So my friend Meredith had her 20th birthday this past week and is quite possibly Coldstone's number one customer. My friend Fi, who was organizing a surprise party for her, went to the ice cream parlour to check out the cakes, and was dismayed at their $30-$40 price tags. So I thought, okay, ice cream cake. Let's give it a try.
Turns out, it IS possible!! Here's how you do it:
the key is to keep the cake out of the freezer for a MINIMUM of time. keeping the cake constantly frozen is key.
1) go to your freezer, and make room for a rather large cakepan. if it's not on the coolest section of your temperature dial, turn it as cold as it'll go. you'll wish you had a sub-zero freezer...I know I do.
2) prepare your cake base. use a rather thick pan so that you'll be able to cut it in at least half, OR make several thin cakes. do NOT use angel food- it's too flimsy. make sure it's a relatively dense cake. browie actually works rather well, as it's got a good hold.
3) take the cake out of the oven after baking, let it cool a bit, then immediately stick in freezer.
4) in the meantime, either make or purchase ice cream. if making: be sure to add enough glue (did you know ice cream has glue?!) to have a fairly gummy consistency. the more hold, the better. think of it as hair gel.
5) after freezing the cake for at least an hour, take it out. depending on how long you plan to slave over this thing, cut it into sections through the middle (through the thickness, not the width/length!). I think two pieces more than fits the bill.
6) put the bottom half back in the cakepan, with the bottom still on bottom, so to speak. now comes the first tricky part: as quickly as you can, spread a good thick coating of ice cream on top of the cake (to where the pan is about 1/2 full). IMMEDIATELY freeze again for at least 2 hours.
7) while that's freezing, put the top half of the cake back in the freezer- if there's room- if not, leave it out under a platter/dish so it will retain mosture.
prepare a chocolate ganache: take out a small saucepan and prepare a ganache (chocolate chips/morsels, sugar, milk, butter, vanilla extract, a bit of cinnamon (or whatever you prefer doing)). make sure its quite liquid, then turn down the heat.
9) get out a non-textured placemat. spray with cooking spray, then get out strawberries. cut strawberries in half. coat these in sugar. take half and dip in the chocolate ganache, remove excess, and place on placemat (or cookie sheet, if you have it- that's really best!). place the sugar coated strawberries also on mat/sheet. place in refridgerator.
10) remove cake from freezer and add top cake portion on. pour leftover ganache evenly to make a smooth, thin chocolate coating. put back in freezer for an hour.
11) remove cake from freezer. ice top of cake with a smooth buttercream-type frosting (royal icing is waster on this type of cake, trust me). put back in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
12) put chocolate-covered strawberries on top of cake around the outer edge, with the sugar-coated ones on the inside edge. leave middle open for decorating. place sprinkles, powdered sugar,or dusted cinnamon on top of strawberries for a 'finished' look.
...and there we go! fairly simple, just a lot of freezing and waiting. at least it's simpler than a bombe!