Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ice Cream Bombe Cake - with hot chocolate fudge sauce and candied pecans

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

More to post later - but in brief, it was a vanilla Swiss roll with a strawberry whipped cream filling filled with coffee ice cream, fudge sauce, and a candied pecan- dulce de leche swirled- vanilla bean ice cream (gosh, that’s a mouth full! and it was delicious!)

The biggest challenge was picking the ice cream flavors. I did a quick Google and ran into some crazy - I mean non-traditional - ideas; and as appetizing as blue cheese and caviar ice cream sounds, I opted for something a little more conventional - but not boring!

I started with a basic vanilla bean ice cream. The recipe from the DB challenge this month called for heavy cream but I've actually made ice cream before with my Health Master and used half-and-half, which seems to work fine. No need for an ice cream maker either.

To make Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:

4 cups half and half
1 cup sugar*(see my notes)
1 vanilla bean

  • Blend first two ingredients in blender until sugar is well incorporated. Stop. 
  • Split the vanilla bean and scoop the seeds into the cream mixture. Blend about another 30 seconds and you're done (with round one). 
  • Transfer to a sealable glass or plastic container and freeze over night. You will notice that there is a foamy layer on top and a denser cream at the bottom. This is okay. 
  • Time for another spin in the blender. Blend until ingredients form a homogeneous mixture and transfer back to container to re-freeze. 

Repeat this about 2 more times and you'll be ready to serve...or in this case add the mix-ins of your choice, or build into a cake like we did for this challenge.  I chose to candy some chopped pecans and swirl in some dulce de leche I made a while back.  (see below for candied pecan recipe). *Note: if you plan on adding sugar coated mix-ins like candied nuts I would cut back on the sugar. The coating from the pecans dissolved into the ice cream and while it was still amazing, it was just a little too intense.

I thought coffee ice cream would pair well with the complex vanilla ice cream mixture I chose to make. And for those of you who drink your cream with coffee (yes, proportionately in that order - aka. you don't like coffee and you add some to your cup just for coloring) I would encourage you to try this... its not bitter like a straight black cup of joe, I promise. And for all those who have learned to love the stuff, this is a fun recipe because you can use different kinds of roasts ie. bold, mild, flavored etc... I just used basic a medium blend from Earth Fare.

Coffee Ice Cream

4 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole coffee beans
+- 3tbs instant coffee

  • In a heavy pot mix cream and sugar. 
  • Add whole coffee beans and turn on the burner to medium-high heat. Bring to a slight simmer and turn off the heat. 
  • Leave to soak for 1-2 hours. 
  • Strain the cream and bean mixture in a colander and transfer cream back to pot or to plastic/glass container in which you will be freezing. 
  • Stir in the instant coffee (2 tbs if you want a mild flavor and up to 1/4 cup for a more distinct coffee flavor). Be sure to do this why the cream is still warm so the granules dissolve. 
  • Cover and freeze over night just as you did the vanilla ice cream. 

Blend, refreeze, blend, refreeze and you've got the most delicious coffee ice cream ever! (Ask my Dad... he could not keep his spoon away from the stuff. I think he would have snatched it out of my freezer if he could have managed to keep it cold during the 1.5 hour ride back home. Unfortunate for him, the weather has been blazing hot this summer hitting as high as 100F... needless to say, I think the ice cream would have melted before he even got to the car.)

Part of this challenge was to make a fudge sauce. Again… simple, great, and versatile. I used it in the ice cream cake we had to make but honestly this would be great just spooned over your ice cream or as a dip for strawberries ;)

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 cup sugar
3 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs corn starch
1 ½ cups water
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • In a small sauce pan whisk together first four ingredients.
  • Place pan over medium-high heat and whisk until mixture begins to thicken and is smooth.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
  • Allow to cool and store in refrigerator.
 For this you could try different types of cocoa powder (as long as it is natural or unsweetened –aka. Dutch processed)

Candied Pecans
recipe courtesy of Ezra Pound Cake

Just FYI: You know those kiosks in the mall...yeah, the ones that you can smell from the moment you walk in... and suddenly you find yourself with roasted nuts in hand? mhmm, your house will smell exactly like that. 

1 egg white
1 tbs water
1 lb pecan halves (or chopped pecans)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • preheat oven to 250F and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • using a whisk combine the egg white, water and vanilla until frothy
  • in a medium bowl mix together sugars, cinnamon and salt
  • toss the pecans in the egg white mixture and then toss to coat in the sugar mixture
  • spread evenly on the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about 1 hour. Toss the nuts about every 15 minutes so that they cook evenly.

Have fun ! :)

Vanilla Ice Cream Nutrition Facts: (1/12 of vanilla ice cream- using half and half)
Calories 211, Fat 13.6g, Carbs 21g,  Sugars 17g, Protein 2.9g

Hot Fudge Sauce Nutrition Facts: (1/12 of recipe)
Calories 83, Fat 1.1g, Carbs 18.9g,  Sugars 16.7g

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