Neapolitan "Ice Cream" Cake

Neapolitan "Ice Cream" Cake

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 8

A riff on our favourite old-fashioned ice cream, Neapolitan ice cream, this spectacular frozen cake is made from layers of chocolate cake filled with rich chocolate ganache and homemade strawberry and vanilla “ice cream.” Once frozen, the cake is frosted with fluffy whipped cream, then topped with more of the ganache. An ice cream cone covered in sprinkles is a playful way to top it all off.

INGREDIENTS:

For the chocolate cake:

  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) canola oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 oz. (90 g) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder

For the ganache filling and topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) heavy cream
  • 11 oz. (340 g) dark chocolate

For the strawberry layer:

  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. whole milk
  • 1 drop red food colouring
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (1 oz./25 g) freeze-dried strawberries

For the vanilla layer:

  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, seeds reserved
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream

For the whipped cream icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz./95 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the decorating:

  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ice cream cone
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

  • To make the cake, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then grease the parchment.
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, buttermilk, oil and vanilla on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add the flour mixture and beat until combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the melted chocolate and espresso powder and beat until combined. Raise the speed to high and beat for 20 seconds.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Remove the outer ring of the springform pan and set aside.
  • To make the ganache filling, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) of the cream to a boil. Place 5 oz. (155 g) of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk to combine. Let cool completely.
  • To make the strawberry layer, in the clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the clean paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until combined. Add the milk and food colouring and beat for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and wash and dry the mixer bowl.
  • Pour the cream into the mixer bowl, fit the mixer with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the strawberries. Set aside.
  • To make the vanilla layer, in the clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the clean paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until combined. Add the milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat for 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and wash and dry the mixer bowl. Pour the cream into the mixer bowl, fit the mixer with the clean whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.
  • To assemble the cake, line the sides of the springform pan with parchment paper so that the parchment extends about 4 inches (10 cm) above the top of the pan. Using a large serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally. Place one half in the pan. Spread half of the ganache evenly over the cake, then spread the strawberry filling over the top. Place the second half of the cake and spread with the remaining ganache, then spread the vanilla filling evenly on top. Freeze for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  • Remove the cake from the pan and remove the parchment. Place the cake on a cake stand or serving plate.
  • To make the whipped cream icing, in the clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment, beat together the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Spread the whipped cream over the cake. Freeze until ready to serve, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  • Just before serving, make the ganache topping: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the remaining 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) cream to a boil. Place the remaining 6 oz. (185 g) chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk to combine. Let cool slightly. Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the ganache over the top, allowing some of it to drip over the sides. This will happen quickly since the cake is frozen. Scoop vanilla ice cream into the cone and cover with sprinkles. Place it upside down on top of the cake, holding it for a few seconds until it stays. Decorate the top of the cake with sprinkles. The cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for up to 1 week. Serves 16 to 20.
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