You might think the main ingredient in an ice cream cake would be ice cream, but actually what you need, what your REALLY need is patience, lots and lots of patience.
Last week I took up the challenge to make a cricket-themed ice cream cake for a very sweet client. I turned to my old friend google for a few tips and ideas but for once was left feeling rather let down by the lack of information. This time I was on my own.
After some brainstorming with my client we settled on a 23cm square cake with an oreo cookie base, a vanilla, caramel and peanut brittle swirl ice cream filling, all finished off in green ice cream.
For the Oreo base I used two boxes of oreos, crushed and mixed with a small amount of melted butter to help it stick together. This was pressed into the base of the cake tin and left in the freezer to set.
For the main cake I used 5 litres of good quality vanilla ice cream, left out just long enough so I could whip it up with a hand blender. To this I added the caramel and crushed peanut brittle.
The ice cream mix went on top of the oreo base and then it was back in the freezer for at least 8 hours to make sure it was frozen solid.
Once it was set I carefully removed the ice cream cake from the cake tin and covered it in vanilla icing mixed with some green food coloring. I must say this had to be done in stages as the temperature outside was around 38C (100F) so I could only work on the cake for about 5 minutes at a time before the ice cream started to melt and I had to rush it back to the freezer.
The main challenge was finding a way to make the edible decorations to go on top of the cake. I experimented with royal icing, butter icing and marshmallow icing. I found the royal icing looked great when it was frozen but once out of the freezer turned almost to water in no time at all. The butter icing kept its shape once out of the freezer but did not taste that great frozen. The marshmallow icing seemed to be the best bet. I made all the decorations from this and then let it harden in a sealed container on the counter before adding it to the cake the morning of the party.
My biggest concern was getting the cake from my house to the party venue without it turning into a big puddle. This time luck was really on my side, as my client was able to come early in the morning before the sun realised what was going on. Since she stays in the same area she managed to get it home and straight into her freezer before any disasters could strike.
The feedback I got from her was enough to put a huge grin on my face for days. Her hubby loved his suprise ice-cream cake and the party was a great success. I was very stunned when she dropped in a few days later to give me a thank you pressie for the cake - I am just so spoiled and very happy that this worked out.
I will definitely be open to more ice cream cake orders in the future - I just hope the weather cools down first.