Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mocha Ice Cream Cake

Nothing says summer like ice cream. To mark Labor Day (which was inspired by Canadian Labour Day), the unofficial end of summer in the United States, I’m offering up a recipe for ice cream cake.

I associate ice cream cake with chain stores such as Dairy Queen and Carvel. Most of these cakes consist of two layers of hard ice cream “frosted” with a soft serve ice cream. Many of them have an additional layer of cookie crumbs, nuts or candy bar pieces. Although common for children’s birthday parties, fancier versions, sometimes containing sponge cake, are now appearing at wedding receptions.

The earliest ice cream cake recipes appeared in the 1870s and took inspiration from bombes, French desserts made from ice cream and fruit in fancy molds and trifles, a British pudding consisting of sponge cake, fruit, custard and cream.

Store bought ice cream cakes can be very rich. This version allows you to reduce calories without giving up taste - the graham cracker crust is made with yogurt instead of butter and frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream can be used. For a recent ice cream cake I used Stonyfield Farm’s non-fat After Dark Chocolate frozen yogurt and Starbucks coffee ice cream. The combination of low fat and full fat layers was a healthy and delicious compromise.

Serves 8-12

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
4 to 6 tablespoons plain or coffee-flavored yogurt (reduced fat acceptable)
1 pint chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt (reduced fat acceptable)
1 pint coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt (reduced fat acceptable)
1/4 to 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
whipped cream (optional), for serving

1. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Coat inside with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, sugar, coffee granules and yogurt and mix well until incorporated.
3. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
4. Soften chocolate ice cream at room temperature and spread evenly over crust. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes.
5. Soften coffee ice cream at room temperature and spread evenly over chocolate ice cream layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (optional). Chill in freezer for at least 1 hour.
6. When ready to serve, use a butter knife to cut around edges of pan.
7. Gently release the side of the pan. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. If cake is melting, put back into freezer to firm up.

8. Slice cake with a warm serrated knife. Serve with whipped cream (optional).
9. Any uneaten cake can be refrozen for up to one month. For easier storage, cut cake into pieces and freeze individually or in groups wrapped in foil or in tupperware.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Now, this would make a nice wedding cake!! :)