My oldest sons turned 4 and 6 this month. Their birthdays are 8 days apart, so our household was a flurry of preparations and parties. Everything went off without a hitch, and now I'm eager to share with you some of my birthday kitchen adventures!
Ice cream is really not all that hard to make, and you don't necessarily need a machine. I used this method posted by The Kitchn quite successfully in my pre-ice-cream-maker days (and here are some more ways you can try). However, with the number of steps involved in this recipe, I completely understand if you want to use your favourite store-bought ice cream. It would make the whole thing a lot simpler. Just let your ice cream soften for about 10 minutes or so before scooping it into the cake pan.
When you make your own ice cream you realize how much cream and fat goes into it. I promise a healthier (and simpler) recipe next time!
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Cups
1 1/4 chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine cookie crumbs and butter, then press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.
Peanut Butter Cups
From Fifteen Spatulas
16 oz chocolate (I used milk chocolate)
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp icing sugar
Line a mini-muffin tin with small paper cupcake liners (or use large ones if that's all you have). Melt the chocolate on low in a heavy saucepan. Remove from heat before when small chunks remain, and continue stirring until they have melted as well. Distribute half the melted chocolate into 12-18 muffin cups, barely filling the bottom of the cup. To get the chocolate to lie flat, tap the pan on the counter. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, butter, and icing sugar together until mixed and light. Taste it to make sure it is sweetened to your liking. Remove pan from freezer and place small tablespoons of peanut butter into each cup, tapping on the counter to flatten it out. Freeze again for 15 minutes.
Portion the last bit of chocolate into each muffin cup and flatten, as before. Place in the freezer for an additional 15 minutes to set the top layer. Keep the peanut butter cups in the freezer for ease of chopping for the cake.
Chocolate Ice Cream Custard
From Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker Instruction Booklet
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Combine cream, milk, and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until mixture almost boils and chocolate is melted, about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile beat yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl until light yellow and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons of warm cream/chocolate mixture and stir until combines. Gradually add egg yolk mixture to warm cream/chocolate mixture, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon. Cool completely (ideally in fridge overnight)
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Base
1 cup good quality peanut butter (natural or regular)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the peanut butter sugar and salt until smooth. Add the milk and mix on low speed until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight. Whisk mixture together again before pouring into the ice cream maker.
from Chew Out Loud
3 oz semi sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
6-7 TB brown sugar
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TB regular salted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
small pinch kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in small, heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it reaches a boil, immediately reduce to simmer. Taste for sweetness and add brown sugar as needed. Simmer and whisk for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to warm or lukewarm before serving. Keeps well in sealed container in fridge.
If your sauce comes out grainy, do not despair. Let it cool completely in the fridge, then reheat it over low heat. It will become smooth and glossy.
Assembling the cake (1-2 nights* before)
1. Prepare chocolate wafer crust and freeze springform pan.
2. Prepare chocolate peanut butter cups and freeze
3. Prepare custard for chocolate ice cream and cream/peanut butter mixture for peanut butter ice cream. Chill in fridge overnight.
4. In the morning, churn chocolate ice cream for 20-30 minutes. Pour into prepared springform pan, flatten with a spatula, cover surface of ice cream with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid (1 hour or until the next day if you need to freeze your mixing bowl for the next batch).
5. Before churning peanut butter ice cream, chop up half the peanut butter cups and sprinkle them over the chocolate layer in the pan. Return to freezer.
6. Churn peanut butter ice cream for 30-40 minutes. Spread peanut butter ice cream in an even layer over chocolate peanut butter cups. Cover surface of ice cream with plastic wrap and return to the freezer for 1 hour minimum.
7. Prepare fudge sauce and chop remaining peanut butter cups.
8. Before serving make sure you take the cake out of the freezer a good 10 minutes in advance. You have a choice how you want to serve the cake. I cut it first, then topped it with a sprinkle of thawed peanut butter cups and fudge sauce. You can also add the PB cups and fudge sauce before you cut it for a more artistic look (I didn't want the fudge sauce or upper PB cups to be hard and frozen, which is why I served them with each individual slice).
*1 night if you have two mixing bowls for your ice cream maker, 2 nights if you only have one