June is celebration central around here. First up is Mike’s birthday, closely followed by Father’s Day. At the end of the month we have Elena’s birthday. You would think that by default then, June would be month of cakes galore, with flour and frosting aplenty. That would make me happy, but not the people of honor. You see, neither Mike nor Elena love cake. They do love ice cream, and so the Ice Cream Cake has been the dessert of choice for our June celebrations. It satisfies my need for cake to make it a proper celebration, and the addition of ice cream makes everyone happy.
For a long time, this meant driving over to Oberweis and picking up a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. That was all well and good until Oberweis went out of business last spring. In thinking about where we would turn to for our cake, I wondered why I didn’t just make it myself in the first place. It wasn’t like what we were plunking down $20 for was anything spectacular, after all.
Our trial run was for Mike’s birthday, and Elena helped me decide what constitutes a perfect ice cream cake. Mint chocolate chip ice cream was a given for our family. We came to the conclusion that thin layers of brownie trumped traditional cake or crushed cookies. Elena voted for frosting as well, but Mike is not a fan. I felt like it needed something to make it look festive, and settled on a chocolate glaze that would harden into something reminiscent of Magic Shell. And just like that, our go-to June celebration confection was born. You say it’s your birthday (or Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day, or Hey! It’s Just a Day! Day)? How about some Ice Cream Brownie Cake, then?
Ice Cream Brownie Cake
- 1 1/2 quarts ice cream, any flavor. (I used store-bought ice cream, as I was short on time, but it would be divine with homemade ice cream.)
- Brownies (recipe below)
- Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)
INSTRUCTIONS & ASSEMBLY:
- Bake brownies according to recipe and allow to cool completely.
- Once brownies are completely cooled, scoop ice cream into a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, break ice cream into smaller chunks. Continue to stir and fold the chunks of ice cream until you achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency. If using homemade ice cream, it would be best to use it immediately after it finishes churning.
- Place one layer of brownie in a springform pan. Alternatively you can leave it in the cake pan, but it will be easier to remove and serve if you use a springform pan. Spread ice cream evenly over the brownie. Top with second brownie layer and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- After cake has chilled sufficiently, prepare chocolate glaze. Remove cake from freezer. Transfer cake to serving plate. Spread the glaze over the cake using an offset spatula to smooth it out onto the edges. Allow the glaze to run down over the sides of the cake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired, and then chill the entire cake in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to set the glaze.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the over to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 – or 9 – inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
- Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally among the pans, and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing layers from the pans.
- 4 ounces good quality milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Melt in microwave, stirring often, until completely melted and smooth.
- Remove bowl from microwave and stir glaze to release heat.