
Scoop out the entire gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream and spread it evenly on top of the cake layer. The ice cream should be soft enough to spread. If it is not, return it to the fridge for a while.
Evenly sprinkle the cookie crumb layer on top of the ice cream.
Place the second cake layer on top of the cookie crumb layer and gently press down.
Return the cake to the freezer to allow it all to re-freeze together.

Meanwhile, make the truffle frosting:
8 oz. baking chocolate
4.5 cups confectioners' sugar
12 T. butter, room temp.
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
Over low heat, melt 8 oz. baking chocolate, stirring frequently until melted. Cool slightly, then stir in the butter, confectioners' sugar, and whipping cream until it is smooth and well blended
Remove your cake from the freezer. Ice cream and cake should both be firm and completely frozen. Grab the plastic wrap firmly on all sides and pull up to release and remove the entire cake from the pan. Peel the plastic wrap down the sides of the cake. Now frost the frozen cake completely on the top and sides. 
Leaving the cake completely exposed, return the cake to the freezer. Allow to re-freeze, uncovered. Now cover with a large plastic bag or more plastic wrap to store.
When you are ready to eat the cake, allow it to soften at room temperature or in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

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