Some children never grow up. I'm not talking Peter Pan here but the boy in my life who, without fail, will order ice cream for dessert every time we go out for a meal. And don't even mention sharing or you'll get shot down faster than a fighter pilot. I used to be very unimpressed by this practice and even fairly incredulous. I mean ice cream is nice and all, great on a hot day but its no sticky toffee pudding, lemon meringue pie or Bailey's cheesecake (to name but a few of the 'greats'). I have however, learned to love this idiosyncrasy and find it quite funny. So when Mr Mushroom-Hater's birthday drew near I decided to make him an ice cream cake. Its something I haven't done before and wasn't quite sure how it would work. My biggest worry was that a hacksaw would be needed to cut the frozen cake and then it would taste like a lump of ice but actually the cake froze really well, as did the pavalova with was really mallowy and soft.
This cake is so adaptable. Buy different flavours of ice-cream, make your own, chop up your favourite chocolate bar (e.g. dime, crunchie) and fold into the ice cream. I didn't have much time to decorate, this week has been hectic for loads of reasons but I think the taste made up what was lacking visually!
For the cake
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 eggs lightly beaten
170g self raising flour sifted
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp cocoa powder
25g chocolate melted
3 egg whites
175g caster sugar
1. Make the cake in the normal way, cream the sugar and butter until pale and light. Lightly beat the eggs together then add alternatively with a few tbsp of flour/baking powder/cocoa powder. Fold in the remaining flour with the melted chocolate.
2. Before you grease the tin, mark out two circles using the tins bottoms as templates. Pour into the greased 20cm cake tin. Beat for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool and then cut into two lengthways to make two thinner cakes.
3. To make the meringue tip the sugar into a small roasting tin and warm in a preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 110oC.
4. Whisk the eggs with an electric mixer until frothy. Tip all the hot sugar in in one go and continue to beat on high for about 8 minutes until the meringue is cold, very stiff and you can turn the bowl upside down without the meringue coming out.
5. Put the meringue onto the two circles and spread to just before the pencil lines.
6. Bake for 1.25 hours in the oven. Leave the door ajar and turn off the oven. Leave until completely cold. This may take a few hours.
1 litre vanilla ice cream
1.5 litres chocolate ice-cream
Start with a cake layer, spread with the vanilla ice-cream. Top with a layer of the meringue. Very carefully spread chocolate ice cream on top making sure not to crack the pavalova. Top with another pavalova, another layer of vanilla and then the final cake layer. Spread the chocolate ice cream on the top of the cake and over the sides if desired. Decorate as desired.