I’m just going to start out this post by saying that there is nothing moderate, healthy, or balanced about this recipe…it is 100% decadent, excessive, rich, and over-the-top. However, we made this cake for my birthday last week and birthdays are a free pass to eat crazy multi-tiered ice cream cakes, right? Just describing all the layers and components takes about 10 minutes and ends with a little drool on my chin. It also took Nathan and I numerous conversations and intense debate to finally settle on what we felt would be the final combination of textures and flavors.
From top to bottom the layers are:
- Mini Reeses Cups, Chocolate and Caramel Syrup
- Peanut Butter Icing
- Caramel Ice Cream
- Fudge Brownie
- Crumbled Pretzels
- Peanut Butter Icing
- Caramel Ice Cream
- Fudge Brownies
I will confess that making this cake made me have a mini meltdown. We were bringing the cake to a dinner party with some of our neighbors and didn’t allow enough time for the cake to fully freeze and set. We went to cut the cake before the party started in order to take pictures for the blog and the cake started oozing and and spurting caramel ice cream out the side. Insert Katryn freaking out here. Nathan remained calm and told me that if we just put it back in the freezer and then cleaned it up a bit before bringing it to our dinner party it would be fine. Insert Katryn continuing to freak out. Well, guess what? Nathan was right (as usual) and we brought a nice looking cake to the dinner party that everyone loved.
This cake is time consuming and a little ridiculous but for a special occasion it’s totally worth it! Especially for someone who loves ice cream as much as I do.
There’s only one thing that could make this cake even MORE decadent and that is wine. I chose a wine that had chocolate, vanilla, and spice undertones and it was pretty much heaven. The wine wasn’t overly sweet so it balanced the sweetness of the cake while adding welcome fruity and juicy notes that were absent in the cake. Very good pairing!
When I was thinking about what kind of beer that I wanted to pair with this crazy cake I knew that I would most likely need to go with a darker beer with roasted, chocolate, or coffee characteristics to compliment the rich flavors of the cake. My first inclination was towards an imperial stout but decided that with all of the super rich flavors of the cake that a nice light beer to wash it down would be far better. This black lager drinks has biscuity and malty aromas with slight acidity from hops and has flavors of roasted and smoked malt with an almost peat-like flavor. The nice carbonation level, light body, and slight hop character of the beer make it super easy-drinking and washes down a rich dessert like our cake really well!
Brownie, Caramel, and Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake:
Double Batch of fudge brownies
1 batch of salted caramel ice cream (recipe below)
1 batch of fluffy peanut butter frosting (recipe below)
About ½ cup coarsely crushed Pretzels
1 20 oz bottle chocolate sundae syrup
1 20 oz bottle caramel sundae syrup
1 8 oz. bag Reese’s minis
1. Make brownie dough according fudge brownie recipe.
2. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper to allow for easy removal. Bake brownies for 25 minutes as stated in original recipe.
3. When brownies are done baking, transfer to wire racks and allow to completely cool.
1. Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap leaving plenty of plastic wrap hanging over the side of the pan. This is how you will pull the cake out of the pan. Line the sides of the pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper should stick up above the top edge of the pan, since the cake will be taller than your pan.
2. Put the first brownie layer in the bottom of your pan. It should be surrounded by the parchment paper.
3. Working quickly, spread ½ of the caramel ice cream over the brownie. Top with ½ of the peanut butter frosting. Sprinkle the crushed pretzels over the frosting.
4. Add second brownie to the pan, on top of the frosting and pretzels.
5. Again, cover the brownie with the other ½ of the caramel ice cream and then the other ½ of the frosting.
6. Allow ice cream cake to freeze completely.
7. When frozen, firmly grab the plastic wrap that is hanging over the sides of the pan and lift the cake out of the pan and onto a plate. Slide plastic wrap out from underneath the pan and remove parchment paper.
8. Sprinkle the mini Reese’s over the cake. Top with plenty of caramel sauce and chocolate sauce, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.
Follow this link to go to Katryn’s family’s fudge brownie recipe.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream:
Based on this recipe.
1 cup sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
an ice cream maker
1. Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
2. Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, bring milk and the remaining cup of cream just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
4. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil).
5. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.
Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting:
Based on this recipe.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer.
2. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable.
3. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.