*Ice Cream Cake*
Sometimes, in life, you need cake.
But it isn’t always that people celebrated milestones with cakes. The tradition of celebrating birthdays with cake originates from ancient Romans.
In the 1400’s, bakeries in Germany started marketing one layer cakes (which were basically sweet breads) for birthdays and weddings.
The song “Happy Birthday To You” was popularized in the early 1900s.
Early 1900s! I had great-grandparents alive then.
I know what you’re thinking. Where does she get all this wonderful information? Surely not from Wikipedia. She must be filled with wise tidbits about history.
The history of ice cream, however, extends far further–as early as the second century BC.
I did not have great-grandparents alive then.
People used to eat flavored snow, then one fine day, Marco Polo came with a recipe for sherbet from the “far east”. So really, it’s the far east we have to thank for modern ice cream.
And also, spaghetti. But that’s another story.
Ice cream cake is a relatively recent invention, dating back to the Victorian era.
Until the industrial revolution, layers of cake with frosting were reserved only for the wealthy. Until the internet, recipes were only passed down in families, or through friends.
Today, everyone can make their favorite cake at home, and world class recipes are just a click away.
Which is why, this year, for my birthday, I decided to make something I had never made before.
“Please don’t.” members of my family cried, “Please stop baking things…we can’t fit into our jeans.”
“It is my birthday” I replied, triumphantly. “No one can argue about a cake on a birthday.”
And no one did.
So I made three things. And put them all together.
And no one fit into their jeans ever again.
- 90 grams aged egg whites (weigh them, keep them in the fridge for at least a day, and then leave on the counter until room temperature).
- 110 grams almond flour (sifted)
- 200 grams powdered sugar (sifted)
- 2 tsp ground coffee (sifted)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1/8 tsp lemon juice
- 25 grams granulated sugar
- 200 grams white chocolate
- 150 grams heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole coffee beans
For Ganache: Heat white chocolate over double boiler. Warm heavy cream with coffee beans in a sauce pan and whisk into melted white chocolate. Store it in the fridge until ready to use.
For macaron cookies:
Take egg whites out of the fridge and wait until they are at room temperature.
Draw circles (if needed) on parchment paper on cookie sheets. Place a ziploc bag in a tall glass, with one corner at the bottom like a piping bag.
Pulse together almond flour, powdered sugar and ground coffee. Sift the whole mixture together into a bowl.
Whisk egg whites, vanilla, lemon juice and salt until frothy. Slowly pour in granulated sugar as they whisk into stiff peaks.
Fold egg mixture into almond flour mixture until lava like consistency then put batter into the Ziploc bag. Cut end of the bag and pipe cookies onto parchment paper.
Slam tray down a few times to bring air bubbles to surface. With a toothpick, pop the bubbles and smooth out the surface. Let dry for 20 minutes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes with two cookie trays (rather than one), and watch carefully for browning.
Wait until they cool, and add ganache.
Recipe for coffee ice cream (from David Lebovitz’ “The Perfect Scoop”):
(This is easily the best coffee ice cream ever. I’ve never had a coffee ice cream that tastes better than this version.)
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 cups whole coffee beans (I use decaff Colombian coffee; quality of brand doesn’t matter.)
- Pinch salt
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp finely ground coffee
Warm milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt and 1 cup of the cream. Once steaming, remove from heat and let steep for an hour.
Pour 2 cups of heavy cream into a bowl sitting over an ice bath, with a mesh strainer on top.
In a second bowl, whisk egg yolks. Rewarm the coffee-milk mixture and slowly pour a little into the egg yolks while whisking egg yolks vigorously. Pour the egg mixture int the coffee-milk mixture and continue to stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens, like custard.
Pour custard into the bowl with heavy cream sitting on the ice bath, and strain out the coffee beans and whatever eggs may have scrambled at the bottom. Scrape all the custard through the strainer.
Add vanilla and coffee to the ice cream base, and then refrigerate until cold.
Stick in ice cream machine (according to manufacturer’s instructions.)
Assembly: Freeze each cake layer, then add the coffee ice cream in the middle. Freeze whole thing, and then add ganache frosting and cookies. Enjoy!