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Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Cake

February 18, 2008

Gone, gone, so far gone are the Carvel ice cream cakes of youth. A homemade ice cream cake, like the pretty pink beauty above, is a head and shoulders above anything you could buy. Besides the fact that there are endless variations you can make — just choose your cookie crumb type and ice cream flavor — there’s something I find so gratifying about unmolding one from its springform pan and seeing all the different layers. Sure, they require a bit of planning ahead, but much of the time required to make them is just the freezing steps in between. You can make your own ice cream for the filling, or use your favorite store-bought kind.

This latest ice cream cake creation has an all-natural chocolate cookie crumb crust, homemade raspberry ice cream (from David Lebovitz’s wonderful ice cream book The Perfect Scoop — and, I have to say, it’s the best raspberry ice cream I’ve ever had), and a chocolate ganache on top that I gently set fresh whole raspberries into. I admit, I’m big fan of the chocolate cookie crust and chocolate ganache on top — I used the same approach with my chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream cake.

I’ve also been referring to this particular cake as “the cake that did not want to be made.” This was the dessert I was planning to serve on Valentine’s Day, but after a serious of false starts with my ice cream maker, it wasn’t until the end of the weekend that I actually had success making it. We have the Cuisinart ice cream maker, whose bowl you have to freeze at least 24 hours before you plan on making your ice cream. I tried cutting this a little short, and by the time I realized my custard wasn’t freezing because the bowl hadn’t been cold enough, the bowl had completely thawed. Back to the freezer it went, but the next day I was (again) too impatient and tried freezing the custard before I realized the bowl wasn’t completely frozen. Arrgh! So back to the freezer again. This time I left it in 48 hours, and turned the temp on my freezer down a bit — that did the trick, but just to be sure the third time was a charm and no more bowl thawing occurred, I actually ended up churning the ice cream in my (uninsulated) garage. I know, the things I do for dessert! Luckily we have outlets in there, so I just brought out a little card table, set the ice cream maker on it by the outlet, and let it churn in the 40 degree temperatures.

One last thing to note — as I do with our baked cakes, I use a smaller springform pan to make our ice cream cakes. A cake made in a 7×2-inch springform is a good size for 2 people to share over a few nights. In the recipe below, I’ve given amounts for both a 7-inch springform and a larger 9- or 10-inch springform pan.

What flavors do you think would make a good ice cream cake? I’d like to try a mint chocolate chip cake, a fresh peach ice cream cake with graham cracker crust, a lemon ice cream cake with gingersnap crust…mmm. But for now, off to get another slice of the chocolatey pink beauty…


Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Cake

Raspberry Ice Cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop

Ingredients (crust and ganache ingredients listed for 7-inch / 10-inch pan)

For the cookie crust:
4 oz / 6 oz chocolate wafer cookies — I like Newman’s Organic Tops & Bottoms
3 tbsp / 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the raspberry ice cream (or, use 1 quart storebought ice cream):
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups strained raspberry puree (you’ll need to start with about 6 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the chocolate ganache:
4 oz / 6 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (I usually use Ghirardelli 60% chips or bar chocolate), cut into pieces
4 oz / 6 oz heavy cream

For the garnish:
1/2 pint fresh organic raspberries


Make the chocolate cookie crust:
Process the cookies in a food processor until they’re fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse it in until the cookie crumbs are moistened thoroughly. Pour the crumbs out into the bottom of your springform pan and firmly pat them down to make an even layer for the crust. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to set, about 1 hour.

Make the ice cream layer — two ways:
If you’re using ice cream that’s already made, you can just soften it a bit at room temperature and then beat it in an electric mixer until it’s more the consistency of soft serve. Spread it evenly over the cookie crust, gently pressing down with a spatula to fill in any holes. You want to use enough ice cream to come almost all the way to the top of the springform pan; leave about 1/2 inch room at the top (where the ganache will go. Place the plastic wrap back on over the ice cream layer, smoothing it down directly on the ice cream’s surface so there are no air bubbles. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

If you’re making the raspberry ice cream, have the raspberry puree ready, and the heavy cream in a large bowl with a strainer set over it. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half and sugar until warm, then gradually add this mixture to the bowl with the egg yolks, pouring it in a slow stream to temper the egg yolks, so they don’t curdle. Whisk constantly while you’re adding the warm half and half mixture, then scrape the warmed egg and half and half mixture back into the saucepan.

Heat this mixture over medium heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula or a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the spatula (when you draw a finger across the back of the spatula, it should leave a mark without the liquid filling it in.) Pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the heavy cream, and stir to combine. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice. Cover and chill this mixture thoroughly.

Once cool, churn the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When it’s finished churning, spread enough ice cream over the cookie crust in the springform pan so there’s about 1/2-inch of room at the top of the pan. Place plastic wrap over the ice cream, pressing it gently down all over the surface of the ice cream so there are no air bubbles. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

To make the chocolate ganache:
Place the chocolate and cream in a large heatproof bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Take it off the water and cool at room temperature until it’s lukewarm.

Take the ice cream cake out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Spread the chocolate ganache over the top, smoothing with a spatula. It should just about come to the top of the springform pan. If you’re using the raspberries for garnish, place them around the edge of the cake top.

Replace the plastic wrap over the cake, smoothing it directly onto the layer of ganache, and place it back in the freezer for another 2 hours.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2008 9:53 pm

    this looks remarkable. i love anything with ice cream or chocolate ganache, so this is right up my alley!

  2. February 18, 2008 11:10 pm

    Wow, this looks so delicious! I love chocolate and raspberries!!

  3. February 19, 2008 5:48 am

    It’s a piece of art. Beautiful photo and great presentation. …Can I have a piece…;-)

  4. February 19, 2008 7:50 am

    This looks fantastic! I love chocolate and chocolate together, and if there’s ice cream involved… Perfect!

  5. February 19, 2008 8:17 am

    This really caught my eye! Beautiful cake!

  6. February 19, 2008 9:20 am

    That is a really, really beautiful cake! I love raspberry and chocolate together. Great job!

    I remember the Carvel cakes. I used to always have them on my birthday. I love the chocolate crunchies! I can still buy them in my supermarket, but it’s not the same.

  7. February 19, 2008 9:29 am

    That really is a beauty!! I miss my ice cream maker even more now!

  8. February 19, 2008 12:41 pm

    Ok … this cake is: beautiful, fantastic and delicious!

    The problem is only one … at the moment I can not do it … I’m waiting the week end and I’ll try to do 😀

  9. February 19, 2008 2:06 pm

    Amanda – thanks; I love anything with chocolate ganache and ice cream too!

    made healthier – thanks; I agree – chocolate and raspberry is a heavenly flavor combo.

    Joanna – thanks for those kind words! Sadly we’ve already eaten the whole thing ; )..

    Patricia, thanks : ) — you and me both; anything with chocolate AND ice cream involved, and my powers of resistance are futile!

    Gretchen – thank you!

    Susan – thanks! It’s funny you mentioned the crunchies; I was actually thinking about how I could recreate those when I made this cake…maybe next time! I used to really like those too.

    brilynn – thanks : ) – I’d be sad if we didn’t have our ice cream maker, too…but there are so many good flavors out there now, I would probably find a way to survive ; ) ! Ice cream is my definite weakness…

    innovatel – thank you ; have fun and enjoy if you do make it!

  10. February 19, 2008 3:32 pm

    What a beautiful cake for a dinner party. As for favorite flavors…my first choice would probably be ” Dark Chocolate Kuluha Mint” with Andes Mints Candy on top of the cookies. Anything ice cream dessert topped with chocolate ganache is a winner in my book. By the way thanks for your comments about your machine…I have the same problem and I’m thinking that maybe my freezer settings are not cold enough.

  11. February 19, 2008 5:47 pm

    That is gorgeous! I’m going to have to make that as soon as humanly possible.

  12. February 19, 2008 6:04 pm

    Charlotte, a dark chocolate kahlua mint cake would be delicious…I’ll have to add that one to my list! Yes, I found that just decreasing the freezer a few degrees (from about 4 down to 0) helped a lot with the bowl freezing.

    Cafe Johnsonia, thank you! Enjoy if you make it!

  13. February 19, 2008 6:51 pm

    This looks stunning! Yum!

  14. February 19, 2008 10:47 pm

    You’ve got quite some skills! Wonderful photography too. Chocolate & raspberry are a killer combo. YUM

  15. February 19, 2008 11:25 pm

    Beautiful photos of a truly gorgeous cake! Well done!

  16. February 20, 2008 8:12 am

    Rhiannon – thanks!

    Julie – aw, thanks! : ) And yes, choc/raspberry is a killer combo indeed!

    Karen – thank you!

  17. JEP permalink
    February 20, 2008 8:04 pm

    What a masterpiece!

  18. February 21, 2008 6:49 pm

    Thanks, JEP 🙂

  19. February 27, 2008 5:53 am

    Ohhhhh i could die for it

  20. mathew permalink
    April 13, 2008 1:04 pm

    i just made this cake yesterday and it turned out sooo amazing, thank you so much for the recipe!!! next time i make it i think I’ll try blackberries

  21. Adela permalink
    September 28, 2008 11:11 pm

    This cake was delicious! I will definitely be making it again sometime! If using the 10inch pan, I would use more ice cream. I only used a quart and it wasn’t as tall and beautiful as yours was!

  22. March 2, 2009 5:31 am

    That cake is a thing of beauty and it looks delicious! I must make it soon!

  23. June 14, 2009 2:05 am

    thats beutifur cake , i like this cake…

  24. July 19, 2009 11:10 am

    I am in love! I bow to you in gratitude for this beautiful creation. This may be the cake I make myself for my birthday next month. Absolutly beautiful!

  25. October 29, 2009 12:06 pm

    Now I tried it too.. It was great, but too sweet also 😉

  26. Elmeisha permalink
    April 16, 2010 3:42 pm

    I made this for a Bar-b-q. Everyone loved it. They loved it so much that by the time I was able to get some it was gone. So I can’t tell you if it was great, but teh people at the party sure could. LOL

  27. March 11, 2011 8:51 am

    This is in the freezer as I type!! Excited to try this at my friends birthday party tonight.

  28. Liivika permalink
    May 23, 2011 5:38 am

    Just a wonderful work! Going to try this too!

  29. July 1, 2011 9:11 am

    The best Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Cake which I ever had.

  30. Emily Anne permalink
    August 10, 2011 7:56 pm

    Hi this is my first comment I’ve made on your blog (which I lOVE by the way). So coming up is my grandma’s birthday and I wanted to make her a cake-she loves rasberries and chocolate thus the hunt began for the perfect cake receipe. I found this and I thought I was going to die seeing the picture. Curently I just made the chocolate ganache and it is cooling off in the kitchen. I am so excited to see how it turns out. An alternative to ice cream to rasberry sorbet. We got the sorbet by acciendent (thinking it was ice cream) and put it in the cake…. so far no complaints 😉 Thank you for this! (sorry about how long this is)
    Emily Anne

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