My gorgeous Matilda had her 7th birthday yesterday. The week leading up to her birthday had the dining table covered in cookbook after cookbook which she studied carefully before deciding on her birthday cake. Big decisions needed to be made. She considered a few novelty cakes – fairy castles, purses etc but decided to invent her own layered ice cream cake like Levi did with his Choc Mint Ice Cream Cake.
Strawberry ice cream and strawberry sorbet were the two layers she decided on and then we came up with the vanilla ice cream layer with crushed meringue mixed through as a little nod to one of my favourite desserts, the Eton Mess. The result was spectacular!
Using my Ben and Jerry’s ice cream recipe book I made fresh strawberry ice cream and French vanilla ice cream but I bought the sorbet. If you didn’t want to churn your own ice cream then bought ice cream will be fine but you do need to leave it to soften a bit before layering up the cake. Whether making your own ice cream or not this is an easy recipe to make with kids and they really enjoy seeing how each step comes together in the final product. It is always impressive to see the layers.
When I churn the ice creams they are still quite soft when I get them out of the ice cream maker so it is easy to tip straight into the cake tin. I made the cake over 2 days starting with the strawberry ice cream and left it in the freezer overnight to firm up. Then the next morning I did the vanilla layer and mixed through crushed meringue before layering on top. Then that evening I finished with the sorbet layer and pressed some white chocolate buttons on to decorate. It went in the freezer overnight and was ready the next day. Despite the time needed to firm up the layers in the freezer I found this a fairly quick cake to put together and it would be quicker still if using store bought ice cream. But the result is very good and all the plates were licked clean.
The Brisbane EKKA (the Royal Queensland Show) is on at the moment and I haven’t been for years. The only reason I want to go is to have the delicious strawberry ice cream which is quite an EKKA icon. Real strawberry ice cream in a cone with fresh cream piped on top and finished with a strawberry. The highlight of the EKKA. But now I can make my own strawberry ice cream I can re-create the icon at home! I have leftover strawberry ice cream from the cake so I will have to get cones, whip some cream and buy another punnet of strawberries. This recipe for strawberry ice cream is worth repeating just to have on its own but I do love the whole cake. The combination is perfect and I’m looking forward to what the kids come up with for their birthdays next year.
strawberry and vanilla meringue ice cream cake
(ice cream recipes based on recipes from ‘Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book’)
1 quantity of strawberry ice cream (I used about 3/4 of the batch but always good to have leftovers)
1 quantity of French vanilla ice cream
4 large meringues, crumbled
1 litre strawberry sorbet (I used about 3/4 of the tub)
white chocolate buttons to decorate
Line the base of a 23cm round springform cake tin with freezer film. If you can line the sides that will make for a cleaner looking cake but I didn’t bother.
Smooth the strawberry ice cream in the base of the tin. Cover loosely with freezer film and place in the freezer until the ice cream has firmed up. Overnight is best.
Tip the French vanilla ice cream into a large bowl and crumble over the meringues. Stir to roughly combine and layer it over the strawberry ice cream and smooth. Cover loosely with freezer film and return to freezer to firm up.
Leave the sorbet to soften and tip into a large bowl. Stir until smooth and layer it over the ice cream cake. Decorate the top with the white chocolate buttons. Cover loosely with the freezer film and pop in the freezer overnight.
To serve, remove cake from freezer and leave for 5 minutes to soften. Then carefully unclip the tin and slide the cake on to a platter. Serve immediately.
strawberry ice cream
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and pop in the fridge for at least one hour. Then mash or puree the strawberries and set aside.
Whisk the eggs in a mixmaster until light and fluffy then slowly add the 3/4 cup of sugar. Continue to whisk until the sugar is completely blended. Add the cream and milk and mix to combine. Stir through the strawberry puree and then churn in an ice cream maker.
french vanilla ice cream
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whisk the eggs in a mixmaster until light and fluffy then slowly add the sugar. Contine to whisk until the sugar is completely blended. Add the cream, milk and vanilla and mix to combine. Churn in an ice cream maker.