Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ice Cream Cake and Cupcakes

On a Monday morning I was contacted and asked to make an ice cream cake and 1 dozen cupcakes for a 6th Birthday party on that same Wednesday. [insert panic here]

I was so extremely nervous for two reasons. #1: I've never made an ice cream cake before and #2: I've never made a cake/baked good for anyone other than family or coworkers before.

Everything turned out fine. They were to pick up the order at about 4:00pm Wednesday. At 3:50 I slid the decorated cake back into the freezer to freeze a little more before they picked it up, at 4:02 my doorbell rang. Talk about finishing in the nick of time!

I googled countless ice cream cake recipes, watched an ice cream cake video on youtube and just went with my own plan of attack. I didn't follow a specific recipe, but I had the idea in my head. I event went to a local Dairy Queen to check out their cakes, prices and decorations.

Marble cake was the Birthday girls choice!
Ice Cream Cake
My original recipe

1 baked and cooled cake, flavor of your choice
96 oz of your favorite ice cream, softened (I used chocolate and vanilla)
2-3 sleeves of crushed up oreo cookies (I purchased the family size oreo box)
Hot Fudge sauce
Cool Whip or Homemade whipped topping
Buttercream frosting to decorate your cake with
9x13 disposable pans (regular cake pans would work fine, but I was giving this away and didn't want to give away my glass 9x13 pan)

Once my cake was baked and cooled, I knew I wanted to transfer it to a pan other than the pan it was baked in so I took it out and noticed that I needed to cut it down. I used my cake leveler to cut it in half lengthwise. I put the half that I was using in the disposable pan and set the half that I wasn't going to use aside. (I had intentions of making cake balls with it, but it really didn't end up to be that much so I just tossed it.)
Set your ice cream out now for about 5-10 minutes to let it soften up. You want it to be smooth and stirable but not soupy. Put a layer of ice cream on top of the cake. I did about 1/2 to 3/4 of my container of ice cream.

 Freeze for at least 1 hour (this is when I made the cupcakes for the same order)

 After the vanilla ice cream has refroze somewhat, I prepared the cooke fudge layer. I crushed up oreos and ccombined them with hot fudge sauce. I wouldn't recommend this again. The hot fudge got very thick and wouldn't spread as I was hoping it would. I revamped my plan and instead, I sprinkled the crushed oreos on the vanilla layer and drizzled some chocolate ice cream topping over the crushed cookies. I was very generous with both the oreos and the chocolate topping because I wanted them to be very noticeable in the cake in both presentation and taste.

I also sprinkled some Nerds candies on the fudge layer because I heard that the Birthday girl loves candy. Looking back, I should have sprinkled more nerds to create more of a layer rather than a sprinkling.

After you've taken the cake out after freezing it with the cookie fudge layer, you're ready for the final ice cream layer. In this case, chocolate. I tried to go a little heavier with the chocolate ice cream because that was a request from the chocolate lovin' Birthday girl.

At this point, it was about 10pm at night and I was ready for bed. After I had spread the chocolate layer on, I popped it in the freezer and froze it overnight and all day while I was at work the next day.
On Wednesday when I got home from work, I quickly frosted the top with my cool whip, added a few decorations/writing in Buttercream frosting and sprinkled more nerds on top. I can't believe I don't have a picture of the final cake uploaded yet. I'll upload that and edit this post soon.

It was a lot of fun to make and I'm glad to have had the experience. I was so relieved when the Mom of the Birthday girl text me and gave me rave reviews. Her Daughter loved the cake, they all loved the cake!

Whew! Ice cream cake = success.

Here are a few picture of the cupcakes. Both the ice cream cake layer and the cupcakes were box mixes-Duncan Hines marble. Easy & tasty!


White Buttercream Frosting
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything
Review: I really loved this frosting. I'm not a fan of usual buttercreams and tend to go with the whipped toppings but this was really tasty. It wasn't too sweet or thick. It was so easy to make and light to work with too. It was a very smooth frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Source: Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' Chocolate Frosting
Review: I was sort of 'meh' on this recipe. I realized that I didn't follow the steps exactly though. It says to alternately add the powdered sugar and milk and without realizing I added all of the milk and then added the powdered sugar. The frosting had a little of a gritty taste to it which could be in part to my error. I'll definitely make this again and make sure to follow the instructions. My Husband who is a chocolate frosting lover, really liked the frosting but also commented on the gritty texture.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baby Back Ribs

I don't know about you but I'm definitely a meat girl. Not so much meat and potatoes, but I definitely enjoy having meat. Steak, ribs, burgers... I enjoy them all. I remember when Matt and I first started dating, we went to dinner at Applebee's one night before a movie and they had some sort of ribs as a special. I ordered it and it was very tasty. Matt later told me that he was shocked that I ordered ribs. He may deny it but I bet that's when he knew he wanted to marry me. ;-)

We don't have ribs too often, but when they're on sale at the grocery store, we'll buy a rack. They're a very tasty and often simple to prepare meal. We usually have a salad with our ribs or a lighter side. If we feel like splurging a little, we'll have some mashed potatoes or a baked potato.

This recipe is all Matt's creation. He's usually the cook when we have ribs. Up until now, his best recipe was the steamed ribs he did on the gas grill.

Baby Back Ribs
Amy's Matt's Kitchen Creations original recipe

1 rack of ribs (peel the skin off the backside of the ribs)
1 cup of brown sugar
1-2 Tablespoons of Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt*
1-2 Tablespoons of Tastefully Simple Everyday Grilling Seasoning*
2 Tablespoons of Tastefully Simple Awesome American BBQ Sauce

After you've removed the skin off the backside of the ribs, rub 1/2 cup of brown sugar on each side of the ribs. Let sit in the refrigerator for 40 minutes while you prepare your charcoal grill. (a gas grill would work too, but honestly, these ribs were the most tender, flavorful ribs we've ever had)

Just before placing on the grill, season both sides with the Tastefully Simple seasonings. *Matt wasn't sure exactly how much he used, he just sprinkled the seasonings on. Use your own judgement.

Grill for about an hour and a half rotating every so often. At the one hour mark, spread the BBQ sauce over the ribs. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Let rest slightly before enjoying!