January 28, 2008

I Scream

Ty's BirthdayI made an ice cream cake for Ty's birthday that actually received rave reviews. I feel I can take credit for coming up with the method for it. That's rare, because my cooking usually requires hours of research to find the most common recipe ingredients, methods, and tips. I know it's excessive.

Ty ordered an ice cream cake for his birthday with chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Here's what I did: First, I made a Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix (butter recipe) in a 9x13" pan buttered and lined with parchment paper. Was my family right to be horrified that I used a mix? After pouring the batter into the pan, I made a valley in the center of the batter. I find that cake mixes rise in the middle very unnaturally. My "from scratch" cakes never do that. After taking the cake from the oven, I let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it onto a rack to cool.

After about twenty minutes or so, I removed a half gallon carton of Bluebell Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream from the freezer. Then I lined the cake pan I had just used with two layers of heavy duty foil, one horizontal and one vertical, with a couple of inches of overhang on all sides. I sprayed the foil with cooking spray. I scooped the ice cream into the pan. The warmth of the cake pan softened up the ice cream. I spread it into an even layer against all sides of the pan. Then I covered the ice cream with plastic wrap and put the pan in the freezer to refreeze.

Probably an hour or so later, I inverted the cooled chocolate cake onto a serving platter. Platter is a pretty optimistic term for the cardboard rectangle that United gave me. Thank you, United! I promise not to shop anywhere else in Lubbock. I leveled the top of the cake with a serrated knife. I often see so-called cake levelers for sale. I don't see the point of buying that uni-tasker. A long serrated knife works perfectly if you just take your time and crouch down at eye level to the cake. I pulled the ice cream pan out of the freezer. I removed the plastic wrap and lifted the ice cream out of the pan using the foil overhang. Then I turned the ice cream onto the cake, removed the foil, and smoothed out any unevenness between the cake and ice cream layers. I covered the whole cake with the plastic wrap again and returned it to the freezer.

The next step was preparing the "frosting." I had a few ounces of white chocolate frosting left over from the Nostalgia Cake. I heated it in the microwave for about thirty seconds. Then I added about two pints of vanilla ice cream to the bowl and stirred to soften and blend it. The next step was the hardest of all. I pulled the cake from the freezer, removed the plastic wrap, and tried to spread the frosting in a thin, even layer over the top and sides of the cake. The ice cream layer needs to be frozen solid before frosting. I rushed mine, and as a result, some of the green mint ice cream seeped into the white vanilla frosting. It was difficult to spread the frosting anyway, because there is a small range between the temperature at which the ice cream is soft enough to spread and the temperature when it becomes a drippy liquid.

Ty's BirthdayThat's about it. I'm sure that there are some things that could be done to prettify the cake, like decorating with sprinkles, chocolate chips, and whatnot. I decided to write on top of the cake using Hershey's Shell ice cream topping. I had a ridiculous time trying to write with it, but I was already committed after a terrible capital H. It seems impossible to stop the flow at the end of a letter, so I switched to cursive. Dotting the i's and crossing the t's was fun. Then Wendy insisted I needed a comma in there, and that was a mess, too. Ty said I made a lazy 'T' in his name.

After that, the cake just needed to sit in the freezer until a few minutes before it was time to put the candles in and sing. Today is also my grandmother's 80th birthday, so it was a fun party day.

Ty's Birthday


Porter said...

Too much about cakes and cooking... not enough about....ME!!!!! :)

KimberlyKV said...

Hey Porter, I thought you liked the fact that my life revolves around food.

Porter said...

well, I do...I just....ummm....