Ice cream and chocolate cake—one of the dessert world's ideal combinations. To pair chocolate cake and frosting with ice cream, there should be a good proportion of cake to frosting, and the frosting must be dark and fudgelike. This two-inch-high square cake slathered with dark fudge frosting fits the bill.
Prepare the Fudge Frosting
1. Put the butter, granulated sugar, and half-and-half in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Small bubbles will form around the edge of the pan. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate and stir the mixture until it is smooth and all of the chocolate is melted. Return the saucepan to low heat for 1 minute, if necessary, to melt the chocolate completely.
2. Pour the chocolate mixture into the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and dissolved coffee and mix on low speed just to incorporate the powdered sugar. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the mixture and refrigerate until it is cool to the touch, about 35 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the mixture cools throughout. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.
3. Beat the cooled chocolate mixture on medium-high for 1 minute, or until the frosting is creamy and lightens slightly in color. Use a thin metal spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the cake. Run the rounded tip of the spatula across the top of the frosting, in one direction, to form a ridged pattern on the frosting. Slide the cake onto a serving plate or piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces, 1/4 to 1/2 inch, so it melts evenly in the hot mixture.
When the powdered sugar is mixed with the warm chocolate mixture, it melts the powdered sugar slightly and produces a frosting with a smooth texture.
If you have a frozen 9-inch square cake in the freezer, you can spread the frosting over the frozen cake.
The fudge frosting will be the same dark, rich chocolate color as the cake.
Doubling The Recipe
Use two cakes and double the remaining ingredients.
Freeze the cake uncovered, until the frosting is firm. Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap. Gently press heavy aluminum foil around the cake. Label with date and contents. Freeze up to 1 month.
Defrost the wrapped cake in the refrigerator overnight. Unwrap the cake and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream. Coffee or vanilla are good choices. Leftover cake can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days.
Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts
by Elinor Klivans
Broadway Books, $27.50
306 pages; 1997
Reprinted by permission.
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