Everyone knows that some weekends are better than others - but every once in a while, you find yourself having a particularly rough one. That's what this past weekend was like for me.
On Friday, we celebrated my mom's birthday. I know this may seem confusing, because birthday's are usually a happy event (mainly because it includes cake), but when someone is sick, milestone's like this are recalibrated. It's nobody's fault, and being sick does not mean that you should avoid or ignore special occasions, it just means that these events take on a little different meaning.
No one wants to talk about it, but you know everyone is thinking the same thing - Is this going to be the last one? Of course you try to stay in the moment, and enjoy the now - but, that is easier said than done. Your mind just kind of wanders off into this dark place, and once it is there, it is pretty hard to get out.
I did find that eating two large pieces of cake was tremendously helpful though. It forced me to focus on the major stomach ache I was having rather than the unknown "what if"' of the future. So there is that.
Apparently I didn't think i was emotionally exhausted enough, because then I decided it would be a good idea to go see the movie, Me Earl and the Dying Girl. If you can't tell by the title - this movie is sad. It is a very good movie - one of the best I have seen in a while - but by the end of it, I was straight up weeping (in a public theater), and everyone around me knew it.
So, after such an emotionally draining weekend, I thought an Ice Cream Cake was the perfect way to turn things around. Because let's be honest, what is better than the combination of cake and ice cream? That's right, nothing. And with July being National Ice Cream Month and all...it just felt right.
Layers of rich chocolate cake are stacked between some delectable no churn blackberry chocolate chunk ice cream, and then topped off with an impressive chocolate ganache. This cake is a show stopper, and the perfect end to any summer meal. And the best part is - you don't even need an ice cream maker!
Blackberry Blackout Ice Cream Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Blackberry Ice Cream
- 2 pints of blackberries (plus more fore decorating)
- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (chilled)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 oz. chocolate chunks (plus more for decorating)
*recipe adapted from how
- 4 oz. dark chocolate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
for the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease three 9-inch round baking pans.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.
for the ice cream:
- In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blend blackberries until pureed. Add 1 tablespoon of water and blend a little bit more.
- Add the puree to the condensed milk mixture and mix until combined.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream on medium/high until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the blackberry/milk mixture and mix until combined (1 -2 minutes).
- Add chocolate chunks.
- Line two 9" pans with parchment. Divide ice cream mixture between two pans and freeze overnight.
for the ganache:
- In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and butter.
- On low heat, mix chocolate and butter together until completely melted and combined.
- Once cakes are cooled, place one layer onto a cake plate.
- Remove ice cream from pan and place it on top of the chocolate cake layer.
- Repeat with remaining cake and ice cream layers.
- Allow the ice cream to melt a little, and then use an offset spatula to spread it over the exposed cake layers.
- Put cake back in the freezer for at least an hour.
- Once the ice cream has become firm again, take the cake out and pour chocolate ganache all over the top of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread ganache evenly on the top of the cake, and let some spill over onto the sides.
- Add blackberries and chocolate shavings to the top.
- Keep in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
*Extra Tip - Before I stack the cakes, I use a serrated knife to cut off the top (or domed part) of each layer. You can see how to do this in the beginning of this video.