In celebration of Shirley’s birthday last month, we decided to do a potluck/wine tasting. Shirley, Spencer, Leslie, Tri, Kevin, and I contributed wine from our favorite vineyards, and everyone brought something for dinner.
I volunteered to do dessert, and an ice cream cake seemed like a great idea to cool us off in the midst of the crazy heat wave.
I knew Shirley liked tiramisu, so why not combine the two and do a tiramisu flavored ice cream cake? I ended up combining various parts of three different recipes from Martha Stewart and The Delicious Life.
Here is the combined recipe, which was a big hit with our group:
Vanilla Sponge Cake
- softened butter, for pan
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1/2 C cornstarch
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 C sugar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
- In a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Transfer the egg/sugar mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment.
- Beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until whites hold soft peaks (about 2 minutes). With mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Fold the egg whites into the egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold the flour mixture into eggs. Pour cake batter into prepared pan, and smooth the top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes (start checking on the cake at about 35 minutes).
- Cool cake in pan for about 15 minutes, then invert to remove from pan and cool completely on rack.
Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake
- 1 C sugar
- 1 1/2 C strong, freshly brewed espresso (I used espresso powder and hot water)
- 1/3 C coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua (optional)
- 1 recipe Vanilla Sponge Cake (above)
- 1/4 C finely ground espresso beans
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1.5 pints coffee ice cream (I used Haagen Daaz)
- 1-1.5 pints chocolate ice cream (I used Haagen Daaz)
- Chocolate curls or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
- 2-4 T sugar (optional)
- Place sugar and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in espresso and Kahlua. Let the syrup cool.
- Using a serrated knife, cut sponge cake in half horizontally, making two layers. Place one layer in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Using a pastry brush, brush with 3/4 cup cooled syrup. Sift 2 tablespoons ground espresso and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder over cake.
- Place coffee ice cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed with the paddle attachment until spreadable. Spread ice cream over cake; top with second layer of sponge cake and press down gently. Brush with remaining syrup. Transfer cake to freezer for 20 minutes. If your springform pan leaks liquid like mine does, be sure to put your pan on top of a baking sheet or foil first.
- Remove cake from freezer; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of ground espresso and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. Place chocolate ice cream in a mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until spreadable. Spread ice cream over cake, forming large swirls. Return to freezer; freeze until completely hardened.
- While cake is freezing, make the marscarpone cream. Beat mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy, about 60 seconds, and then transfer to another bowl. In the same mixer bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form, slowly adding sugar if you want to sweeten it. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone cheese. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Then spread over top of cake, and garnish with chocolate curls or sift 1-1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder over top.
I started with two pints of ice cream, but my springform pan was not big enough to hold everything so I really think 1 pint each is enough. I also topped my cake with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder just to create an even layer with no marscarpone showing through (as below), and all six of us took turns choking on the cocoa powder. Unless you want the same affect, perhaps scale back to about 1 tablespoon overtop.