Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ice Cream Cake (on steroids)

Ahhh...summer!  While the end of June and beginning of July brought Santa Barbara our typical "June gloom" weather, overcast days with the sun sometimes peaking out in the afternoon, we have finally had a little warmth this past week.  And, of course, with the warm weather comes the hankering for some cold treats!  Fortunately for us, this month's challenge for the Daring Bakers involved ice cream :)

The July 2010 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita's world - life and food.  Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that's then used to make a bombe with hot fudge.  Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

I was excited and not too daunted by this task, as I have made all of the components of this cake before, but just had never put it all together in this form.  My imagination for flavor combinations went wild, and I decided to go with a "mud pie" theme using a delicious coffee ice cream recipe from Gina DePalma's "Dolce Italiano" cookbook.  

The swiss roll was made up of a chocolate sponge cake recipe that I pulled from Emily Luchetti's "Stars" cookbook and filled/rolled it with a caramel cream, simply heavy cream whipped with a cold homemade caramel until thick.  I then sliced the swiss roll into rounds that were placed in a bowl to create the outside of the ice cream bombe cake, like so...

I then softened the coffee ice cream, made with Peet's coffee, of course, and spread it inside the swiss roll.  After the ice cream froze again, I spread a homemade fudge on top.  But, this is where things started to go awry!  You see, it is important to have completely frozen layers before adding the next one, and my layers were just not freezing fast enough to have the whole thing ready for our party that evening.  

The coffee ice cream started melting again, so I ran to the freezer to hopefully save the whole thing from turning into soup!  Meanwhile, back at the ice cream maker, I attempted to make a beautiful stracciatella ice cream with a vanilla ice cream base and light flaky chocolate sprinkled throughout.  However, the ice cream went from hard chocolate chunks to a chocolate ice cream!  So, the base layer became chocolate ice cream.  Not the worst thing in the world.  

In order to create the "mud pie" effect, I made chocolate shortbread cookies from Thomas Keller's "ad hoc home" cookbook, and crumbed them on the chocolate ice cream.

I then prayed that it would all come together and freeze like it was supposed to!  So here is what it looked like from the outside...

And here is what happened on the inside...
Unfortunately the fudge never really set and the "chocolate" ice cream was fairly soft and a little icy, but overall, it was enjoyed by all our friends.  Here's a slice...

The original recipe can be found here.  I hope you enjoy your summer and stay nice and cool!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

She's got the moves...

Happy Belated 4th of July!  We had a great weekend with the Crandalls, who came to visit.  Between the girls and Nicole, we had plenty of babysitters to love on Lily.  Let's just say she was a little spoiled!  

Lily is really starting to take off now, and she is not shy about showing off her newfound moves!   Here she is dancing to a toy our friends gave her:

 (I'm not sure how to rotate the video, so if any of you know how to do this, please let me know!)

She is also starting to get more brave with taking steps.  As you can see from the videos, she understands the words "dancing" and "walking."  With a little encouragement, she takes more and more steps every day.  Today the record was 14 steps, which equates to about a distance of 2 feet (hey, she has small little feet!).  I was able to capture her taking a few steps in this video: