Week 32: Ice-Cream Cake

I believe the saying goes, “When life gives you a pile of crumbs, make ice-cream cake.”

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Because this is exactly what I did with last week’s disaster. If you’ve been following along, you would know that my plans to make Smitten Kitchen‘s triple berry summer buttermilk bundt cake did not go exactly as planned. I moved to a new kitchen a few weeks ago, so I’m still getting used to the subtleties of my less than professional oven.

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I’m just going to blame my mishap on the lack of convection and inconsistent heat. Rather than throwing my doomed crumbs directly into the trash, I wanted to come up with a tastier solution.

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The cake itself was incredibly delicious. Moist, lemony, buttery and spattered with summer ripened berries. The dumpster would not be the fate of my failed attempt!

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Before getting elbow deep in a new project, I stepped back from the situation to think about what could become of my pile of crumbs and what to do about my “faulty” oven. I’m not the biggest fan of cake pops, so I nixed that idea immediately, and cake shakes don’t really count as cake, so I kept thinking…

I decided to sleep on it, and woke up with the perfect idea! Ice-cream cake.

I took all those little crumbly bits and smooshed them into a lined 9″ cake tin and popped it in the freezer. In reality, it ended up being the ideal summer cake situation, because I up-cycled another recipe and didn’t even have to turn on the oven.  My on-the-verge-of-tears situation was turning around.

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After the crumbs were frozen solid into a disk, I whipped up a softened gallon of vanilla ice-cream with electric beaters and spread it evenly into an identical lined cake pan. With breath held and tongue clenched between teeth, I flipped the crumb disk into the softened ice-cream. Karma was on my side, as everything held together in one piece!

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I popped the ice-cream and cake back in the freezer to firm up. Meanwhile, I whipped a pint of heavy cream with half a cup of powdered sugar to make the frosting. Once the cake firmed up (about 30 minutes left in the freezer) I worked quickly to evenly coat the outside and top with the whipped cream and then put it back again to freeze solid before photographing.

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You know when you have a vision of something? (Like a perfectly flipped bundt cake.) And it comes out exactly as you had planned? This week turned out just like that.

From the beginning, people have given their two cents on what they think I should try, and ice-cream cake has always been one of those projects people wanted to see, but I was unsure about taking on. To be honest I didn’t really know where to start. Do you even need a recipe? In short, no. All you really need is an epic mistake and a little bit of imagination.

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Final thoughts on ice-cream cake:

  • One week later, and this dime is still sitting pretty in my freezer.
  • That’s the beauty of ice-cream cake.

Week 22: Summer Pavlova with Fresh Grilled Berries

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For Memorial Day Weekend I took a little road trip to Michigan to visit my boyfriend’s family. And by little I mean approximately one hour and 45 minutes away. After living in the city, this seems like quite a distance in the car… anyways, after long car rides I typically find myself in the exact same place. The bathroom.

(They didn’t call me little tank on spring break for nothing).

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Week 21: Rhubarb, Candied-Hazelnut and Buckwheat Cake

I’ve mentioned or alluded to my favorite cake of the project so far several times. Very early on, week 8, I made the most divine plum pistachio and lemon cake from what’s become one of my favorite food blogs, The Brick Kitchen. I loved this cake so much, I’ve made my own adaptations and continued the unconventional trend of topping my cakes with fruit rather than frosting.

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This week’s cake gave week 8 a run for it’s money. Ok, ok week 8 still might be my favorite but this week’s rhubarb, candied-hazelnut and buckwheat cake was so so good.

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Week 18: Driscoll’s Strawberry Shortcake

I knew there would come a week in this project where I felt thoroughly unmotivated and unexcited about making cake. This week might have been one of those weeks.

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It’s not that I didn’t want to bake or spend time in the kitchen, it’s that I didn’t really want to bake cake. I found myself day dreaming about other types of projects, scones, biscotti, I even procrastinated the weekly task by spatchcocking a chicken (which I do not recommend unless you have a very very sharp kitchen knife and an iron stomach).

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Week 10: Pistachio Cake with Honey Apples

I’ve had boxed cake in the back of my mind for a while now. Before you start to question my cake-baking scruples, I want to point out that nowhere in the Sweet Sweet Love parameters does it state that I cannot phone a friend, aka dial up my girl Betty Crocker.

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If there was ever a week to make a box cake, this would have been it. I traveled to Michigan over the weekend and was welcomed back to Chicago with back to back booked weeknights. Not ideal for baking a cake, letting it cool and eagerly waiting for the perfect Saturday morning light to snap a few pictures. however, I didn’t want to give into cake mix just yet!

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Week 8: Plum, Pistachio & Lemon Cake

This weekend the air in Chicago turned sweet. Stepping outside on Friday afternoon, I took my first few breaths of the unseasonable weather, mildly unsure if the warmth I was feeling was true. After my second breath, I was convinced, spring is definitely coming.

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It’s interesting how as the seasons change our tastes begin to turn as well. We trade in cozy sweaters for swingy sun dresses and prefer morning runs over Netflix marathons. As the winter grays fade way to blue afternoons and pink sunsets, we start to crave foods that match our vernal surroundings–brighter, fresher, lighter.

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