Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Incredibly Hot Ice Cream Cake

For those of you who don't know, New England has been having an absurdly hot summer this year.  I am not really complaining- it's better than the absurdly rainy summer we had last year.  It has though, been making baking a bit of a challenge.  My father's birthday was June 30th.  Like any good daughter, I decided to make him a cake.  Baking for my dad is a bit of a challenge because he doesn't eat chocolate at night, doesn't eat nuts (ever) and doesn't have anything that screams out "DAD" at you.  Or so I though.  Until I remembered caramel.  My father loves caramel, butterscotch, all of that burnt, overly-sweet, sugary goodness.  So, I thought I'd make him a caramel cake.  But it was 1,000 degrees, so I thought I'd make him a caramel ICE CREAM cake...

Here's what happened:

Early on the morning of June 30th, I woke up on the Cape.  My parents left to get my niece and I was all alone to bake and boil in peace.  I found a recipe I liked and decided to go to town.  It was 88 degrees in the house when I started the process.  I had not discovered and embraced the idea of grill baking. 

I got out all my ingredients and got going.

Step 1: boil sugar and water on the stove until it makes goo.

It was now 89 degrees in the house.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degree

It was now 90 degrees in the house.

I put the cake together, using warm, rather than fully cooled caramel because, really, what was it going to cool to? and put it in the oven.  In a springform pan.


Step 3: While the cake was baking, I browned the butter for the frosting.  On the stove.

It was now 91 degrees in the house.

After 15 minutes, I was supposed to rotate the cake.  It's a good thing I did because HALF MY CAKE WAS NOW ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OVEN.

I turned off the oven and spent the next five minutes reaching into the 350 degree oven to get the cake batter off the bottom so the angry lady who lives in the smoke detector and incessantly yells "EVACUATE" would not start hollering at me.

It was now 1,000 degrees in the house. 

When the half-as-high-as-it-should-have-been cake came out of the oven, I went to the grocery store to get the ice cream.

Then came the fun part.  Assembling an ice cream cake in a 95 degree kitchen (it had cooled a bit).  I was really hot, and I kind of did this wrong, but I just want it to be done.

I cut the cake in half length-wise and put the bottom half in the springform pan in the freezer.  After a bit I took it out and smushed the ice cream on top of it.  I then poured on more caramel sauce, put the top of the cake on it, frosted it, dumped some caramel chips on and put it back in the freezer. 

I SHOULD have taken my time and put it back in the freezer after each step: cake, freeze, ice cream, freeze, caramel, freeze, cake top, freeze, and so on.  Because I was working too fast, stuff melted and the caramel sauce never really set.

In the end, it didn't matter, was tasted really good.  (it was actually too sweet for me, I peeled the cake off and just ate the ice cream and got laughed at, like usual) And it didn't look half bad either:

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