Kookie's Chocolate Stout ice cream cake
Total time: 8 hours
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min (approximately)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup stout beer
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup unflavored oil
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened (or use vegan ice cream)
450g couverture dark chocolate, chopped
450g whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream, just make sure it's unsweetened)
1 tbsp butter (or vegan butter)
Grease and line two 6" baking tins and set aside. Line a third 6" baking tin with cling wrap with some hanging over the side.
Put softened ice cream in a cling wrap-lined tin and level with a spoon or spatula. Make sure the ice cream goes all the way into edges of the pan and is level on top. Cover with the overhanging wrap and place in the freezer to firm up.
Preheat oven to 350F/ 177C.
Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the beer, water, vanilla, vinegar and oil.
Slowly fold in the sifted dry flour mixture until combined.
Divide batter into the 2 prepared tins and bake in prepared oven for 25-30 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Once cooled (30-45 minutes), cover, and place in the freezer to freeze at least 2-3 hours, or until the cake can be sandwiched without melting the ice cream.
Prepare the ganache: place chopped chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe plastic bowl and heat for 45 seconds. Remove and stir. If the chocolate needs further melting, place in the microwave for additional 30 second bursts, stirring well between heating. Stop heating when about 90-95% of the chocolate has melted. Add butter, stir and set the ganache aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the cake and ice cream disk are frozen, unwrap and stack them on a cake board sandwiching the ice cream between the cake layers. Cake board (or cardboard covered in aluminum foil) should be about 1/8-1/4" smaller than the cake so it doesn't stick out. Make sure to align the layers properly so the cake stands up straight and the sides are flush. Trim, if required. Return the stacked cake to the freezer for another 30 minutes, until firm.
Check and stir the ganache. At this point, it should be at room temperature but still liquid and pourable. If it's thickened too much, place the bowl in a warm water bath on the counter, allowing it to melt a bit. Keep stirring until you get the desired consistency.
Place a cooling rack over a clean baking tray with sides. Take cake from the freezer and place on a rack.
Pour the ganache over the cake allowing it to drip down and cover the sides. Make sure all of the cake is covered. Allow excess chocolate to drip off. Lift the cake with the cake board and place on the serving plate and return to the freezer.
Collect the runoff ganache into a bowl and place in refrigerator for a few minutes to cool and set, but not hard. Whip the ganache to piping consistency and place in a piping bag with a star tip.
Take cake from the freezer and pipe tall stars around the top of the cake to decorate. You can add sprinkles or other decorations, if you want. Return your cake to the freezer to set up. Remove the cake from the freezer 30-35 minutes (less if you're in a hot place) before you are ready to serve.
Do not reheat ganache in the microwave because you run the risk of scorching/splitting it. Water bath is a much gentler method. Also, make sure to not allow any water to spill into the ganache or it will seize.
The freezing and thawing times will depend upon your freezer and ambient temperature.