I turned 36 last week and suddenly it feels like I am on a fast train to 40. One of my best friends called to wish me a happy birthday and said “I can’t believe we are 36.” I hear ya, Bethie. Didn’t we just turn 30? Part of me would love to be 30 again; mainly because I looked a hell of a lot less tired. At this point, my exhaustion feels like a chronic illness. My 36-year-old self has dark circles under the eyes which, luckily, a good Laura Mercier concealer hides. Each baby has left their mark on my body. C-spider veins. G-bulging belly button. N- thinning hair, and I’m anticipating breasts that point due south once I stop nursing. My stomach and butt are less taut than they were six years ago despite running religiously several times a week and eating quinoa. (Thanks for nothing super grain! Somehow, I thought eating gobs of quinoa and kale would make my ass tighter. No such luck!) Despite my physical changes over the last six years, I’m much happier in my skin today. I get know myself a little more every year. I have things to work on, things that will never change and I ok with it.
On my 36th birthday we went to the beach; me, Bubba and the kids. We played in the water and we looked for treasures. I left them at the shore and took a swim in the ocean and it felt so good, 62 degrees good. I swam to the sand bar that had formed and stood up. I took a big, deep breath of the salty, warm air and stared out at the horizon for a minute. I always think at moments like this, alone, staring out at the ocean, I’ll have sort of epiphany about life, but I never do. I turned back to see my sweet family waving from the shoreline, calling me back. I swam back feeling exhilarated from the freezing, take your breath away, cold water. We left the beach tired and happy. Bubba made fish tacos for dinner and they were awesome! He offered to make me a cake, but I insisted it wasn’t necessary. Cake not necessary? I know, it sounds crazy. I said that, because I wanted to make an ice cream cake to share with you. I can’t handle to much cake in the house. I just don’t have that kind of will power.
Just like a Carvel ice cream cake, the center is a thick layer of crunchies. My “crunchies” are a combination of dark chocolate and chocolate wafer cookie crumbs. This my favorite part of the entire cake. In fact, I could eat just this layer and be happy. The cream frosting tastes just like the frosting you find on store-bought ice cream cakes, except fresher.
This cake is so easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless! I used a combination of vanilla and strawberry ice cream. The only down side to this cake, as with many cakes, you need to plan ahead of time. So plan ahead, be creative and enjoy!
Classic Ice Cream Cake
barely adapted from Kinfolk Magazine
Serves 10-12, makes a nine-inch cake
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 recipe Chocolate Crunches (see recipe below)
9 ounces chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
1 quart of a different flavor ice cream, whatever you like ( I used strawberry.)
1 recipe Cream Frosting (see recipe below)
*This cake takes time to freeze so plan ahead before serving!*
Place a 9-inch cake ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes or until a bit soft. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the container and using a spatula spread it evenly across the bottom of the chilled ring. Freeze ice cream in its ring until completely hard, about 2 hours.
Place 9 ounces of chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and seal the bag. Using a rolling-pin crush the cookies. Place the wafer crumbs in a medium bowl and stir into the chocolate topping until the crumbs are completely damp.
Remove the cake ring from the freezer and spread the chocolate crunchies over the vanilla ice cream. *Remember to work quickly!* Freeze for another hour.
Remove second ice cream flavor from the freezer and allow to soften a bit. Remove the ice cream from the container and spread quickly over the chocolate crunches. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to freeze overnight or for a few days.
When ready to serve, remove the metal ring from the spring form pan.(If it is really hard to get off you could use a blow dryer for a few seconds to loosen the ring.) Freeze the cake for another 30 minutes. Decorate your cake with the cream frosting. You can place it back in the freezer until ready to use or serve it immediately. Run your knife under warm water and then cut into the cake. Enjoy!!
Recipe for Dark Chocolate Crunchies
chocolate sauce recipe adapted from This Homemade Life
2/3 cup good quality dark chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1, 9 ounce box of chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals. Stir after every ten seconds until melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. When ready to use, stir in chocolate wafer crumbs. Spread evenly over vanilla ice cream layer. (**Do not place sauce in the refrigerator because it will harden!** Can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for several days.)
Recipe for Cream Frosting
recipe from Kinfolk Magazine
makes about 3 cups
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. powdered gelatin
2 tbsp. milk
food coloring – optional
chocolate jimmies or sprinkles optional
Chill your mixing bowl. Once the bowl is chilled beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in the chilled bowl until firm peaks form.
Using a small saucepan, soak the gelatin in the milk. Once all the milk is absorbed, heat the gelatin over low heat until it melts. Gently but quickly fold the gelatin into the whipped cream. Use immediately or tint it with a food coloring. Spread over entire cake. If desired, sprinkle with chocolate jimmies. Enjoy!
5 Ice Cream Cake Links
If you love Chipwich ice cream sandwiches, you should make Bon Appetit’s ridiculously good chocolate chip cookie ice cream cake with butterscotch sauce. I made it last summer and it was a huge hit!
Want to make go all out and make an ice cream cake your loved one will remember for years? Check out Heather Cristo’s recipe for Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake! Chocolate brownies, strawberry cake and cookies and cream ice cream all covered in chocolate ganache frosting-wow!
I love Oreos and so does Bubba. For Bubba’s next birthday, I am making the Ktchn’s frozen chocolate oreo ice cream cake. Yum!
Brownies and ice cream are so good together. Zoe Bakes makes an ice cream cake that incorporates brownies and 3 different layer of ice cream. Her cake looks beautiful and I bet tastes even better!
So your best friend is a vegan and she prefers to eat only raw food. Making a birthday cake for her may sound impossible, but thanks to This Rawsome Vegan Life, it’s not. Emily created a beautiful banana chocolate caramel ice cream cake that will make your friend swoon! Check it out!