Monday, September 14, 2009

Coffee Almond Ice Cream Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce (Page 868)

RECIPE #1023

  • Date: Saturday, September 12, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Mike M, and Teresa
  • Recipe Rating: B+

Mike's birthday was this weekend, and to celebrate Mike and Teresa invited us over for some grilled meat! I offered to bring a birthday cake, and when I gave Mike his options from The Book, this was the one he chose! To make the cake I first crushed chocolate wafer cookies, mixed the crumbs with some butter, and pressed the mixture onto the bottom (and 1 inch up the sides) of a springform pan. I froze the crust for 30 minutes, then I spread softened coffee ice cream into it. I put the pan back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I crushed amaretti (Italian almond macaroons) then whipped heavy cream with vanilla and folded in the crushed cookies. I spread this mixture on top of the coffee ice cream, sprinkled the top with toasted sliced almonds, and returned the cake to the freezer. Before serving I let the cake thaw in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, then I sliced it and served it with dark chocolate sauce. This cake was pretty good. The crust was delicious (mmmm... crushed up cookies!), and the ice cream and whipped cream layers both had a good flavor to them. I prefer ice cream cakes that have more textural contrast though. For instance, I would have liked a fudgey layer of chocolate sauce inside the cake as well. There was sauce served with it, and that helped, but I think ice cream cake with a saucy layer inside is quite nice. The cake was quite pretty, however, and I think everyone enjoyed eating it. There are better ice cream cakes out there, but for a simple and quick to throw together ice cream cake, this was a good recipe.

The recipe is here.

Lately I have had extremely intense and specific food cravings. When we were in England two months ago I had an overwhelming desire for desserts consisting of baked apples and some type of pastry (apple pie, apple crisp, apple crumble, apple dumplings....). Luckily these types of desserts are easy to find in England and I ate them every day. About a month ago I developed a taste for Taco Bell and for weeks I was craving beef tacos and chips with nacho cheese sauce. After Taco Bell it was SweeTarts -- particularly the purple ones. Last week I wanted Cream of Wheat, and indeed I ate it for dinner three days in a row. Right now I am sitting at work at 7pm, thinking about making some of the ramen that is in my desk. I don't even particularly like ramen -- I only have a stash in my desk because my special gentleman keeps one there for when he visits (he keeps an emergency stash of ramen anywhere where he spends a lot of time!). But right now, ramen sounds so good!

So I have been trying to figure out, why all the cravings? (No, I am not pregnant!) It has gotten pretty bad. Underlying all the other cravings has been an ongoing sugar craving. Specifically I have been craving candy. Now, if I kept any candy in my apartment, I would eat way too much of it. I love, love, love candy -- particularly anything that is truly empty calories: gummy bears, SweeTarts, sour patch kids, etc... I actually prefer that kind of candy to candy with chocolate in it! So, to stop myself from consuming all my calories in candy, I don't keep any candy around the house. The sugar cravings are so intense though that I have had to take some desperate measures. I have started eating Aunt Jamima syrup by the spoonful. That's right -- I am drinking fake maple syrup. And when the syrup hasn't sounded good I have resorted to another old standby: spoonfuls of brown sugar straight from the canister. It's a little pathetic.

The only explanation I can think of for my strong an inexplicable food needs is that lately I have been doing a lot of running. The food cravings hit around the same time that my weekly long runs hit the 15-mile-or-longer range. I can't help wondering if my body is responding to the abuse I am putting it through. Maybe it is trying to store calories, knowing that in a few days I will run for more than 4 hours straight, without eating anything. Or maybe it is trying to make up for the calories it depleted the last time I did that. Who knows! But for now I have decided just to go with the cravings. I figure, if my body wants these foods so badly, there must be some reason!


Ryan said...

Such a gorgeous cake!

Teena said...