Treat of the Week: Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

I knew shortly after meeting my wife that she was ‘the one’.  We share many things in common, yet we complement each other in so many ways.  She has all the best qualities to make up for my deficiencies.

It took me years to get her to appreciate coffee and olives, but one thing was sure from the start.  We both loved mint chocolate chip ice cream.  On one of our early dates, we stopped at the supermarket to get some ice cream to share.  When we got to the freezer case, we both reached in for mint chocolate chip at the same time.  It was a true 'made for the movies' moment.

For her birthday just a few weeks later, I made a mint chocolate ice cream cake.  I used softened store bought ice cream in a mold made of oreo crust.  It was delicious, but that was over 15 years ago and my tastes have evolved some.  Today, I have given new life to that cake with this more natural, made from scratch version.

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Our mint ice cream is truly all natural.  The flavor comes from mint and not mint extract.  The difference is real mint taste which is a bit earthy... more like you added mint to your tea or mojito.  The ice cream is neatly wrapped in devil’s food cake which is spongey and dense at once.

savour… movie moments

Get the rest after the jump…

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

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Before you start:

The custard mixture is ready to remove from the stove when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.  When you dip the spoon in and turn it over, you should be able to run your finger through the liquid and your line stay intact without the liquid coming together again.

Creating an ice bath is common in making ice cream.  The idea is to have enough ice to keep the water really cold.  The material for the big bowl doesn’t matter as much as the smaller bowl.  For best results use a stainless steel bowl on the inside of the ice bath.

For both components, measure and assemble all of the ingredients before you begin.

Watch the cake closely at 10 minutes.  Because it is so thin, it could go from done to ruined in short order.

Don’t be alarmed if the edges get too done.  You will have enough to trim those pieces off and just use soft parts.

Starting from the center of the cake to cut the strips will ensure that you get the softest parts for your shell. 

The ingredients:

For the ice cream:

  • 2 ½ - 3 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate 

For the cake:

  • ¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ⅙ cup all purpose flour / 145g
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce milk
  • ½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar 
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The method

For the ice cream:

  1. Separate mint leaves from stems.  Rinse and dry leaves.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and keep in freezer until ready to add to ice cream.
  3. Separate eggs and set yolks aside.  Store whites in refrigerator for another use.
  4. Place mint leaves, milk, and one cup of the cream in a heavy saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until steaming (just before boiling).
  5. Cover the pot and remove from the heat.  Steep mint leaves for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, heat mixture again to the point that it is steaming but not boiling.  Cover again and steep leaves for additional 15 minutes.
  7. Place remaining 1 cup of cream in a stainless steel bowl in an ice bath.
  8. Strain the mint leaves and cream into a medium bowl.  Press out as much liquid as possible from the leaves.
  9. Return the liquid to the stove.  Add sugar and salt.  Bring to point just before boiling over medium heat.
  10. While liquid is heating, whisk egg yolks.
  11. Slowly drizzle the hot minty cream mixture into the egg yolks while briskly whisking.
  12. Put this mixture back in the saucepan and return to the heat.
  13. Heat over medium low heat until custard mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon (5-10 minutes depending on temperature).
  14. Strain the custard mixture into the cold cream in the ice bath.
  15. Mix the custard and cream together completely.  Cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  16. Add mixture to ice cream maker and process following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  17. When finished put ice cream in a bowl and stir in chocolate.
  18. Pour into cake lined spring form pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to freezer. 

For the cake:

  1. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment.  Spray the sides with cooking oil.  Lightly oil and flour a round cake pan.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, and soda.  Set aside.
  4. Melt butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan.
  5. Cream egg and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  6. While egg/sugar is mixing, put ½ cup water on stove in small pot to boil.
  7. Slowly add chocolate mixture to egg/sugar while still beating.  Mix well.
  8. Add boiling water.  Mix well.  This mixture will be quite fluid at this point.
  9. Add dry ingredients.  Mix until completely moistened.
  10. Add vinegar and milk.  Mix well.
  11. Pour batter into prepared pans and spread out by tilting pan to cover entire surface.
  12. Bake until cake passes toothpick test (10-13 minutes depending on your oven).
  13. Cool for completely on a wire rack.
  14. When ready for assembly, remove round cake and insert it in bottom of spring form pan.
  15. Measure the height of the spring form pan. 
  16. With a pizza cutter, cut the sheet of cake in half.
  17. Cut strips of cake to match the height of the pan.  Start from the centermost cake and work toward the edges.
  18. Use the strips to line the pan leaving the parchment paper attached and facing outward.
  19. Place in freezer until ready to fill (at least 1 hour).
  20. Fill with ice cream, cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer.
  21. To serve, release from spring form pan and remove parchment paper.
  22. Trim any excess cake from above the level of the ice cream and cut into slices.
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