Neopolitan Ice Cream Cake

Neopolitan Cake title

I’ll admit it: I’m afraid of baking layer cakes.  My decorating skills are lacking, and though I am a trained scientist, in the science of layer cakes I seem doomed to uneven layers and fillings that weep and ooze.  I hate the feeling of failure, so I typically just avoid baking layer cakes at all costs.

But today is my 25th birthday, which my mother tells me is a Big Deal.  So I made a cake.  An ice cream cake.  A Neopolitan ice cream cake.

I hedged my bets by baking a three layer cake that is, in fact, only one layer of actual cake that is stacked with a layer of vanilla ice cream, then one of strawberry sorbet.  I’m confident in my abilities with frozen desserts, so 2 of the 3 layers were easy-peasy.  And thanks to a trick I figured out, I am now a 25-year-old with a stack of perfectly level cake layers.

To keep the cake layer level and even: when the baked  cake has completely cooled, remove it from the springform pan and place the cake on a rimmed baking sheet.  Rest a long bread or other serrated knife on the edge of the tray.  Slowly saw back and forth across the cake horizontally, keeping the knife level on the edge of the rim, until you’ve sliced all the way through.  Ta-da!  A cake layer of uniform thickness.  The engineer in me is proud.

Bonus: the layers are pretty enough that the cake needs no decoration, other than a few birthday candles.  For an ice cream cake, 25 candles seems risky, so I think I’ll stick with our family tradition of three.

Neopolitan Cake 3

Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1- 9″ round cake

Slightly adapted from the Flour cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 packed cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9" springform pan.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder and chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Refrigerate.
  3. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and blend with a hand or stand mixer until well-mixed.
  4. Add the eggs and milk and beat until fluffy and light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed well.
  5. While still beating the batter, slowly add the chocolate. Scrape the sides of the bowl once more and beat for another minute or so.
  6. Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake at 350F for 75-90 minutes. If when you poke the center of the cake, it springs back, the cake is done. Allow to cool completely before slicing into an even 1/2" layer.

Make Ahead and Storage

The cake can be prepared a day in advance. Leave the cake in the pan and cover with plastic wrap until the next day.

http://www.savvyeat.com/neopolitan-ice-cream-cake/

Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Slightly adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or seeds from 2 vanilla beans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the yolks and 1/4 cup sugar.
  2. Stir the cream, milk, salt and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar together in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high. Bring to a simmer. When bubbles start to form on the edges, reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Whisking the yolks continuously, slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the egg yolks. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of cream. This will keep the eggs from scrambling and over-cooking.
  4. Stir the cream as you slowly add the eggs to the saucepan.
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium until the cream thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5-8 minutes.
  6. Immediately move the hot cream to the ice bath to cool. Using a clean spatula, stir constantly until cool to the touch. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until completely cooled.
  7. Pour the cooled cream into your ice cream maker, and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Slowly add the vanilla as the machine runs.
http://www.savvyeat.com/neopolitan-ice-cream-cake/
Neopolitan Cake 2

 

 

Strawberry Sorbet

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups frozen strawberries, defrosted and with their juices

Instructions

  1. Heat the water and sugar over medium, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate the simple syrup until cool to the touch.
  2. Puree the strawberries and measure out 2 cups of puree. Stir in 3/4 cup of the simple syrup, adding more to taste. It should be slightly sweeter than you want the final sorbet to be.
  3. Process the sorbet in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
http://www.savvyeat.com/neopolitan-ice-cream-cake/

Neopolitan Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 12 hours

Yield: 1- 9″ round cake

Neopolitan Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 - 9" round chocolate cake, cut into an even 1/2" thick layer
  • 1 batch vanilla ice cream, before processing in the ice cream maker
  • 1 batch strawberry sorbet, before processing in the ice cream maker

Instructions

  1. After you've cut the cake into a level 1/2"-thick layer, return it to the springform pan.
  2. Process the vanilla ice cream according to the ice cream maker's instructions. Spread the ice cream over the cake in the springform pan. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the layer as much as possible. Freeze at least four hours or overnight.
  3. Process the strawberry sorbet according to the ice cream maker's instructions. Spread the sorbet over the top of the vanilla ice cream and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. If you won't be eating the cake that day, cover the springform pan with plastic wrap.
  5. Set the cake on the counter for 20-30 minutes to soften before serving. Remove the ring of the pan from around the cake and dip a sharp knife in warm water to help you slice the cake. Dip in warm water between every cut to keep the layers clean and smooth.
http://www.savvyeat.com/neopolitan-ice-cream-cake/

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Maple-Ice-Cream-1.jpg

After yesterday’s feast, I’m betting that most of you have little to no interest in rich ice cream today. Unless you are the kind of person who never turns down a good scoop of ice cream.

And let me tell you, you should never turn down a bowl of maple nut ice cream. Especially when it is homemade. And especially when the nuts are Mexican Hot Chocolate Roasted Pecans.

If you really aren’t in the mood for ice cream, I suppose you could bookmark this to make at a later date. That would also be acceptable. But please, be sure to make this ice cream at some point. Eat it with leftover pie. Eat it with cake. Eat it on its own. I promise you won’t regret it.

Maple-Ice-Cream-2.jpg

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

For this ice cream, I used chopped Mexican Hot Chocolate Roasted Pecans. However, you could also toast raw pecans for 5 minutes in a 350F oven, and chop them once they are cooled.

Note: the 20 minute prep time does not include the 4 hour cooling time.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup roasted pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until light yellow and creamy and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil. Allow to boil for 10-15 minutes to reduce, stirring occasionally and brushing down the sides once or twice.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the half and half and salt and stir well. Bring to just under a boil, when bubbles are just beginning to develop below the surface.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the half and half to the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Add the egg yolks to the saucepan, whisking well. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Cover and move to the refrigerator to cool completely.
  5. Pour to cooled half and half mixture into your ice cream maker, and process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. After 10-15 minutes, add the chopped pecans.

Make Ahead and Storage

Freeze any uneaten ice cream in a freezer-safe, airtight container.

http://www.savvyeat.com/maple-pecan-ice-cream/

Maple-Ice-Cream-3.jpg