Monday, 11 August 2014

Vanilla Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I recently bought a townhouse. To celebrate, I threw a housewarming party and decided to make an ice cream cake for dessert.

Dairy Queen ice cream cakes – yay or nay? I pretty much only like the cookie fudge middle. My plate is always left with sad looking vanilla and chocolate soft serve because I just eat the middle. But I think my problem with that cake is that it’s soft serve. If it was real ice cream, I think I’d love it.

So, my ice cream cake was going to be made with real ice cream. And not that stuff from the store that has a bunch of ingredients that I can’t pronounce, meaning they really shouldn’t be in my ice cream. I’m talking about the home make stuff – with egg yolks, and real vanilla, and only ingredients you’re familiar with! And you know what? It’s going to have cake too – because ice cream cake without the cake part, is just ice cream shaped like a cake if you ask me.

The great thing about this type of cake is that the options are endless! I went simple, but you can mix and match ice cream and cake flavours and add extras like cookies, crumbles, nuts, fruit, and sundae syrup between the layers. And multiple ice cream flavours!

Vanilla Strawberry Ice Cream Cake
Vanilla cake
Vanilla ice cream
Strawberry jam
Whipped cream frosting
*Note, this cake takes 3 days to make

Vanilla Cake (Make on day 1)
Use your favorite vanilla cake recipe. I halved this one and baked it in a 6-inch pan. Feel free to use whatever size you like!

After baking and cooling the cake, cut into two layers. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Alternatively, you can buy a pre-made pound cake.

Vanilla Ice Cream (Make on day 1 or 2)
You can use your favorite store bought ice cream. Or make it from scratch! I used this recipe by David Lebovitz. 
If making from scratch and refrigerating the base overnight, make on day 1. If not refrigerating base overnight, make on day 2 (same day as assembly).

Whipped Cream Frosting (Make on day 3)
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Gel food colouring

1.  Chill metal bowl before whipping. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks.
2.  Sift icing sugar and add vanilla. Beat to stiff peaks.
3.  Add food colouring to your desired shade and beat to blend.
*I added a stabilizer (like Whip It, but since it’s going to be frozen, I don’t think it’s necessary in retrospect.

Day 2:
1.  If using store bought ice cream, take out and soften for about 10-15 minutes before proceeding. If using scratch ice cream, it should be in soft-serve consistency (feel free to stick in the freezer until ready).
2.  Smear a little jam on the cake plate. Place frozen cake layer on top. Spread jam on top.
3.  Wrap stiff acetate tightly around the cake and tape to secure.
4.  Spread ice cream over the cake – up to you on how much and how tall you want the cake!
5.  Spread jam on the other cake layer. Carefully place it on top of the ice cream, jam side down.
6.  Freeze overnight.
Day 3:
7.  Make whipped cream frosting.
8.  Take acetate off cake. Frost cake with whipped cream and decorate to your preference. Freeze until ready to serve.
Acetate around the cake.


Verdict: This ice cream recipe was A-MAAAzing! So creamy, rich, and flavourful! I only used ¾ of it in the cake, so I had a bit left over. And good thing too because my friends requested it and devoured it! I’m dreaming up new flavour combos!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Strawberry Rice Crispy Pops

What is it about food on sticks that make them so fun? Is it that food doesn’t readily come on sticks on a regular basis (unless you’re from South East Asia – think satay)? Is it that we associate fun/not-so-good-for-us foods-but tasty foods with the stick delivery (e.g., lollipops, ice cream bars, popsicles, corn dogs)? I’m pretty sure I’d like certain things a lot more if it came in stick form.

Desserts on sticks are blowing up lately! Cake + stick = cake pops; Pie + stick = pie pops; get the pattern? I wanted to try the Rice Crispy Pop because compared to the cake/pie pops, they are sooo easy. And just by inserting a stick, makes them so cute and appetizing!

I found a bag of HUGE strawberry marshmallows (meant for campfires and s’mores). Invented: Strawberry Rice Crispy Pops. I made these for a one year old’s Hello Kitty themed party.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Strawberry Rice Crispy Pops 
¼ cup salted butter
5 cups strawberry marshmallows (If using the large ones, cut them into quarters)
½ teaspoon vanilla
6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
¾ cup white candy melts
Lollipop sticks

1.  In a big pot, melt butter on medium low. Add marshmallows and melt (stirring occasionally).
2.  Take off heat and add vanilla and stir.
3.  Add Rice Krispies and working quickly, stir to combine. Pour and press into a pan (I used an 8 x 8 inch pan). When it cools slightly, use an offset spatula to press down so you get a flat surface. Cool completely.
4.  Place candy melts in a double boiler on low and melt, stirring occasionally. Set out parchment to place your dipped Rice Crispy Pops on to harden.
5.  Cut Rice Krispies into desired size. Use a ruler and take the entire thing out of the pan before cutting for uniform squares (I learned that through trial and error!).
6.  Spoon the candy melts over the squares, decorate with sprinkles, and set to dry before inserting sticks. Voila!

Verdict: I think these looked so cute! They were chewy and delicious as Rice Crispy Squares are. And not super artificially strawberry-y! Everyone kept asking how I got them pink! No need to added food colouring here!