subtitle: which is not to say that i’m going to stop writing about cake. or cake making adventures.
sadly, the raw cake never came to be.
our aforementioned friend doesn’t eat coconut. go figure. however, i went from making a really splendid gluten-free, sugar-free, fruit-free (except for lemon zest) meal to endeavouring the birthday cake to end all birthday cakes (child’s addition).
for those wondering, dinner for our friend consisted of brown rice bread (bittman’s recipe for olive oil bread, but with brown rice flour: 2 tsp instant yeast, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt mixed. mix in 1/3 cup olive oil and 1 cup warm water. allow to rise. bake at 425F for 20 minutes and then for another 20 at around 350F. yes, it’s that easy. ), and chicken roasted with vegetables of all sorts (no skin?), parsley, lemon and more garlic than a vampire could shake his fist at.
on to the cake.
this time five months ago, i was plotting an outrageous christmas dessert: an ice cream cake, shaped like an igloo. complete with marzipan penguins. and trees.
my (almost) ten year-old niece and her fantastic memory recalled this cake when i asked, naively, what she would like for her birthday cake: chocolate ice cream cake with cookies and cream cookie dough ice cream. it’s actually not that daunting this time, aside from the ice cream making part. she wanted not layers of cookie dough ice cream with layers of cookies and cream ice cream. nope. she wanted both. together. she knows that i clearly like a challenge.
for the cake
chocolate sheet cake – adapted from martha.
1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder sifted, for baking sheets
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup warm water
heat oven to 350F. grease two 12 x 17 inch pans (or parchment, if using) and sift confectioner’s sugar to coat lightly. mix together dry ingredients. add eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla and then water (in this order, i find works best). split between the two pans (i usually use a ladle and keep track of the number of scoops). bake for 16 minutes, or until a tester/toothpick/fork comes out clean. allow to cool completely. cover a metal (or other freezeproof) bowl with plastic wrap. slice strips of the cake and line the bowl completely with these. the strips will vary is size and shape and you will have to press them in to the bowl.
at this stage, you have a few options. you basically need about 3 pints of ice cream (1.5L). choose one flavour of more, mix them together, or layer them. before putting the ice cream into the cake mold, soften it a bit in the stand mixer or hand-held mixer. if you are layering, you should make sure each layer freezes completely before you add the next. in this instance, i used vanilla ice cream. but, i added crushed oreos and cookie dough. the cookie dough came from scratch and it has occurred to me that i haven’t shared my favourite cookie dough recipe. yet. (watch for it later this week).
tomorrow, comes the icing, which will be as follows:
white chocolate buttercream icing
adapted from joy of cooking
1 1/3 cups sugar
7 large egg whites
1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 oz white chocolate, melted
combine sugar, egg whites, and salt in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. set over a pan of simmering water. whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (if you’re like me, and without an electric candy thermomter, it should be about the temperature of your latte). return bowl to mixer; fit mixer with whisk attachment. beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, and mixture is cool, about 10 minutes. with mixer on medium speed, add butter, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until mixture is smooth*. mix in vanilla extract. mix in white chocolate. use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.
*tip: if your kitchen is too hot, or too cold, or the mixture is somehow too warm, fill your sink about a 1/3 full of hot water. place the bowl in the sink and whisk the mixture until lumps disappear. return the bowl to the stand mixer and beat again until smooth. repeat as needed.
i promise to post images of the real deal on thursday, before the birthday girl demolishes it.