Sometimes life can get boring when you get caught in the same every day routine, other times a lot of things happen within short periods, making you feel like a totally different person from a week to another.
Although I was away from my everyday routine for three weeks, wandering along the shores of Sicily, sipping Limoncello, eating Pasta alla Norma and turning 37 at some point in between, I don’t feel like a different person. Even though I can’t really express it in words, especially not right after they occurred, I am aware that each of my experiences, wanderings and little things that happen daily change and shape me, and their outcome pops up when I expect it less.
Now, about this ice-cream cake. It actually illustrates the same idea – our unconscious mind piles up things you think they’re long forgotten, but they actually how up when you less expect them. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Tieghan’s amazing ice-cream sandwiches and fell in love with her idea of peanut butter and date cookies.
But it was only a couple of months later, when I was thinking of an ice-cream cake for my birthday, when the idea popped up again. I’ve changed the recipe a bit, as I wanted something firmer to support the ice-cream filling in a cake that’s larger than a bite-size sandwich.
The result was a moist but firm cake sheet, without any refined sugar and light enough to match a summer dessert. It freezes perfectly and with its chocolatey color and taste, it can replace any classic brownie extravaganza. For the ice-cream layers I used unrefined ingredients because I wanted to stay away from too much sugar and unhealthy fats.
It’s actually a pretty simple nice-cream, with sweetness from bananas and creaminess from peanut butter and coconut milk. The ganache is also very simple – just melted vegan chocolate, whisked with coconut milk. I took the photos while it was still liquid, but it froze lovely.
For more summer deliciousness make sure to also check out my Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Salted Pecans or the Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge Bars – they’re a real treat! Plus, in a hot summer afternoon these Mango Ice Cream Pops are guaranteed to chase the heat away 🙂
- For a 6" diameter cake tin
- For the nice-cream
- 3 bananas, cut into slices and frozen
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- ½ cup almond milk
- For the brownie
- 1 cup dried pitted dates, soaked into water for at least two hours
- 2 organic eggs
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 3 oz melted dark chocolate
- ½ tbsp raw cacao powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- For the chocolate ganache
- 8 oz dark chocolate
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Start with the nice cream - add the bananas and peanut butter into the food processor and pulse to obtain a chunky mixture.
- Add the almond milk and process to obtain a smooth mixture.
- Scoop the mixture into a casserole and add into the freezer.
- To make the brownie layer, drain the dates and add them into the food processor with the peanut butter and eggs.
- Pulse to obtain a cream, then add the almond meal, cacao powder, baking soda, vinegar and melted chocolate, and pulse to incorporate.
- Divide the batter onto the lined baking sheet, making three round 6" diameter and about 0.4" thin sheets.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer.
- Add a brownie cake layer on the bottom a 6" diameter cake tin.
- Scoop a layer of ice cream, and continue the same, closing the cake with a brownie layer.
- Cover with plastic foil and freeze for two hours.
- Melt the chocolate over bain-marie and mix with coconut milk to obtain a smooth chocolate ganache.
- Remove the cake from the freezer, cover with ganache, cut into slices and serve.