Clamps and I have birthdays in early December, and this year we held a joint celebration - first at the Cornish Arms to honour his love of beer and deep-frying, then back to Casa sin carne for my kind of icecream. There was vodka-spiked cherry sorbet, my best batch of Vietnamese coffee icecream yet, and a little leftover rhubarb & strawberry sorbet. The centrepiece was a next-generation frozen chocolate crunch.
This icecream cake is an old family favourite that I've written about before, but it needs stripping of dairy and gluten to suit my circle of friends. I used Leda gingernut cookies in the crumble, Orgran egg replacer in the chocolate layer, and So Good vanilla icecream for the centre - all convenience foods in the spirit of the original recipe.
This cake was different to its forebear, with a noticeably darker, denser chocolate strip and a subtle ginger accent. It was wonderful in its own right. It might even earn the storied status among my mates that the original recipe holds with my family.
Next-gen frozen chocolate crunch
(adapted from a family recipe)
85g vegan, gluten-free biscuits
85g slivered almonds
1L soy vanilla icecream
170g dark chocolate
2 teaspoons powdered egg replacer
2/3 cup icing sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
Place the biscuits between two pieces of baking paper and crush them coarsely with a rolling pin. Spread the almonds out over a small baking tray and toast them under a grill, keeping a careful eye on them and tossing them regularly to prevent burning. When the almonds are lightly golden, retrieve them and stir through the biscuit crumbs. Set the mixture aside.
Remove the icecream from the freezer and set it at room temperature to soften.
Gently melt the chocolate in a saucepan, set over a second saucepan of boiling water. Set it aside to cool a little. In a mug, stir together the powdered egg replacer and water until smooth.
In a medium bowl, beat the margarine until fluffy. Beat in the icing sugar. Pour the egg replacer into the bowl of margarine and follow with the vanilla and coffee liqueur, beating everything together thoroughly. Finally, beat in the melted chocolate until smooth.
Line a springform cake tin with foil or baking paper. Sprinkle half of the biscuit-almond mixture across the base. Gently pour in half of the chocolate mixture and spread it evenly over the crumble. Spoon the softened icecream over the chocolate layer and even up the top. Spread over the remaining chocolate and finally the last of the crumble. Cover the cake tin with foil and freeze the cake for at least four hours, preferably overnight. Slice into small wedges to serve.