ice cream cake

If you make a cake that falls apart, save it.
If you make a cake and it is undercooked in the middle, save the edges.
If you make a cake that isn’t fabulously moist, save.
If you make cookies or brownies that are dry, save
If you have left over meringues, save as well.

(You can freeze all of these above to make your cake at a later date…)


Great thing about ice cream cake is that you can make it from all sorts of scraps and failures and it will still taste scrumptious.  You can also make an ice cream cake with your successes.

Line a spring-form pan with plastic wrap.  I have some 6 inch spring form pans that are perfect for this.  Place the cake, or pieces of the cake (and squish together) on the bottom making one solid layer.  Now fill with some softened ice cream.  You have fun with your flavors…maybe some coffee chip and vanilla (2 different layers) or chocolate and mint.  You can then add another layer of your failure…be it cookies, brownies, more cake…what ever you want.  Add another layer or two of ice cream.  And top with more failed attempts.  If you happen to have meringues, this is nice too – to mix into the ice cream or make the top layer (eventually the bottom).

Freeze until you feel like eating or serving it.

Unmold pan and peel off the wrap.  Place bottom side up as this should be the smoothest and easier to frost.

I like to then pour layers of ganache on my cake, eventually covering the whole cake.  And then decorate (while still wet) with goodies (sprinkles, chips, anything you like!)

Pull to room temp for a 25 m before you plan to serve.


3/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces chocolate (semi, bitter or milk)

Chop chocolate.  Heat the cream until just about boils.  Pour on top of the chocolate and let sit for a minute.  Stir to combine.



caramel apple jam

Thanks mom for sending me this recipe!

MMMMmmmm….so delicious and warm and soothing and inviting.  Funny for a “jam” to be all that but it is!  Caramel, vanilla, and apples delightfully and simply combined.  Warm this up and pour over some vanilla ice cream and you have a winner.  Equally good on the savory side if you serve as a sweet side relish for pork or chicken.  Alison Roman, the creator of this apple jam, also suggests ice cream (like me) – but topped with crushed Nilla wafers.  And I say, sounds great, but make home made vanilla wafers (coming next)  and add a little whipped cream.

Use a variety of apples, makes for a more interesting outcome because different apples break down differently and this will provide texture and fun!

apple jam (from Bon Appetite Oct 24th):

Original recipe and write up are here.

1 cup sugar
3 pounds apples, use a variety if you can, peeled, cored and cubed about 3/4 inch thick.
1/2 vanilla bean (scraped)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
cinnamon stick or powder
kosher salt

Place 3 tablespoons water in a large saucepan.  Add the sugar and mix.  Heat on medium high and boil – and continue to cook until the sugar caramelizes.  It will turn a dark amber color – but be careful as it all happens very fast, and it is HOT.  Seriously hot.

Add the apples and the vanilla seeds and bean to the pot and cook on medium heat.  The caramel may seize up at the start (because the apples cool it down) but soon it will dissolve again.  Add a 1/2 cinnamon stick (if you don’t have a stick, wait and add some ground cinnamon to taste at the end.)

Continue to cook for about 20-25 m, stirring occasionally until some of the apples are translucent and some still have their shape, and most of the liquid is dissolved.  You can keep cooking btw, if you like your apples super soft, or remove them earlier if you like them super chunky.

Remove from heat.  Add lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt.  Store in a glass jar or container for up to a month in fridge.


mixed berry pavlova

Lisi's Kitchen

This was so good that I completely forgot to take a photo!  But not to worry, photos on the Smitten Kitchen site for you to enjoy.  I made this a while ago – and kept thinking I would make again to photograph and share – but the summer is almost over and I don’t want you to miss out.  Use the last of the berry season to make this delicious treat.  I mean it – the meringue so tasty, soft and fluffy – the whipped cream and the fresh cold berries.  So so so good!  I followed the recipe (well, I doubled it and made two!)

Try to squeeze it in and enjoy

smitten kitchen pavlova

coffee brownie crackle swirl ice cream (using store bought ice cream)

I cheated with this ice cream.  I did.  Didn’t have time to make home-made but wanted something special and different.  You can really be creative at home with mix ins and ice cream.  Use your mixer to help you incorporate the extras.  I loved loved loved this treat.  Not too much coffee flavor since I swirled it with vanilla – and the addition of left over brownie edges and drizzled milk chocolate crackle was just delightful.  Truly.  Friends raved but really it was probably me who liked it the most.  Well, and Sylvie too!  Add a few caramalized bananas and some freshly whipped cream and this would be heaven in a bowl.  Enjoy –

coffee brownie crackle swirl ice cream:

one pint vanilla ice cream
one pint coffee ice cream
brownie bits (homemade is preferable)
1 cup chopped milk chocolate, melted – more or less depending on your taste.

Other ideas include: Oreos, reverse Oreos, Girl Scouts mint cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chips, graham cracker chunks, grape nuts, raisins, Reeses, m&m’s…I can go on.  Just have fun.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl placed over an inch of simmering water.  Melt and let cool a bit.

Soften ice cream – leave out at room temp or the fridge for a bit.  Place ice cream in mixer with paddle attachment.  On the lowest speed, soften the ice cream even further.  Add the brownie bits or whatever you are mixing in and gently incorporate.

Remove from mixer.  As you scoop ice cream into the container, drizzle the melted chocolate on top.  Layer by layer add more drizzles and at the end fold a bit to incorporate all the chocolate.  Sooo good!


chocolate malted sauce & milkshake

This chocolate sauce is DEE-licious.  So so good.  So easy to make.  Milk chocolate and Ovaltine make this special and different from your regular hot fudge sauce.  It is not too thick and no – not too sweet despite the fact that it is milk chocolate.  I promise. Try it next time you are serving ice cream, pound cakes or profiteroles.  Yum!

I haven’t yet made the very easy looking malted milk-chocolate milk shake, but the author’s of Baked provide a great looking and easy recipe that I will post at the bottom of this one.

chocolate malted sauce (from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup chocolate malt Ovaltine
1/4 firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 oz. good quality milk chocolate (coarsely chopped)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large saucepan mix together the cream, corn syrup, Ovaltine, brown sugar, salt and 4 oz. of the chopped milk chocolate (reserve 2 oz.).  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir until smooth and the chocolate melts.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and stirring slowly, cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and the remaining 2 oz. of chocolate.  Let the sauce cool for at least 5 minutes before you serve.

Store leftovers in the fridge (once cool) – the sauce will keep for about 5 days.  Reheat in micro or over low heat on the stove.

malted milk shake:

Blend together 2 large scoops of ice cream with 2 tablespoons malted milk chocolate sauce (from above)  and 1/2 cup milk until smooth.  Pour into a chilled glass and drizzle one more tablespoon of sauce on top.  Enjoy-

oreo chocolate drizzle & graham cracker white chocolate drizzle ice cream

So if you read this regularly you know that for dessert I generally eat a small amount of ice cream later in the evening in one of my little mugs.  Magic in a mug.  My little baby magic mugs (given to Greg when he was a baby) are pictured today.  Time to share.  Now it can’t be any old ice cream.  I need mix-ins… brownie bits, cake scraps, chips, jimmies, m & m’s, chocolate flakes… something has to be in there with the ice cream (and the more the better!)  I was thinking about  a flavor to go with my devils food cake and thought Oreo chocolate drizzle would be decadent and delicious (it was).  But I also wanted something for my non-chocolate loving friends (Jason!) as well.  So I made a big batch of vanilla ice cream (which is really truly the perfect accompaniment to the devils cake) and converted some into Oreo chocolate drizzle and some into a white chocolate graham cracker flavor.  Heaven to me.  Seriously heaven.  Both.  Be as creative as you like (you can even buy vanilla ice cream and add the mix ins – doesn’t have to be home-made.)  Normally I might not use a vanilla base to make the Oreo – I might use a base with out vanilla (a sweet cream) – but hey – it worked.  The vanilla was beautiful with the grahams and white chocolate.  Mmm…mmm…mm!  The recipe below is for vanilla with directions following for these particular mix ins.  Have fun!

vanilla ice cream:

6 large egg yolks (save your whites for meringues or a panna cotta)
1/2 cup sugar (skant)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped (look to bottom of  fruit soup recipe to see a visual)

mix ins

Oreo cookies coarsely smashed
semisweet chocolate (melted and cooled a bit)
graham crackers coarsely smooshed
white chocolate (melted and cooled a bit)

Prepare an ice bath – a big bowl with ice and water.  In it, place another container or bowl with a strainer.  This is where the vanilla ice cream base will land once cooked.

In a medium heavy weight saucepan mix the cream, milk, half of the sugar and the vanilla seeds and the scraped pod.  Bring until almost a simmer…but do not boil.

In medium sized bowl, place the egg yolks, the other half of sugar, and salt and whisk well.

Slowly very slowly ladle the hot liquid into the eggs and whisk well after each addition.  Keep adding the hot liquid until you’ve added it all to the eggs (again slowly so as not to cook the eggs).

Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook, over medium low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens slightly (reaches 175 degrees) and lightly coats the back of the spoon.  Watch this and constantly stir with your spoon so that you do not scramble the eggs.

As soon as thickened, immediately remove from heat strain the mixture into the prepared bowl.  Make sure you use your wooden spoon to squish and smoosh all the vanilla through the strainer and also all the goodness from the pod.  Let mixture cool in ice bath until it reaches room temp, then place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours).

The next day (or 4 hours later), make sure your chocolate is melted and cooled and your Oreos or grahams are crunched.  Or…just leave as plain vanilla.  Churn the ice cream and when done in the ice cream maker, add your Oreos or grahams to the machine to incorporate thoroughly.

As you spoon the ice cream into the freezer container – drizzle the ice cream with the melted chocolate, layer by layer.  The drizzle will harden immediately.   Try to wiggle your spoon around to make some small drizzles and also you can make bigger ones so that you get some big bites of chocolate later.  Work fast because the ice cream melts.  When you have enough (to your taste) – just cover with plastic and the lid and pop in the freezer.

Place the ice cream in the freezer and oh, although soft, this is delicious the same day (A few hours later).  The ice cream will be hard the following day and thereafter so let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to soften before you serve or on the counter for about 1o.

Find a little mug (or a big bowl!) and enjoy 🙂


(my favorite) brownie sundae with carmalized bananas

OK, so you’ve seen this photo when I wrote about the coffee ice cream, and the caramelized bananas…but you haven’t heard me talk about the sundae itself.  Well, pretty self explanatory really.  Right?  Just look at the picture.  What is better?  Ice cream of your choice atop the glazed nutty brownie…with freshly whipped cream and the caramelized bananas.  A little chocolate sauce to top it off and oh my.  Really oh my.  This is the ultimate (clearly for me).  Although chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream out there…(irrelevant I know).  Chat 19 – a local restaurant, was my inspiration for this.  I happen to love and order their sundae whenever I’m with a group (usually girls) who will share it with me (almost always).

Not sure you need a recipe here.  You’ll find most of the ingredients in the blog and of course you can buy the ice cream.  But don’t skimp on the the whipped cream please.  Get those beaters out.


milk chocolate malted ice cream sandwiches with chocolate brownie cookies

These ice cream sandwiches are delicious.  My son Greg asks for them often – and since it is a little work (not crazy work) to make the ice cream, I often blow his request off.  But he was very happy last night.  He turned to me… gave a quiet groan of delight, looked me in the eyes and simply thanked me.  My dad who really only likes Haagen Daaz choc choc chip also loves these little sandwiches.  He seemed surprised that he liked them so much – especially given the milk chocolate title.  But  the addition of bittersweet chocolate and malt really make the ice cream special and not too sweet.  The cookies are extra delicious too.  A little espresso deepens the flavor and I happen to love the texture of the mini chips.  And they are very easy to make.  My husband Rob can’t eat/drink milk (sadly) but is very content with these brownie-like cookies alone.  I am too!  I’ve also made the sandwiches with chocolate sorbet which he truly appreciates.  This recipe originated from Claudia Fleming – the former pastry chef of Gramercy Tavern.  The cookbook is lovely.  She suggests adding dried cherries to the cookies which I did (only to a quarter of the batter because my family would not be happy).  And they too were yummy.  Oh and by the way, you can also crumble the cookies and mix them into the ice cream which is also verrry good!

chocolate brownie cookies (barely adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming):

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon brewed espresso
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 oz extra bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup mini chips
toasted nuts or dried cherries (optional…to taste)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

With whisk attachment, beat the eggs for a few seconds then add the sugar, espresso and vanilla.  Beat until this turns thick.  It should take about 15 minutes on high speed.

In the meantime, over a pot of barely simmering water (or double boiler) – melt chocolates and butter.  You only need about an inch of water in the saucepan, bring it to a boil, and reduce to simmer.  Place a metal bowl on top of the saucepan making sure that the water does not touch the bowl of chocolate.  Once melted, remove from heat.  Do not cook the mixture, just melt it.

Remove the thick egg batter from the mixer and gently fold in the melted chocolates and butter.  Fold about half way – you should still see streaks – and then fold in the flour mixture and mini chips.  Fold all until just incorporated.  (Add dried cherries or chopped nuts if desired.)

If batter seems runny at this point, let it sit for about 5 minutes.  If thick, you are good to go.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake until puffed and cracked about 8-9 minutes – you can rotate the pans mid-way.  Try not to over cook these cookies…otherwise they will dry out.

Cool and enjoy!  If you plan to make ice cream sandwiches with these (either with the malted ice cream or store bought ice cream), I find it is easier to handle the cookies if you freeze them first.  This prevents them from breakage when trying to squish the cookies and ice cream together when making the sandwiches.

milk chocolate malted ice cream (adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming):
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
12 large egg yolks
3 oz milk chocolate, chopped
1 oz extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups chocolate Ovaltine mix
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste

In a medium saucepan mix together the milk, heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar.  Heat the mixture over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Watch it carefully – you don’t want it to boil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons).  Chop the milk and bitter chocolates and set aside in a large bowl.

Now you will “temper” the eggs which means warming them slowly so that they do not turn into scrambled eggs!  With a ladle, spoon a small amount of hot cream/milk into the eggs.  Continue slowly ladle by ladle and constantly whisking the eggs while you do this.  Keep going until you’ve incorporated about 3/4’s of the hot milk into the eggs.

Pour the warm egg and milk/cream mixture into the remaining cream and milk on the stove.  Over low heat, mix the custard constantly with a wooden spoon keep the mixture moving at all times.  The custard should thicken so that it coats the back of the wooden spoon.  It should take about 7 minutes.  Do not boil.  Cook slowly and carefully.

Immediately pour custard over the chopped chocolates.  Mix and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Add the Ovaltine and stir until combined.  Strain through a fine sieve and into a container or bowl.  Cover and chill in refrigerator preferably overnight but for at least 4 hours.

Freeze in your ice cream maker and enjoy!!