Monday, July 5, 2010

The Chocolate Ice Cream Cake or Sandwich

Well, although I had decided not to bake this week’s cake because of the lack of feasibility, by virtue of Marie's kindness in designating me Featured Baker of the Week last week, I felt a certain chagrin and headed for the kitchen. All of this actually translates back to my lack of having an ice cream maker, and to not being prone to locate the kind that one churns with rock-salt and ice from the icebox like Uncle Louis used on hot Sunday afternoons in Annapolis, lo those many years ago. Nostalgia, I loved the fresh peach, especially. In this case, however, I had chosen Cherries Garcia; my husband chose coffee -  I swallowed my pride and used store-bought 'Blue Bell Coffee'.

Also, relevant to preparing this cake, I was thankful to the Green&Black’s people for finally having made the cocoa available once more. I still couldn't find it at Amazon or Williams-Sonoma, but I did find it at 'Lucky Vitamins', of all places, online at a very reasonable price, and very fast shipping. Now I will no longer be able to blame anything on the cocoa.

The mis en place was set up for the cake and the sauce. As I began to weigh things, I realized that I need to obtain a separate little sifter for the cocoa, for obvious reasons, and put it onto list to self. Next, I almost missed the message from Rose saying to substitute bleached all-purpose flour for the cake flour in the German Chocolate Cake, which I did. And then-- I arrived at the place where I was told to ‘make ¾ of the batter’ – well, unfortunately, I haven’t arrived at the point in my education to attack the ‘Rose factor’.  I don’t even dare cut a recipe in half for fear of making a mess of the project. So, now I must figure out what ¾ of the recipe is. Well, I will just make the whole recipe and use ¼ for Financiers. Okay. How will I know what is ¼? I don’t even know how high it is supposed to sit in the pan. At least, I have had presence of mind to measure the weight of my tilt-head KA bowl and put the grams on tape on the bottom. A tip from our Forum. Therefore, I can figure the weight of the batter as added to the bowl. I guess I can divide that number by 4 and use the extra fourth for a cupcake. Does that sound convoluted? Well, it was the middle of the night. Will the batter have totally deflated by the time I go through all these gyrations? I put everything under wrap that would wrap, and went to bed.

In the morning I made the batter and hoped for the best. In the oven: 
I tested and tested, and finally with the thermometer reading 200’ I took it out. It was stuck with many holes from thermopen. 
Probably, a few more minutes to 205’ would have done it. It was passable, however, although very difficult to move, very moist, even as Rose had cautioned, and I still was worried if it was done. It crumbled around the edges as I ran spatula around and took off the spring-form pan. I didn’t use the warm towel – that might have helped. 

I am still haunted, and daunted, by the state of the oven, even with quarry tiles top, bottom, and middle, and have begun to put a hex upon it. 

In the composing, I had a little problem with ice cream leakage in the spring-form pan that prevented crisp layer definition. Also the crumbled bottom edges contributed to that. I think I would have been smarter to freeze the bottom layer, then put the ice cream layer on and refrozen, and then added the top cake layer and finally to have frozen it for the eight hours. I think that is what I will do next time.

At any rate, I had enough extra batter to make six Financiers, and they were fabulous. I sent them over to my friend with some of the delicious chocolate fudge dipping sauce, and she pronounced them, “decadent”. She was especially intrigued when I told her the story of their name, harking from long ago when a patisserie near the Paris stock exchange shaped the little cakes like a gold ingot in honor of their wealthy clientele, who were so fond of them, and named them “Financiers”.

I have been sleuthing on eBay and have found several very inexpensive ice cream makers by Cuisinart will probably acquire one -- another toy to sit out in the storeroom, along side of the old pasta maker, 3 woks, and my 40 year old convection oven. I really should resurrect that. It may work better than this new one with no convection.

Several neighbors have stopped by for expresso and ice cream cake. The two offset one another well. The cake turned out perfectly. The flavor is dark  fudge-like. The texture is just perfect, moist and shiny, as it relaxes from the freezing. There obviously is loss of excess moisture that I had worried about in the freezing that is restored again in part in the thawing. After all my ruminating, it is truly wonderful, and they all enjoyed it. 

This cake is a real winner, and I shall prepare it again. This time was a great learning experience in just how to do that the best way - and as usual Rose's way. It has set back up again and we are having a piece right now. Mmmm.


  1. Financier pan-brilliant!!! And the mint ice cream was a great choice.

  2. Thanks! I thought I had mess up, but it turned out just great : )

  3. Yes!! Such a brilliant idea to turn the extra batter into financier Joan! I'll do that the next time..and maybe that is the 'sandwich' that is suppose to be! :D

  4. Oh wow.. I love how you decorated your top! Great idea for the next time! I cheated and used my bottom cake layer for the top, I could not bring to use the cracked one instead. It looks great!

  5. well done with your "featured baker" title, and delicious indulgent :)

  6. Looks nice. I love the idea of using financier pan. Glad to know it worked well with that pan!

  7. Great looking cake Joan!

    Hey, I thought that whisking the boiling water with the cocoa powder negated the need to sift it? Especially since you are weighing? At least, I haven't sifted cocoa powder in years!

  8. Hi Jennifer -Thanks. I think you will see that Rose says 'sift before weighing' cocoa. I just sift it onto parchment on the scale, which I think is sifting before weighing if you look at it - lol. Re the water thing -No, I think you still must sift it because cocoa has a tendency to clump, and that would affect the true sifted weight. Also in several recipes I have seen her be very strict about covering chocolate and water mixture lest there be evaporation. That's just how I interpreted it, not nec right.

  9. Thanks for lovely support everyone. The Financiers were really wonderful. Since they, being tiny, baked in shorter time, indicate that is why I should have waited til 205' for the cake, baking longer time, less excess moisture. Next time. I'm learning that I can't count on oven, so, heaven forbid, I may have to learn to count on myself. yuk.
    Jenn - did you get the genoise notes I left you on your Rose genoise post?

  10. ב''ה

    Sounds like an adventure. Glad that you enjoyed it in the end.
    Marcy Goldman says to just stir the cocoa (and flour) a little with a wisk instead of sifting. I think I'm buying in... ;)