Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Log

Well, I just got back from the annual chocolate party that the childfree social group holds every year, and for the second year in a row, the chocolate ice cream cake log (photo courtesy of Judy S.) won the "best dish" award. Everyone was interested in the recipe, so to the best of my knowledge, here it is:

This year I stole much of the recipe from (and would like to acknowledge):

Step 1: Make a thin cake

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Cake Flour (I used all purpose flour and it worked fine)
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pam or something to grease the baking pan with
  • Confectioners' (powdered) sugar
Instructions for cake batter:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Line a greased 15" x 10" x 1" Jellyroll pan with wax paper and grease again. Or, you can do what I did and take an approximately same sized cookie pan and line with parchment paper and spray lightly with Pam.
  • In a mixing bowl, and eggs and beat very lightly. Then add granulated sugar gradually, beating after each addition (or while adding the sugar).
  • Add 1/4 cup cold water to the egg/sugar mixture, and set aside.
  • In another bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Add wet ingredients (egg mixture) to dry ingredients, beating slowly, until combined.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix-in to the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread smooth, and bake for 12-15 minutes until done. Yes, it will look like you hardly have any cake there, but it will rise and you are not looking for it to be really thick anyhow!

When cake is done, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the cake, then turn the cake over onto a clean dish towel, remove parchment (or wax) paper, sprinkle other side of cake with powdered sugar, and roll the cake and towel together, forming the log. The reason for the towel is to shape the cake while leaving room for the ice cream and other goodies. It also keeps the cake from sticking to itself, creating an unusable mess.

Allow cake to cool. Don't forget to turn the oven off, if you haven't already (haha).

Step 2: Crunchy Cookie Stuff

  • 1 box (9 oz) of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • About 3/4 stick of butter
Using a food processor or handy chopper, grind up about half a box of cookies into largeish/coarse crumbs. Soften the butter in the microwave and combine into the cookie crumbs. The butter prevents the cookies from becoming saturated with liquid and losing their crunch. When you get the cookie crumbs completely combined with the butter, you should have some cookie crumbs that have a bit of stickiness to them.

Some of this will be used to add some crunch in the layers of the log, some of them look/taste great sprinkled on top.

Step 3: Filling the Log

  • Cake log (from step 1)
  • Half gallon of your favorite chocolate ice cream (my "favorite" this year was Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate)
  • Cookie crumbs (from step 2)
Carefully unroll log. Don't worry too much about cracks in the cake - these will get filled with ice cream and all will be okay. Relax!

You'll want to soften the ice cream a little. I don't recommend doing this in the microwave because it will get too soft, too fast. The easiest way is to put some ice cream in a bowl, and soften it by working it around a little with a large spoon. Once you have the ice cream of a consistency where it will spread, put a thin (1/4 inch) layer of ice cream over the entire cake. Sprinkle the ice cream with some of the cookie crumbs. Then roll the log up (be sure not to roll it with the towel this time), get the log into a dish of some kind, and put it in the freezer.

Take a short break.

Then get some more ice cream in a bowl and soften it like you did before. Get your ice cream cake log out of the freezer, put it in a serving dish (I used a glass baking dish, you can use whatever works well). Spread ice cream over the outside of the log, using strokes lengthwise so it has kind of a bark texture to it. Sprinkle some cookie crumbs over the top, and place some whole cookies around as a garnish of sorts.

Cover carefully (make a foil tent that doesn't touch the log) and freeze until ready to serve.

To serve, slice log into pieces and enjoy.

You probably don't want to make the log too far ahead of when you plan to serve it. A day in advance is good, but I wouldn't do it too much longer beforehand. I also wouldn't make it too soon before either, because it needs time to freeze up (or it will melt too quickly).

Whatever ice cream and cookies are left make a good snack after all the hard work you just put into making the log!

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