Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour

2 cups granulated sugar

½ cup oil

1 stick butter

1 cup water

4 tablespoons cocoa powder, like Hersheys Special Dark

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

Coffee Ice Cream

2 cups half and half

2 cups heavy cream, divided

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons espresso powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

10 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate morsels

1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half


Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare the baking sheet.  Coat a half-sheet pan with cooking spray and line with parchment.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour and sugar. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the oil, butter, water, and cocoa powder, stirring to incorporate.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour and sugar mixture and stir to combine.  Add the buttermilk, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Add the eggs and mix well to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool.

Coffee Ice Cream

In a medium saucepan placed over medium heat, combine the half-and-half and 1 ½ cups heavy cream. Add the sugar, espresso powder, and salt, and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

While the cream mixture heats, add the egg yolks to the remaining ½ cup heavy cream, whisking to combine. When the cream is hot, slowly ladle some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. This tempers the eggs so they don’t scramble when added to the hot cream.

Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot cream mixture while whisking. Cook over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, being careful not to boil the cream mixture.

Strain the mixture into a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly on top of the cream mixture. Refrigerate until completely chilled.

Transfer to an ice cream machine and churn until the mixture is the consistency of soft serve. This takes approx. 45 minutes in my machine. Transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm but still spreadable, approx. 1-2 hours.

See also  Winning Soft Chocolate Chip

Assembling Ice Cream Cake

Once the cake is cooled, flip the cake out onto a cutting board.  Cut three pieces of cake, approx 4″ x 8″ to fit in a loaf pan.  Transfer the cut cake pieces back to the sheet pan and place in the freezer until firm.

Line a 4″ x 8″ loaf pan with plastic wrap.  Place one piece of cake in the bottom of the pan.  Cover with ice cream in a layer ¾ – 1 inch thick.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ice cream is firm, at least one hour.

Remove pan from freezer and top with the second piece of cake and another layer of ice cream.  Cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer until firm.

For the ganache, add the chocolate morsels to a heat-proof bowl.  In a saucepan, heat cream or half-and-half until hot but not boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let sit for 60 seconds.  Stir until chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let cool until thickened but still pourable.  Approx one hour.

Place a rack on a sheet pan and spray with cooking spray.  Remove the third piece of cake and the loaf pan from the freezer.  Place the last piece of cake on the rack.  (This piece of cake will become the bottom of the cake.)  Invert the loaf pan on top of the piece of cake and remove pan and plastic wrap.  Pour the ganache evenly over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides to coat.  The ganache will start thickening quickly from the cold cake.  Transfer the sheet pan to the freezer to allow the ganache to firm up.  The ganache will not freeze rock-hard, so it is easy to slice the cake right out of the freezer.

Slice and enjoy.  Wrap leftover cake in plastic to store for a few days.

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