Ice Cream Cake-Gourmet Meals for Less

Layered Ice Cream and Brownie Cake-inspired greatly by Zoe Bakes
Serves 12

Ingredients:

2 1.75 quart cartons of your favorite ice cream flavors.  (needs to be high quality ice cream)
1 box brownie mix of choice* (needs to be a high quality, I used Ghirardelli that comes with chocolate fudge packet)
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dark and White Chocolate Bars for chocolate curls (optional)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips for piping (optional)

*You can also use a homemade brownie which I will probably do next time.

Supplies needed:

8-9" springform pan
2 8-9" round cake pans
parchment paper
cooking spray
pastry bags with small round piping tip (optional for piping chocolate swirls)
vegetable peeler (optional for making chocolate curls)
offset spatula for frosting cake
stand mixer or hand-mixer and bowl

Directions:

Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Divide between two 8 or 9" round cake pans that you have lined the bottom with parchment paper.  Use the size cake pan that matches the size of your springform pan.  When brownies are done.  Allow to cool and remove from pans.  Place the bottom part of your springform pan over brownie layers and trim brownie to fit within springform pan.

Place bottom of springform pan back into pan and using strips of parchment paper line sides of springform pan.  All pieces need to extend over top of pan.  You can use a small amount of cooking spray to hold parchment strips to side of pan.  Make sure there are no gaps between paper strips, or ice cream might stick to sides of pan.

Place first brownie layer on bottom of pan, if necessary press down on brownie to make sure it is covering bottom all the way to the sides of the pan.  Using chocolate fudge pack that came with brownie mix, spread half of fudge on top of brownie layer.  A spatula will work well for this. 

Remove first carton of ice cream from freezer and soften in microwave for 30 seconds.  Still well in carton, making sure ice cream is soft and there are no frozen parts still.  Scoop ice cream over brownie and fudge layers, and spread evenly making sure to pack ice cream down.  You will most likely not use all of carton.  These three layers (brownie, fudge and ice cream) should take up half of the depth of pan.  Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes.  After ice cream layer is firm again, repeat above steps one more time, ending with final layer of ice cream.  Your final layer of ice cream should be level with top of pan.

Loosely cover top of cake with parchment paper and place in freezer for minimum of 4-5 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to frost your ice cream cake, place mixing bowl and whisk feature (if using stand mixer) or beaters (if using hand mixer) in freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove and combine whipping cream and sugar in bowl.  Whip until mixture begins to form stiff peaks.  Add in vanilla and mix to combine.  Place whipped cream frosting in container, because you will be taking it in and out of fridge several times.

When frosting is made, remove ice cream cake from freezer.  Carefully remove sides of springform pan and parchment paper.  Place cake on cake-stand or plate and gently slide off bottom of springform pan, your cake should not be resting on your cake-stand.  Place several strips of parchment paper under edge of cake to protect stand while frosting.

Beginning with the top and using an offset spatula, begin to frost cake with a thin layer of frosting.  Place back in freezer for 10 minutes and place frosting in refrigerator.  Remove both and proceed with second layer of frosting.  Continue these steps (being sure to not allow cake to thaw) until you have used most of the frosting.  Reserve a small amount for any piping and decoration along bottom edge of cake.  You will want to make sure your last frosting layer is as smooth as possible.

Place cake back into freezer.  In the meantime, melt chocolate chips a small amount at at a time in microwave according to package directions.  Place melted chocolate in decorator bag with small round piping tip.  Remove cake and begin to quickly make swirls along top and sides of chocolate.  If you make a mistake, wait a moment until chocolate hardens and then carefully remove with a toothpick.  If you run out of chocolate melt a new batch.  It is better to work in small batches as chocolate hardens quickly and makes piping it impossible.

Return cake to freezer when you are done decorating.  If desired make chocolate curls for top of cake using a vegetable peeler.  Run your peeler along flat surface of chocolate bars, forming chocolate curls.  Spring curls in center of cake.

Keep cake in freezer, until 15 minutes before serving.  You will need a very sharp, long knife to properly cut ice cream cake.