I is for Ice-cream cake

I is for Ice Cream Cake

Ice cream cake is one of those lovely things which is so easy, once you have made one you are going to kick yourself that you haven't done this before. They are especially great for kids birthdays but can also be a very sophisticated dessert for a dinner party.

Here's an old post with my favorite recipes and the steps to make your kiddos love you forever :)

Ice Cream Cake 3/6/2012

Ice Cream Cake is one of those things that seems like it would be difficult to make, but is actually incredibly simple and incredibly versatile.

This recipe is for a 9" X 4" pan with a push bottom. Springforms work fine here too. The recipe can be adjusted up for a larger pan, just add on one layer at a time.

Grease your pan very lightly with a non-stick spray. I generally prefer the ones that are just vegetable oil, cocoanut oil is probably best for ice cream cake as the slight flavor wont clash with the cake.

The basic method is to line the bottom of the pan with a crumb crust (1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups crushed cookie crumbs). Microwave 1 quart of ice cream on defrost for 1 minute. Spread it into the pan. Top it with whatever fillings you think would be fun, then freeze and repeat until the pan is full. If I am going to write on the cake, I frost it with regular cake icing in two layers.

Flavor combos:
Chocolate and vanilla with plain and cocoa crispies in between layers is our family birthday party standard.
Vanilla with mixed drunken berries in the layers and a ginger cookie crust; completely appropos for a swanky dinner party.
Chocolate and cocoanut layers with flaked toasted cocanut and shaved chocolate layers = icy .
Here is a link to the Martha Stewart website with recipes for some lovely and sophisticated ice cream cakes as well as some old-fashioned classics.

A word to my A to Z Challenge Readers

HI All! Thanks for stopping by! So I just wanted to let you know that the Arabic Weekend is Friday and Saturday. So I've been busy doing stuff with my family on those days and forgetting to blog. BUT I'm here and definitely still in! I'll get some words of cake-y wisdom up ASAP!

H is for Hazelnut sandwich cookies.

H is for Hazelnut sandwich cookies.

How can you not love a sandwich cookie? These are easy and sweet and lovely for holiday baking.

2 cups fine whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of COLD butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup of chopped hazelnuts
1 small jar of nutella

Toast the hazelnuts in a frying pan until fragrant and just browning.
In a small bowl fork sift dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar, add egg. Add the dry ingredients and mix quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Fold in the hazelnuts. Drop by the rounded teaspoon full onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 6-8 minutes. Cool. When cool to the touch, spoon one scant teaspoon of nutella and top with another cookie.

G is for Grunt

 G is for Grunt

What is a Grunt, you ask? It's a Massachusetts thing, my people call them slumps. But what ARE THEY??? Fruit and pastry.

For the filling you will need about:
4 cups of berries
2 cups of peeled and cut up apples, pears or other thicker-fleshed fruit.
2 or 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup of lemon-water.

For the biscuit topping:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick of best quality butter (room temp.)
1/4 cup buttermilk or labneh
1tsp cinnamon
1tbsp demerara or other brown, crystal sugar

Mix the biscuit topping ingredients together without letting the butter or buttermilk get warm, you want a barely mixed, almost crumbly, NOT smooth dough. If it seems very dry, you can gradually add a tablespoon of extra buttermilk at a time until the dough comes together. The less you handle the dough, the lighter your biscuits will taste.
In a 10" x 3" skillet, cook the berries, water and sugar until the fruit is soft and the color is very bright. Drop biscuit dough by the spoonful on top of the berries, sprinkle with demerara sugar and cinnamon. Cover with a lid and let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Biscuits will look and feel 'set' when fully cooked.

Serve warm with ice or whipped cream topping.

F is for French Silk Pie

F is for French Silk Pie

French means its fancy, no?? No, actually, not today. French silk pie is about as homey as it gets.
A good French Silk pie reminds me of going to my grandmother's for dinner on a Sunday when I was a very small child and what could be better than that???

For the crust:
Crush 1 package graham crackers, blend with 1tbsp sugar and 1/3 cup butter. Press into the bottom of a 9" pie tin.

For the filling (dairy):
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup gram or whole wheat cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups 'light cream' or all natural 1/2 & 1/2
2/3 Cup best quality chocolate, chopped
Into a saucepan, sift together sugar, cocoa, flour and salt. Gradually whisk in cream. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until a thick custard forms, about 3 to 5 minutes. Keep whisking the whole time it is on the heat, or it will burn. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.

For the filling (non-dairy):
In a blender or food processor, combine 1 16oz block of silken tofu, 1/2 cup sesame tahini, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 cup melted chocolate, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soy milk.

Pour your filling into the pie shell. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours. Top with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. Fancy.