Creative cooking: ice cream layer cake

“Which brings me to this—your work is going to suck if you haven’t been taking care of yourself. You need to build a life around your work, not the other way around.” Lauren Orsini

I stumbled upon an article on website Otaku Journalist today that struck a chord – a stark reminder that I need to look after myself. I don’t feel in the best shape for working on my novel so I’m giving myself permission to have a short break … even though, it pains me that I have two weeks’ holidays and I’ve spent the first week ignoring my WIP. And yet, my creative soul is still calling to me; it just needs a different form of expression.

Like making a cake. It’s Miss Attitude’s 15th birthday today. She wanted ice cream cake. Good choice considering it got to 42.9C here (109.22F) yesterday and right now it’s 36.8C (98.24F) with thunder bellowing overhead. Within an hours’ drive of here are major bushfires. Almost an entire small town has been wiped out (a friend of mine was evacuated at midnight with her three children, but her house is okay, so far). Since starting this post spot fires have broken out within 10km of here due to lightning, even though temperatures have eased a little.

With all this going on, and the crowds clamouring in my head, ice cream cake sounds pretty darn good.

I found these chocolate sandwich style biscuits at the supermarket. No, they are not bourbon flavoured. Shame. No, not really. The biscuits are layered in a tin lined with aluminium foil.

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Miss Attitude loves caramel, so I chose a caramel-choc-vanilla swirl ice-cream for the filling. I was going to have a separate vanilla layer but changed my mind.

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Top the biscuit layer with ice cream and smoosh down. Yes, smoosh. I found using (clean) fingers easiest and strangely therapeutic. Kind of like working with clay.

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Repeat the process as many times as your ingredients will allow! I have two layers of biscuit and ice cream.

Monkey (aged 18) crushed a bag of choc-honeycomb for the topping.

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We used the leftover biscuits and ice cream to make some smaller versions, topped with crushed biscuits.

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And here’s the finished product. Sweet, rich … and perfect for a summer birthday. I could only take the one photo because it was melting fast (even with the air-conditioning on).

The only thing I would change is to split the biscuits in half because they were hard to break through with a spoon. Next time!

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What I love about creating something like this is that it can change every time and be adapted to suit different dietary needs. Get some dairy free “ice cream”. Try with sorbet and layers of fruit. Make dairy-free, vegan “ice-cream” using a mix of frozen fruit and coconut cream (I made some of that last night with bananas and raspberry). Use gluten-free biscuits. Top with berries or other seasonal fruit; or top with a fudgy sauce. Whatever, however … just enjoy.