Valentine’s Day calls for a special dessert. I’m making an Ice Cream Brownie Cake. This started out as a birthday cake. For Valentine’s Day, I’m attempting a special effect by making it in the shape of a “dome”. The dessert has a brownie base and is topped with an ice cream dome and covered with a special brittle, magic chocolate shell. I added a few Maraschino cherries for effect. It you are a chocolate lover, this cake is delicious.
This started out as a birthday cake. Over the December holiday, we celebrated two birthdays together: my 14-year-old grandson and our 94-year-old mother-in-law.
The teenager really doesn’t like cake. So what do you do for a birthday celebration without cake? I made an ice cream cake using “Benjamin’s Brownies” for the base with whipped topping and maraschino cherries for decorations. The birthday teenager loved the cake. Really, everyone loved the cake. It was one of the best birthday desserts I’ve made.
For Valentine’s Day, I got the idea of making the ice cream brownie cake in the shape of a dome and pouring a magic chocolate shell over the ice cream. I wanted to use the type of chocolate that coats ice cream bars. It becomes brittle and hard when frozen. And my chocolate did freeze into a hard shell. It “snapped” when cut as you can see.
The idea for “the dome” came from a Martha Stewart recipe in one of her magazines. She made this dessert for Valentine’s day and of course her ice cream “bomb” was perfect. I‘ll have to practice more to get my chocolate shell even and smooth. But you can get the general idea. My dessert tastes good and is fun which is the idea!
Recipe – “Secret Ingredients”
This recipe really isn’t hard to make and it is very impressive. It is a interesting variation and a change from just a piece of cake and ice cream. Great for teenagers.
There are two “secret ingredients” in this recipe. The first is the hard chocolate or “magic shell.” To make this, I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. To get the chocolate into a really hard shell, the secret is to add coconut oil. This ingredient hardens as it cools to room temperature and becomes really hard when frozen. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and is not liquid at room temperature. The flavor is neutral so it is perfect for this topping.
The second “secret ingredient” in this cake is the brownie recipe used for the cake base — “Benjamin’s Brownies.” It is an old recipe from my files; named after my son — perhaps he helped me bake these brownies when he was young. The brownies aren’t too rich or gooey — more of a cake-type brownie. The recipe uses cocoa powder rather than baking chocolate bars. Sometimes cocoa powder gives an after taste; but when frozen these brownies had wonderful chocolate flavor.
Making the Recipe
To make the recipe, bake the brownies in a 9″ springform pan with removable sides. Here’s the brownie batter ready for baking. It is a thick batter.
Meanwhile, let two pints of ice cream soften — using flavors of your choice. Line a bowl that fits the 9″ baking pan with plastic wrap and let the wrap over hang the edges of the bowl. It is okay if the bowl is much larger than the cake pan because you only add ice cream to fill about 1/3 of the bowl. Add the ice cream. Cover with the wrap and re-freeze. It is preferable to do this step several hours before assembling the dessert so the ice cream can refreeze.
After baking, let the brownie cool entirely. Then top with the ice cream dome. Pull up on the plastic wrap to remove the ice cream from the bowl and invert the ice cream on the cake. Remove the plastic wrap. You may need to let the ice cream soften a bit to remove the plastic wrap.
Next make the chocolate shell which covers the ice cream. In a small pot over low heat, warm the chocolate chips and coconut oil until the most of the chips just melt. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and the remainder of the chips should melt. Don’t over heat the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, gently drizzle the chocolate over the ice cream dome until all the ice cream is covered. Add Maraschino cherries around the edges. Refreeze.
There apparently is an entire technique and skill to melting chocolate so that it retains its shine and silkiness. That is well beyond my scope of my blog. My chocolate shell tastes and looks good–passes my kitchen test.
When ready to serve, remove the side of the spring form pan and transfer to serving plate. This is a hard dessert, a flat plate or board is best.
This dessert is delicious for Valentine’s Day or a birthday for a teenage who doesn’t like cake. It’s a keeper. So enjoy this unique dessert for your family for a special occasion.
Ice Cream Brownie Bomb Cake
Ingredients for “Benjamin’s Brownies”:
- 1/3 cup margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 regular eggs
- 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil bottom and sides of 9″ springform pan. Set aside.
- Cream the margarine and sugar in medium size bowl of electric mixer on medium speed and then high speed.
- Add the eggs and beat to combine.
- In another medium bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. With low speed of electric mixer, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
- Pour into oiled 9″ springform pan and spread evenly to edges. Bake for 25 minutes or until brownie just springs back in center. Don’t overbake.
- Remove from oven and cool completely. The brownies can be made a day ahead.
Ingredients for Ice Cream Brownie Cake:
- 2 pints of any flavor ice cream – such as chocolate ice cream and caramel ice cream
- 1 recipe of “Benjamin’s Brownies”
- 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 8 Maraschino cherries
Method and Steps:
- Line a round bowl, at least 9″ in diameter or larger, with plastic wrap letting wrap hang over sides of bowl.
- Soften ice cream and then place in bowl. Cover and refreeze for several hours.
- Make “Benjamin’s Brownies”, cool and set aside. These can be made a day ahead.
- To assemble, remove ice cream in bowl from freezer. Soften slightly. Lift up and out of bowl using plastic wrap and invert onto cake. Refreeze while making chocolate shell. Don’t remove sides of springform pan.
- To make chocolate shell, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat. Stir constantly. When most of chips have melted, remove from heat. Remainder of chips should melt. Don’t over heat the chocolate.
- With spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over ice cream until all is covered. Work quickly.
- Arrange Maraschino cherries around edges of cake. Refreeze.
- When ready to serve, remove from freezer. Remove side of springform pan. Transfer to a serving plate or platter. A flat plate or cutting board works best because the frozen ice cream and brownie can be hard to cut.
- If using as birthday cake, add candles. Bring to table and cut into slices.
This is perfect!!