Monday, January 12, 2009

Incredible Ice Cream Cake Made So Easy

You may have noticed that I don’t bake or prepare sweets often. Although, I am known to have a sweet tooth and to always have room for dessert, I have a perception that baking cakes and cookies is a time-consuming task. Since my mother rarely baked, I was rarely exposed to the art of confectionery or pâtisserie. However, it is a craft that I’m ready to experiment in and throw myself into for this new year. It’s not a new year’s resolution, but rather a skill that I’ve longed aspired to.

Besides, I have to admit that I’ve grown tired of not knowing the ingredients of great desserts I’m eating at popular French restaurants in Montreal. At our last team lunch, at a restaurant called “Restaurant Sans Menu”, near the Atwater market, I tasted the most incredible lemon pie ever. Its texture surprised me as I expected a gelatine texture like a lemon meringue. Instead, it was a tangy and silky custard lemon pie which tasted out of this world. From there on, I decided that I wanted to make more interesting homemade desserts. By the way, I am still in search of the recipe of that lemon pie and am thinking of going back to that restaurant in January and have a chat with the Chef.

Until then, I’m excited to share with you a recipe of an extraordinary dessert that is so simple to make that you’ll probably laugh. It’s incredibly simple, yet, looks so spectacular. It’s rich and decadent and takes only minutes to make. Ok, it doesn’t look as refined as a delicate French mousse cake, but believe me…it’s awesome and you won’t have any left over.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Recipe “au pif˙”:
1 tub of good vanilla ice cream (1.89L)
150g (1 package) dark chocolate Le Petit Ecolier from LU cookies
150g or 1/2 package of coconut cookies
3/4 cup sliced unsalted almonds
3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
½ cup chopped pistachio nuts
½ cup of your favourite chocolate candy bars (Reeses pieces, Kit Kat, Oh Henry, Mars..etc.) coarsely chopped
¼ cup almond paste, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (or unsweetened will also do) to garnish

1/3 cup roasted sliced almonds to garnish

Chocolate Rum Sauce
2 x 100g dark chocolate (70% cacao)
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light rum
1 tsp vanilla extract

Break chocolate bars in pieces and slowly melt them in a double-boiler over medium heat. Stir and add the heavy cream, rum and vanilla. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and has reached a smooth and silky texture. Put aside.
Let the ice cream thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, crush the cookies, nuts (except the roasted peanuts) and chocolate candy in a large freezer bag, until they’re crumbled.

Mix the cookie/chocolate crumble in the ice cream, in a large bowl. Using a spatula, mix all ingredients well until well incorporated.

Pour the ice cream mix in a round baking pan (insides covered with plastic film). Smooth out the top with a spatula and cover with the rest of the plastic film.
* plastic film will allow you to pull out the cake easily out of the pan.

Leave in freezer for about at least 1 houror until the cake is nice and firm.

Remove cake from the pan, drizzle with chocolate sauce and garnish with shredded coconut and roasted sliced almonds.

Serve with your favorite tea.

Serves 6-8 people.

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