Chocolate Affogato Ice Cream Cake + Saveur Nomination

I’m sorry, is there a better way to celebrate than ice cream cake? Better yet, ice cream cake with champagne? That’s exactly what I did when I found out I was nominated for a Saveur Blog Award (in the Baking and Sweets category, yay!). I wanted us to have a beautiful dessert + bubbles. So consider this celebratory cake a thank you gift to you. If it wasn’t for all you beautiful people it would be just another day at DH headquarters.

So you guys, I’m gonna need you to come in close. We have to talk. This is how I found out I was nominated. I worked out that day. I know. That never happens. But it did. And when I finally sat down to work and look at emails I saw: Congratulations: You’re… And then I just sat there. For a solid twenty minutes. I don’t even think I read the email all the way through for several hours. I’d like to pretend I had all types of cerebral thoughts and was zen and centered, but I wasn’t. A complete shit show. And when I started to come out of my stupor all I could think about was what I wanted to make us to celebrate. What would I want to share with all of you, if I could invite you to my house filled with streamers and balloons and snacks and signature cocktails? What would be dazzling but refreshing (because damnnnn it’s been end-of-days hot)? I started to picture flowers and bubbles and ice cream and cake in rapid fire…

…and then I saw high contrasty colors, some bold flavors and some crunch. It hit me like a ton of bricks because I had been craving affogato. Yes, there it was. A vision of affogato cake came down from the heavens as clouds parted between the steamy vapors of summer. Never mind that we were in the middle of a heat spell and it had been HOT AS BALLS and assembling and photographing ice cream cake is the bitch of all bitches and we all know the Displaced Kitchen is not air conditioned, much to my sweaty bod’s dismay. But we’re not quitters. We need this.

So celebrate with me. Make some ice cream cake, grab some bubbly and tell me all about it because I wish I was right there with you…

Voting is happening now (eekkkk!!!) and you can vote as often as you’d like (refresh the crap out of that page) and for as many people as you’d like! If you’re so moved, that’s just marvvy. If not, then make some ice cream cake and pop that cork already!

Before You Get Started:

  • Shortcut. Buy ice cream. It’s that easy. But listen, if you have an ice cream maker it really doesn’t take much to make the ice cream recipe below (that’s amazing and pretty much taken directly from Ben & Jerry’s) and it’s so worth it. But I get it…time is short and we get impatient. You do you.
  • Structure. Building an ice cream cake can be dicey if you don’t follow some tips. First, this cake is tall. It has three healthy layers of cake + three healthy layers of ice cream with a lid of fresh whipped cream. To get a nice firm cake, with perfectly textured ice cream, I highly recommend you set the cake back in the freezer in between adding ice cream layers so that you can give them time to firm up.
  • Smooth Sides. I wanted nice clean sides, so I used acetate sheets. I wrapped them around the bottom layer of cake, secured with some tape and packed in the ice cream and repeated with the remaining layers. If you’re looking for nice clean sides, do it this way. If you love a rustic vibe (which I also love), just freestyle your layers. If you go this latter route I highly recommend not skipping the freezing step in between adding layers.
  • Helpful Tips. Work with your cake on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. It will make it easier to transport it between the kitchen counter and freezer. If you don’t have a wide freezer, use a flat serving plate. And freeze your cake in-between adding layers. Have I mentioned that?
  • General Cake Tip. I would perish without these cake boards. They make it easier to move your cake about….from decorating it, chilling it to placing it on a cake pedestal. I can’t recommend them enough.
  • Make-Ahead. I personally think that ice cream cake is best when made the day before. It gives everything time to set. Which makes it the perfect make-ahead dessert. Just perfect.
  • Cutting + Serving. Run your knife under warm water before cutting (especially if it’s had ample freezer time) and then wait about five minutes after cutting the slices to serve…it gives them time to soften just a hair.
  • Warning. Don’t, under any circumstances, skip the crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans sprinkled throughout the cake. You want, need, DEMAND that crunchy texture in here.

Let’s make some ice cream cake, shall we?

Chocolate Affogato Ice Cream Cake

Makes a 3-layer, 8-inch cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ fresh brewed espresso or very strong coffee

Espresso Soak

  • ½ cup fresh-brewed espresso or very strong coffee
  • 4 tablespoons sugar

For The Ice Cream*

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 cup milk, cold
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and insides scraped or 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

To Garnish

  • 1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, coarsely chopped
  • Flowers, optional

*I always use the Ben & Jerry’s sweet cream base recipe…it turns out perfect and there’s no heating and cooling of the ice cream base.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (butter + flour) three, 8-inch cake pans. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment put the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time making sure that they are completely blended in before you add the next egg. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything gets nice and creamy. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat on low until well blended.
  4. Alternate adding 1/2 of the flour mixture and milk + espresso to the butter mixture, ending with the milk + espresso and blending each addition until just combined. Divide the batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans. Gently tap the filled pans on the counter several times to release any trapped air bubbles. Grab your spatula and gently smooth the tops of cakes.
  5. Put the tins in the center of the oven for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. If it comes out a little gooey, then put them back in for a couple more minutes. As soon as they’re out of the oven, set the cake pans directly on a cooling rack and let them start to cool down. After 20 minutes (I always get impatient), run a knife along the edge of the cakes. Then, flip them over, with one hand on the cake and gently tap the bottom of the cake tin to help the cake release from the pan. If it’s not easily coming out, flip it back over and let it continue cooling. You don’t want to force it out of the pan or you’ll have parts of your cake stuck to the pan. Let them cool completely before proceeding with the cake assembly.
  6. To make the ice cream whisk the eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy; should take several minutes. Slowly add in the sugar, whisking until it’s fully blended. Add in the heavy whipping cream, milk and the scraped insides of the vanilla bean. Add mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once done, place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until firm. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the ice cream base in the freezer and every 30-45 minutes either blend with an immersion blender or stir the ice cream over the course of 5 hours…this method is a wee intensive…it’s how I used to make ice cream when I lived in China and didn’t have an ice cream maker. Regardless of the method, make sure your ice cream is firm, but scoopable, before attempting to assemble the cake.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso and 4 tablespoons of sugar. Brush over the tops of the cakes. Put the cakes on the parchment-covered baking sheet and place in the freezer.
  8. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream and granulated sugar on high until it holds firm; it should take several minutes. Make sure it’s firm but take care not to over whip.
  9. To build the cake, place one cake layer on a cake board and/or cake plate so it’s easy to move about and set on top of the parchment covered baking sheet. If using acetate strips wrap them around the base and secure with tape. Add a thick layer of ice cream taking care to make sure it’s level and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of crushed chocolate covered espresso beans and place the cake back in the freezer for 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining layers. On the last layer, after you add the ice cream, spread the whipped cream over the top and then sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 crushed espresso beans. Freeze the cake for at least several hours before serving. If storing in the freezer for longer, once it’s frozen solid wrap tightly with plastic wrap to protect it from freezer burn. Add flowers, if using, before serving.
  10. To serve, run a very sharp knife under warm water before cutting and let the slices stand at room temperature for five minutes prior to eating.
  11. Thank you for making this ice cream cake! Tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your gorgeous creations!!!
On My Mind
  • Bake From Scratch. I have a really exciting recipe coming out in a special edition of Bake From Scratch magazine. It’s a holiday cookie issue done in collaboration with the feedfeed…and everything in it looks and sounds amazing. The preorder link is to the right of this post and you can also click here to get it…enter the code ‘feedfeed’ at checkout and receive a discount (the code is good until August 21st). AND PS…my mooncake recipe is coming out in their fall issue which I think is coming out in the next week or so?? Don’t miss it — I’m so excited with this recipe too!!!
  • Google Home. We have a Google Home and love it. This isn’t a plug for the company as they don’t even know I exist. It’s actually Gavin’s and he got it for Christmas from my mom and dad.  So the kids are still traveling around Asia with their dad, you knew that, right? I got up early to work this week (I’m talking 5/6 am early) and I turned on Glorious by Macklemore (Have you heard it? I love it) on our Google. Full volume. Mid-song it changed to Humble (you know the song) and I got a message from Gavin (in Shanghai) that said: Really? Glorious? He changed my music from halfway around the world. It made me laugh. If you’ve thought about getting a Google Home but aren’t sure, I LOVE it. I listen to music and set all kinds of timers with it. Love.
  • Planning For Fall + Holiday. Anything specific you want to see made on DisplacedHousewife, either send me an email or drop me a note in the comment section. I’m working on some editorial planning this week!
  • Charleston, South Carolina. The Blog Awards will be held in Charleston, early October. Do you all have any recommendations? Food, drink or otherwise? Cool shops I can’t miss? My dad was born in South Carolina…so I’m extra excited to go.
  • Shop. Here’s a link to a local shop…I love their ceramics…and you can shop online. I just bought my mom this French butter dome and my friend just got me this vase (but mine has some delicate blue shading on it that I love). If you like gift-y stuff for friends or yourself, give it a looksie.
  • Sending heaps of love + light!!

Rebecca xoxo

 

 

 

17 Comments

  • Makos(@thehungrybites) 2017/09/17 at 7:30 AM

    You had me at espresso soak! :P
    Great cake and acetate sheets work like a charm!

    Reply
  • Coco in the Kitchen 2017/08/25 at 7:43 PM

    Congrats on your nomination, R! Well-deserved and I hope you win. For us, you’re already a winner.
    This cake is quite the looker. I want to reach into my monitor and snatch a slice. I CANNOT WAIT TO BAKE IT!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/27 at 3:59 PM

      Hi Coco!! You are so nice…I have to tell you, I feel so grateful to be nominated, anything more would be amazing but I would still be happy otherwise!! I hope you do make this ice cream cake because it is so dang good!!! xoxox

      Reply
  • Laura | Tutti Dolci 2017/08/21 at 12:17 AM

    Absolutely stunning, and such a perfect cake to celebrate with! I cast my vote for you, hope you’re having a lovely Sunday! xo

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/27 at 3:57 PM

      Thank you Laura!!!! I appreciate that so much!!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry 2017/08/17 at 6:43 PM

    Nobody deserves the award more than you do! I love your recipes and photographs, not to mention your lovely writing. Goodluck!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/18 at 3:56 AM

      Thank you so much for your kind words Nicole!!!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Amisha 2017/08/15 at 3:58 AM

    I am so excited and thrilled for you Rebecca! You deserve this award and I will vote for you! I am still playing catch up after my vacation, and really behind in a lot of things. This cake sounds just plain awesome! Love the idea of an affogato cake cause it has to be one of my fav quick desserts that I crave often! Beautiful shots!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/15 at 4:44 AM

      Hi Amisha — It’s so exciting!!! Coming home from vacation is roughhhhh…I call it post-vacation stress disorder. Usually takes a couple of weeks to get back into it. Thank you for your sweet words and vote — I really appreciate it!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • heather (delicious not gorgeous) 2017/08/15 at 3:06 AM

    YAYAYAYAY CONGRATS ON THE NOMINATION!! so many good people nominated this year (: this sounds like an awesome way to celebrate, especially since i’ve been craving affogato since i saw it for $3.50 (!!!!) in utah last week (but i restrained myself). i love “glorious” but i also love that your son changed it all the way across the world

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/15 at 4:36 AM

      THANK YOU HEATHER!!!!!!! Your well wishes mean a lot, thank you! You have to indulge in the affogato — life is short. ;)

      And I agree, so many awesome people…I think I’m most excited to go and mingle and see people in the flesh. xox

      Reply
  • Kate 2017/08/13 at 9:02 PM

    Always a fan of ice cream cake. Always a fan of you. :)

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/13 at 9:17 PM

      Thank you so much Kate!!!! Right back at you!! xox

      Reply
  • Erin Clarkson 2017/08/13 at 6:15 PM

    YAAAAAYYYYY Charleston better watch the F out.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/13 at 7:55 PM

      Ha ha haaaaa!!! It better!!!!! Good luck friend and I can’t wait to hang!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen 2017/08/13 at 2:33 PM

    The PERFECT cake for a celebration Rebecca! I couldn’t think of a more deserving person and blog for this amazing award!! I’ll be casting my vote, numerous times! So exciting to be heading to Charleston!! Our oldest son Sean lives there. He went to college at the College of Charleston and stayed after graduation to live, so it’s a favorite place of mine to frequent! I’ll shoot you an email on places you should definitely have on your list, starting with the 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake from the Peninsula Grill! You’d LOVE it!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2017/08/13 at 2:45 PM

      That cake sounds AHHHHHHMAZING!!!! I can’t wait for your email!!! And thank you so much for all of your sweet words. You have always been so supportive Mary Ann!!!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! xoxo

      Reply

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