Ice-cream between two slices of chocolate cake – what’s not to like?
Feel free to swap in your favourite flavoured ice-cream to fill the centre
Ice-cream sandwiches. Photograph: Harry Weir Photography
Many of us recall the simple pleasure of being bought a choc ice on a blazing hot summer’s day, transporting us back to a fabulous holiday spot or an exciting day out. My emergency fix dessert for kids is still a slice of HB ice-cream served between two wafers. Times change. Cornettos, Little Devils and Brunches are now considered vintage fare.
Kids love concocting their own personalised ice creams from counters offering a panoply of nuclear-coloured baubles. If the thought of standing in line and emptying your pockets fills you with dread, it’s time to ditch the queue and embark on your own ice-cream tradition.
June is the perfect month to serve an ice-cream cake. Here’s a chance to get back to basics with the kids in the kitchen, while also adding a little crafty fun. Most people have probably tried an Iceberger at least once from the ice-cream freezer in their local shop. A brick of creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chewy slices of slightly bitter chocolate cake – what’s not to like?
This is my take on those ice-cream sandwiches. Feel free to swap in your favourite flavoured ice cream to fill the centre. Mint chocolate chip ice cream would be delicious.
These brown paper packages tied up with string are a clever idea if you want to make the bars in advance or add food theatre to a birthday party. You could personalise each parcel with a name label attached to a piece of string. It is these baking sessions that turn into epic kitchen diary moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Cut the ice-cream bars into any size that suits. Or you could serve it whole, as a dessert, with a hot chocolate sauce.
ICE-CREAM SANDWICHES Makes 10
100g plain chocolate (55 per cent cocoa solids), cut into pieces
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly whisked
150g self-raising flour
15g cocoa powder
1tbs milk, if required
1.5l-2l vanilla ice cream (good quality ice-cream will set harder)
1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees (fan). Grease and line a square 20cm x 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Either melt the chocolate in a microwave using short bursts of heat and stirring at intervals or place the chocolate pieces in a bain marie (a bowl set over a pan of lightly simmering water) to melt. Once melted, remove from the heat and set it aside for five minutes.
3. With an electric whisk, in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until it is pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
4. Stir the melted chocolate into the creamed mixture, then mix in the eggs gradually.
5. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt together, then mix the sieved ingredients into the cake batter until fully combined. Loosen the batter with a little milk if required.
6. Spoon the chocolate batter into the lined tin and level the surface with the back of a wet spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until risen in the centre and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the tin to cool fully.
7. Once cooled, remove the cake from the tin and peel away the paper lining. Place on a chopping board. Use a serrated knife to slice through the centre of the cake to give two slim layers. Freeze both layers for 30 minutes to firm up.
8. To assemble: remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow it to sit out for five to 10 minutes to soften slightly. Clean the square cake tin and line it with a double layer of clingflim, leaving overhanging edges. Place the base layer of cake inside the tin. Spread the slightly softened ice cream over the cake base. Lay the top layer of cake over the ice-cream filling and wrap up tightly by folding in the overhanging clingfilm.
9. Freeze for five hours before serving.
10. To prepare sandwiches, cut parchment paper into individual squares, slice the cake into 10 individual slices, wrap neatly in paper and tie up with string.
Make a plain Madeira cake and use raspberry ripple ice-cream as the filling.