Is it hot where you are, because here in New York, its pretty steamy! Did you say its time for ice cream?? Why yes, we agree completely! How about an ice cream cake? Or even better, an ice cream cake fashioned after a banana split?! Yes, thats what were making today. Recently, we purchased 2 mini cake pans and weve been on a bit of a cake kick. The inaugural bake with the pans we made a carrot cake for a birthday, because yes, she loves carrots, but no, she was not allowed to eat any.
For the second bake, we decided to make an ice cream cake for our friends birthday. The cake is inspired by Martha Stewarts Banana Split Bombe. Marthas recipe had a couple of things missing that we wanted to add, like slices of bananas, a vanilla cake, and a whipped cream frosting, and it was far easier to make in a cake pan. So this is the layering we suggest, cake, chocolate ganache, sliced bananas, strawberry ice cream, chocolate ice cream, topped off with whipped cream frosting and chocolate syrup with a maraschino cherry on top! Now, this cake is a lot of work and time, but its really worth it in the end.
Some tips before entering the ice cream cake world, make sure to give yourself enough time to make it. You have to wait for the ice cream to be somewhat spreadable (whipping helps!) then wait for it to refreeze before adding a new layer. Youll have to bake the cake beforehand so that its cool enough to layer the ice cream onto, we did this the night before just to be extra safe. Also, make sure to put the cake layer on the bottom. We made the mistake of putting an ice cream layer at the bottom and lets just say transporting it was a slippery situation. (haha)
Banana Split Ice Cream Cake
(inspired by Martha Stewart and Smitten Kitchen)
1 pint strawberry ice cream, softened
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 bananas, sliced
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
2 pints chocolate ice cream, softened
For Vanilla Cake
2 cups plus 1 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
For whipped cream frosting
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For The Hard Chocolate Topping
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish
1 maraschino cherry
1. Preheat oven to 350°F, butter one 6-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and vanilla bean. Make sure to scrap down the sides as you work. At a low speed, add the buttermilk till combined. Add the flour mixture in batches till everything is incorporated.
3. Spread batter evenly in the cake pan, bake till golden and till a toothpick (or in this house, a chopstick) comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Cool in the pan (preferably overnight), and then remove from pan.
4. While the cake is cooling you can prep the ice cream layers. When the strawberry ice cream is softened, place in the mixing bowl and whip till spreadable. In a second cake pan, spread the strawberry ice cream to an even layer. Place in freezer for about an hour, till firm.
5. Next make the chocolate ganache by placing the chocolate in a heatproof bowl or double broiler pan. Heat the cream in a saucepan until heated, pour over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until combined. Place bowl or pan over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the chocolate melts. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until thick and spreadable, about an hour.
6. Once the chocolate ganache is thick, spread an even layer over the entire surface of the vanilla cake. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
7. Do the same thing with the chocolate ice cream, whipping it until spreadable. Spread chocolate ice cream over the frozen strawberry ice cream. Place in the freezer again for about an hour, until firm.
8. Remove the cake and ganache from the cake pan and place on a platter. Slice the bananas and place in a circular pattern on top of the chocolate ganache. By this time everything should be frozen. Remove the ice cream layers and unmold by dipping the cake pan in a larger bowl of hot water. Continue dipping until the ice cream releases (don’t melt it too much!) This is where it gets precarious, so be careful. Place the ice cream layers on top of the cake layers and remove the cake pan. Place the entire cake back in the freezer for another 30 minutes until firm.
9. Make the whipped cream frosting by placing the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar in the mixing bowl with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks form. Frost the cake.
10. Place the chocolate and shortening in the double broiler or heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir until chocolate and shortening melt. Let cool slightly (make sure its not too hot), and then slowly pour on top of the cake letting it drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts and place the cherry on top.
11. When ready to serve, run a large knife under hot water and dry well. It will help to slice the cake.