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It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Ice Cream Cake

 My wife, in the throes of a diet,  asked me in an unrelated question:

"What are we going to do for our 20th Wedding Anniversary?"

My reply?
"Eat ice cream cake."

Well, I'd had it with the calorie counting.

I said it flippantly, but it fired up everyone's imagination, and I was called upon to make one come the fateful day.

A first timer, I had to find out how one actually manufactures such a thing, having anxiety dreams the night before.  It was simple, but there are hazards.  So what did we learn?  Read on...

Well, the first thing is, it's going to be sweet.  Like, really sweet.  So if you can build it with a bit of bitterness (or grown up-ness) in it, good.

My sister makes an excellent one at Christmas, with dried fruit and a little brandy, but she warns: "Don't use too much brandy because it doesn't freeze.  Use maybe a teaspoon."

You can also use commercial ice cream, and bought cake.

It's all about the profile when you cut it.  So you need to make layers.

I would put this firmly in the category of "food construction" or assembly, as opposed to traditional notions of cooking.  This is not rocket surgery and quite akin to the construction of mud pies!!

You will need:


  • 1 * pudding bowl: about two litres capacity
  • 2 * 1 litre tubs of ice cream (you won't need it all) - choose different flavours.  I would suggest plain vanilla and coffee.
  • A bag of Maltesers or crunchy bits of your choice (I also used Peppermint Crisp for one of the layers, but this was a bridge too far- way too sweet)
  • Some kind of cakey sponge: experts use pannetone, some make their own sponge, I (for expediency) used cut up left over croissants which worked well.
  • Sprinkles; you know, those coloured sugar beads you can buy at the supermarket.

Pull the two tubs of ice cream out, and let sit for five-ten minutes.  Meanwhile, crush/cut your Maltesers up into large bits and cut your cakey substance into shapes that will fit the bowl.  Smoosh Maltesers into the plain vanilla.  Smoosh the coffee ice cream up so it's workable, perhaps with a swirl of chocolate topping.

Line the pudding bowl with three layers of cling wrap. In the pudding bowl, work in layers of ice cream, cake, the other flavour ice cream, more cake, etc until the bowl is full.  You might prefer to include chocolate topping between layers.

The trick, ya see, is getting the layers.  I chose to have ice cream as the first layer to make putting sprinkles on easier later.  Jamie Oliver, on the other hand, chooses to either make a sponge and roll the ice cream in it (tying with a tube with cling wrap) or having cake top and bottom.  But to each their own.

In my version, fold over left-over/hanging out cling wrap over the full bowl.  Some advise weighting the product - putting a plate on top with some cans, but "meh".  Refreeze - at least two hours in the freezer – before serving.

When time to serve, pull the bowl out of the freezer and allow to sit for five minutes before turning out onto a plate.  Use sprinkles to decorate and add a bit of glamour.  Cut in slices to reveal the sections, scoff off plates with a spoon and fork, then feel self loathing for the next three days at the number of calories you ate.  Serves 1-12.