Here it is, February 15th- the day when men in the USA collectively sigh with relief, thankful that they remembered to pick up the flowers or make the fancy dinner reservation. It is a day that, for me, is beginning with ice cream and deceit. I made this ice cream for my husband for his Valentine’s Day present, so I know it is wrong to be opening up the handwritten “happy Valentine’s Day love!” container and eating a few bites, but I simply cannot help it. This stuff is that good.
We have a Valentine’s Day tradition of experiences over gifts. Neither of us enjoys a big crowd in a restaurant on February 14th or the pressure of picking out a gift for one another, especially so close after Christmas. What we do enjoy is learning to rock climb and staying in the indoor climbing gym for hours challenging each other to “just try one more level up!”, and then celebrating our new skill with a big fat dinner that our exhausted bodied know we deserve. Or, hand gun shooting at a range where we learned that not only can I not wink, I cannot close one eye even if my life depended on it, and therefore I am a very undeadly weapon behind a gun.
This year we wanted to keep with that tradition but tone it down a little. It was my year to plan our adventure and I had in mind 2 step country dancing lessons, but Troy sniffed me out and convinced me that this year, all he really wanted was a relaxed, “creature of comfort” non-adventure. So that’s what we had- a chill dinner out at our favorite local Italian place, Olympic skeleton and downhill skiing watching, and this surprise treat for dessert.
Toy’s favorite dessert of all time is the Red Velvet Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, and a close second is Ben and Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream. This ice cream recipe attempts to combine the best of both worlds:
Waldorf Red Cheesecake Ice Cream
First, mix up your ice cream blend since it will need to be refrigerated for about 2 hours while you bake the cake.
Cheesecake Ice Cream base (adapted from Bless this Mess. Makes about 5 cups or 1 quart)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
supplies: ice cream maker (mine is Cuisinart, but they do not sponsor this post)and a container for storage. I saved a quart container from a recently finished Trader Joe’s ice cream and cleaned it and spruced it up and it worked perfectly.
How to do it:
1. In a medium bowl add the cream cheese, sugar, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer (or use a stand mixer) on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and the sour cream and beat for another minute.
3. Stir the milk into the cream cheese mixture until completely combined.
4. Cover and refrigerate for one to two hours, or overnight, until completely chilled. (If you do not have this much time it is okay since the mixture is at room temperature and not hot, just expect that it will take longer to freeze in your ice cream maker)
Next bake the Cake:
Waldorf Red Cake recipe (makes two 9 inch round layer cakes or about 24 cupcakes. I chose to do cupcakes since I knew I would end up crumbling them up for the ice cream)
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
2 tablespoons cocoa (heaping)
1 cup buttermilk (I accidentally misremembered and bought whipping cream at the store, so I used an old trick my Grandma Nancy showed me for her oatmeal cookie recipe that calls for buttermilk- you can sub in whipped cream with a few teaspoons of lemon juice added in)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
supplies: stand or hand held mixer, 2 small bowls and 2 large bowls, cake or cupcake tins, cupcake liners
How to do it:
1. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs in a mixer of medium high speed.
2. In a separate, small bowl make a paste of food coloring and cocoa.
3. Add the paste to the creamed mixture. Pretty!
4. Add buttermilk to the mixing bowl, alternating your pouring with the pre-sifted flour and salt.
5. Add vanilla, mix lightly.
6. In a third small bowl, add the baking soda to the vinegar, then gently blend this mix into the batter.
7. Pour into greased and floured 9″ cake pans lined in parchment, or into cupcake trays with liners.
8. For cakes, bake at 350°F for 24-30 minutes. For cupcakes, bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes.
To finish the ice cream:
1. Let the cupcakes cool and then tear them apart in a shallow pan.
2. After the ice cream has cooled for 2 hours, add the ice cream mixture to your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions.
3. At the very end, when the ice cream is already the thickness and consistency you are hoping for, drop the torn up cake into the open top of the bowl so it is stirred in completely.
4. Transfer ice cream into your container and freeze.