I (Rebecca) recently celebrated a birthday. Birthdays are really fun, and it’s great to get loved on and remembered by family and friends. Besides presents, there is one thing that is a birthday standard, and that’s cake. The problem is, I’m not really one for cake. I’m not such a sweets person anyway, but cake, I don’t know, it’s just dry crumbly sugary bread. I’d personally prefer sourdough spread with honey than a sugary icingy bready cakey thing. Anyway, it’s always hard to be picky on the cake front on your own birthday because generally it is other people who make the cake for you. So for most of my life I’ve opted for an ice cream cake, which works well as my birthday is right smack in the middle of summer, the day before the 4th of July in fact. However, with my commitment to local, unprocessed food, ice cream cakes bought from Dairy Queen are no longer an option (also in part because after not eating process foods, food with artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives, not to mention tons of sugar, just grosses me out!).
And so I set out to make my own ice cream birthday cake. Iain got one of those awesome Quisinart Ice cream makers for his birthday this year, so that’s where we get all of our ice cream and sorbets from these days. I searched around on Foodily for some inspiration, and came up with my own concoction.
I started with baking chocolate cookies (basically your standard double chocolate cookies without chocolate chips). After cooling, I crumbled them up and mixed in a small amount of cocoa powder and some chocolate covered cocoa nibs.
I mixed this with a dash of milk (just enough to get it to hold together), and spread it in the bottom of a springform pan. Next, I made vanilla bean ice cream (with real delicious vanilla beans) in our ice cream maker, getting it out of the maker when it was still at a good spreadable consistency. I spread this over the bottom cookie crumb layer. Then I made chocolate meringue which I spread very thinly on a silpat mat (I LOVE my silpat mat) on a cookie sheet and baked forever… well until it was done, crunchy inside and out, which seemed to take forever.
So for the top of the cake I put one thin layer of meringue crumbles, then I mixed some crumbles into homemade whipped cream and spread that on, and then another thin layer of meringue crumbles. I really love meringue and frozen whipped cream, so this was a perfect finale for my cake.
Anyway, the cake was gone so fast I didn’t get any pictures of us enjoying it. Needless to say, it was INCREDIBLE and I can’t wait to make one again. Anybody got a birthday coming up? It was seriously easy to make and I was able to work on it a few minutes when I had time, spread over a couple of days, so it was no sweat (especially when you consider the stress and timing of making an equivalently tasty traditional cake). Yay for homemade, yay for ice cream, yay for cake!