Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Birthdays are a big deal in our family. One of the perks: the birthday person gets to pick his or her cake. Well, it's my birthday and my turn. The problem? I could not figure out what I wanted. Last night, I still hadn't figured it out. I was learning towards something lemony. This morning I woke up and the house smelled like Lucky Charms baking (have I ever smelled them baking? No. But this is how I think they would smell). My first thought was oh no- what is Katie making? My second thought was - I want a mint chocolate chip ice cream chocolate cake.  Why not go all out and cover it with a chocolate ganache? The big debate I had was whether or not to add peppermint schnapps to the ganache. I decided to throw caution to the wind and add the schnapps. What can I say? I live life on the edge.
Thankfully, Katie was only making kettle corn microwave popcorn (it smells way better than it tastes). After telling everyone good morning and receiving birthday wishes, I was off to the grocery to get all of the ingredients for my cake. (Yes, I make my own cake; that way I get the cake I want).  In a mad rush I made the two round cakes, because the cakes needs to cool completely before I add the ice cream layer.
I decided to cut a couple of steps out by using  a dark chocolate fudge cake mix for the basis of the cake. I quickly oiled and floured the pans and I was ready to go! Note to self, don't flour the pans in front of an open window when it is windy outside. Now there is a nice coating of flour on the counter tops.

Chocolate Cake

1 18.25 oz. (517 g) Box of Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 3.9 oz (110 g) Box of Instant Chocolate Pudding
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup (242 g) of Sour Cream
1/2 Cup (125 ml) of Warm Water
1/2 Cup  (125 ml) of Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Cups (240 g) of Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 325F/165 C/Gas Mark 3. Oil and flour two 9 inch cake pans.

Place all of the ingredients (except chocolate chips) into a mixing bowl and blend for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and blend for 2 more minutes. You want the batter to be thick and completed blended.
Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Place into prepared pans and bake for 30 to 33 minutes.  The cakes are done when they start to pull away from the sides and the center of the cake springs back when you press on it with your finger.
Let cakes cool in pans for approximately 20 minutes and run a knife around the edge. Carefully remove from pan by inverting. Completely cool cakes.

Ice Cream Layer

1 Qt. (.95 L) Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Melt ice cream in microwave in 30 second increments until it is easy to work with. Spread an ice cream layer on the top of one of the layers and then cover with the second layer.

Place in freezer and freeze solid. This should take at least two hours (or more).

Note- If I had had more time, I would have made the ice cream layer by placing a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the cake pan and covering with a thick layer of ice cream (using the entire quart) and freezing it solid (at least 6 hours). I would then remove the ice cream layer from the pan and removed the parchment paper.  Volia! A perfect ice cream layer. But I didn't have that kind of time.

Peppermint Schnapps Chocolate Ganache

3/4 Cup (185 ml) of Heavy Cream
8 oz. (226 g) Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Peppermint Schnapps

Heat cream in a saucepan (do not boil). Place chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl.
Pour hot cream over chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted (don't worry- it will get thicker).

Pour in schnapps. As it cools it will get thick enough to spread. Let the ganache stand at room temperature or chill (if you are in a hurry) until it is spreadable. Guess what? I am in a hurry so in the refrigerator it goes!

The last step is to take the cake out of the freezer and cover in ganache. It is now ready to cut and serve!

The bottom line: Will I make this again? Oh yes, yes I will. Katie is already dreaming up the flavor combinations that she wants for her birthday.

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