Monday, September 23, 2013
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake
I sort of feel like I'm cheating by sharing this cake. It can barely count as a recipe considering the actual cake part was made with a box mix! But it was delicious, and a really easy option for a birthday cake that's not hard to make but still looks pretty cool.
I made this for my good friend Colleen's birthday. She turned 30, not 8, but loves, I mean LOVES, the Minions from Despicable Me. So when I saw those plates and napkins and tablecloth in Party City a few months ago, I had to buy them in preparation for her big day.
Even if I use a cake mix for a recipe, I usually like to doctor it up a bit with sour cream, or pudding mix, or vanilla (usually all three!) but this cake needed to be done in a pinch after a very busy weekend with a family wedding and a family birthday party three hours and two states away from each other! So this time I just mixed up the cake mix per the box instructions and baked them as directed for two 8-inch rounds. I'm not ashamed to say that I LOVE box mix baked goods, so it tasted delicious to me!
Once the cakes were cooled enough to be removed from the pans, I moved them to a wire rack and then lined one of the pans with plastic wrap. I then packed softened mint chocolate chip ice cream into the pan, all the way to the rim, and smoothed it over. I covered the top with plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer to harden up.
Then I made a ganache to go on top:
Mint Chocolate Ganache
20 Andes candies
1/4 cup half & half
Combine candies and half & half in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until candies are melted and no white streaks from the half & half or mint centers remain. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
When I was ready to assemble the cake, I stacked the cake layers with the ice cream in between, using the plastic wrap to carefully remove the ice cream from the pan. If your cake layers domed up a bit while baking, you might want to level out the tops by carefully slicing the domed parts off with a large serrated knife to allow the layers to stack more evenly.
I carefully spooned the cooled ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. I stuck the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes to let it harden up, and then garnished the cake with some more Andes candies, cut in half diagonally to form long triangles. I tried sticking the candies on top right away, but until the ganache hardened a bit, the candies wouldn't stay upright.
If you're not ready to serve the cake right away, store it in the freezer until about 10 minutes before you're ready to eat it. Let it sit out for a little bit to soften up and make it easier to cut, then enjoy!
As an extra fun little tidbit to go with the Despicable Me theme (I LOVE a good theme!), I asked my friend Colleen (not the birthday girl; a different Colleen!) to make a special Minion card I had seen in her Etsy shop, Glitter Ink. She is a seriously talented card maker - check her out if you're looking to send someone a more personal touch!