There is a lot one can do for a birthday in lockdown, but a month before my father’s, he started whining about wanting a particular kind of ice cream cake he saw in an advert. Every morning he would wake up and say let’s go out to buy it and each time his idea would be rejected. While eating outside food should be fine and has been deemed safe by most authority boards with precautionary measures, my home is going the extra mile with caution for the sake of our little one.
So, when his birthday came around, my dad got very excited thinking, this was his chance. If you remember from last year, I baked him a gorgeous pistachio + saffron cake with over a kilo of expensive pistachios ground down, but he ignored it for a fluorescent hued cassata cake that even had a layer of synthetic bubblegum flavour ice cream!
This year, I chose to be wise and not spend extravagantly on pistachios or any other expensive nuts or saffron. I got my very dear friend and fabulous baker Sinful Bites by Anuja to make artisanal ice cream at home in vanilla bean, Belgian chocolate and coffee – my three fav flavours and then bake a chocolate cake and assemble it for him.
I made my vegan chocolate cake – which is literally a one-bowl chocolate cake if you plan well, and less than 5-minute batter if you plan even better. How does one do that? Put the coffee in the fridge first thing sometime in the morning or night before to cool completely. In a large bowl measure out the dry ingredients the same time you make the coffee and put away until ready to whisk. Then all you gotta do at the time of baking is first switch on the oven, prepare the tin and measure out the wet ingredients and start whisking.
Anyways, I made the chocolate cake in a loaf tin and baked it for 3 more minutes than required. Then allowed the cake to cool completely on a rack. Then wrap the whole cake with cling film and placed in the fridge for a good few hours.
Then when ready to assemble, take the same loaf tin and prepare with more cling film all around, and leave out enough hanging to cover the top with. Slice the cake into two, lengthwise and place lower portion into the tin. Then slice out your ice cream flavours, and arrange layers, smoothening out each layer before putting up the next. Cover the final layer of ice cream with the top part of the cake, gently push down to fasten and then wrap with the cling film.
While this is incredibly simple and easy-peasy, it is a slight bit messy, and very very cold! So start with a calm state of mind and hell of a lot of patience. And rest assured, that the results will be delicious!