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Christmas Ice-Cream cake with Chocolate Lace Collar
11 December 2012
Cake by Lara
I am starting to feel like a Christmas cake. It is only the 12th December and I still have quite a few to go. My house smells like a Christmas cake and my kids are going to sleep with the smell of brandy, boiled fruit, marzipan and fondant constantly in the air. My little girl said to me the other night – are you making more cakes mummy? The heavy sigh she gave me made me want to say – if that is all your have to deal with then you are pretty lucky little five year old, but to be honest I felt the same!
On top of that I have a sparrow problem. You might ask yourself what a sparrow problem has to do with Christmas. Well right now it has a lot to do with Christmas. I love my new little house and can’t believe it is mine but the only problem is that the eaves aren’t sealed and a few hundred families of sparrows seem to live in my roof. Sleep is a difficulty at the moment. On top of that sparrows keep falling down my chimney. The first night I heard the sparrow in my flue I tried to see if the roof of the fire box could move and it couldn’t. I rang my pest man in a panic and he laughed out loud and said "it will croak!" I yelped in horror and he hung up on me laughing.
Then later that night as I was just putting the finishing touches to several Christmas cakes I heard some rustling in the firebox and there in the fireplace was a very black sparrow.
Now as I said, I had just finished some Christmas cakes and they were all sitting out on tables ready to be boxed up:
So what do I do? I open the door of the fire box (I have no idea what the proper name is) and out flew this very black, very sooty sparrow. For thirty minutes I tried to catch the poor terrified bird, whilst protecting my cakes from the little black creature whilst it left a trail of black havoc!!! It eventually flew out the open back door and my cakes escaped unharmed. I now have cleaned out my fire place, put paper down and a bowl of water so the sparrows that continue to get caught in the flue and squeeze out have a place to revive themselves. And I now don’t open the door until I have covered them with a tea-towel. My pest man said a place of revival for sparrows was the funniest thing he had ever heard. And all I thought was at least they are not croaking!
So today with a Christmas party to go to the last thing I felt like was doing yet another fruit cake. I will continue with them tomorrow with renewed vigor. I wanted to do something a little bit different and something that was very Christmassy. This cake not only looks stunning but is relatively easy and perfect for those hot sweltering Australian Christmas days!
Definitely start this the day before your want to serve it though as the ice-cream and ingredients will need to set and you can finish decorating on second day, when you want to serve it.
Christmas Ice-Cream cake with Chocolate Lace Collar
4 litres chocolate ice-cream – much easier to get 2 x 2 litre containers
2 litres vanilla ice-cream
3 x 50 gram Violet Crumble bars
250 gram packet Chocolate Ripple Biscuits
Topping & Collar
200 gram block Dark Chocolate – use good stuff, not home-brand
Large Bag Maltesers, 2 x 50 gram Violet Crumble Bars, 500 gram box frozen raspberries
Grease a deep (at least 6cm high) round 23 cm cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper allowing a 5cm overhang around the sides
Put 2 litres of the chocolate ice-cream into a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes and stir until smooth.
Roughly chop or break up half of the Choc Ripple Biscuits, stir into ice-cream and stir until well combined. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Cover with glad wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.
Then spoon vanilla ice-cream into bowl and allow to soften. Roughly chop the three violet crumble bars and fold into the ice-cream. Spoon over chocolate layer in pan. Smooth surface. Cover. Freeze for 30 minutes or until just firm. Repeat same steps with remaining chocolate ice-cream and biscuits. Cover final layer with glad-wrap and freeze overnight.
Have your board or plate ready to go – just make sure you have enough space in the freezer for it!
Take out the frozen cake in the tin and quickly run hot water around base and sides and then turn out onto board / plate. Immediately put back into freezer.
Then break up or roughly chop the two blocks of dark chocolate, place in a glass bowl and microwave in 30 seconds stirring after each 30 seconds until it is all melted (note – with melting chocolate some people swear by the double saucepan method but I prefer microwave. There is no right or wrong just what works with you. I find with the microwave it is much more controllable and also no moisture elements to deal with). Once completely melted set aside to cool slightly and make sure your plastic collar is ready. Just measure around cake to get measurements of width and height and lay out on table. Then pour your chocolate into plastic icing bag.
Snip off the end of the piping bag and then pipe chocolate in a swirling fashion over length and height of collar.
Now it is time to be patient. You want the chocolate to be almost set but still to have the flexibility of being able to curve around the cake. If you do this too early the chocolate will just be a gooey mess and you won’t get the lacework. So wait until the chocolate is almost set, a good indication of this is when it loses its gloss. Lightly touch with your finger and when almost set wrap around the cake. Have a couple of pieces of sticky tape on hand and I find a peg works wonders!!
Now pop back into the freezer and wait a good 10 minutes before being tempted to even look at it. After 10 minutes take out of freezer and gently unwrap the plastic.
Then chop up the last two violet crumble bars and mix together with the maltesers and raspberries and fill the top of the cake with your filling.
There you have it – a Christmas cake with a difference – but one that is sure to delight and make people go Wow, Merry Christmas!