This mint chocolate ice-cream cake really has the wow-factor! It's colourful, fun and the made using everyone's favourite flavour combination: chocolate and mint! This is the perfect cake for a birthday party - whether you're baking for children or a grown-up party, everyone will love it! The freshness of the mint works really well with the richness of the chocolate cake, and you have the different textures of the ice cream and the spongey cake with the creamy layers in between. There are a few steps to this cake, but don't let that put you off, it's surprisingly easy to make, just make sure you're patient waiting for the cake to cool because a hot cake and frozen ice cream don't mix well!
For the cake
- 250g plain flour
- 450g caster sugar
- 100g cocoa powder
- 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2tsp salt
- 250ml buttermilk (cultured), or 220ml milk, plus 1tbsp lemon juice
- 120g butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 250ml coffee (or water)
- A 20cm tin
- butter, for greasing
For the buttercream
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 600g icing sugar
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 1–2 tsp milk
- Green gel food colouring
- 25g dark chocolate,chopped into very small cubes
For the 'ice cream'
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 ice-cream cone
- Sprinkles, to decorate
For the drizzle
- 125g dark chocolate, chopped
- 75g butter
- You will also need three 18cm round tins and an electric hand-held whisk.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 then grease three 18cm tins and line with baking parchment.
- For the cake, Put the plain flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- If you don't have buttermilk, pour the milk into a large jug and add the lemon juice. Leave to stand for five minutes until thickened.
- Whisk the buttermilk/acidified milk and eggs into the melted butter followed by the coffee or water.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking until a smooth batter has formed. It will be very runny.
- Divide between the tins then bake for 25–30 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together using an electric hand-held whisk until really light and fluffy. Start on a slow speed to mix in the sugar, then turn up the speed to incorporate as much air as possible. Add the peppermint extract and enough milk to loosen the icing a little. Add a tiny amount of green food colouring, being really careful to tint the icing just enough to resemble the classic ice-cream – you don’t want it too dark.
- Sift the dark chocolate cubes to remove any chocolate dust or flakes as these will turn the icing brown and make it look less authentic. Fold the chips into the icing by hand.
- Use a palette knife to spread some of the mint buttercream onto each cake once they're cool, then stack the layers on top of each other. Cover the whole cake with the remaining icing, smoothing the top and sides as much as possible. You don’t need to crumb coat this cake, as the chocolate crumbs will blend into the mint chocolate chip icing. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the ice-cream ball, melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. When it is completely melted, add1 tablespoon of water and stir quickly. The chocolate will seize and go grainy, which while usually undesirable, creates a great ball of ‘ice- cream’. You may need to add a little more water. When the mixture is thick, use an ice-cream scoop to make a large ball. Gently put into the cone and leave to cool.
- To make the chocolate drizzle, melt the chocolate and butter together in another small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. When smooth, leave to cool for five minutes before carefully pouring over the top of the chilled cake. Use the back of a spoon to encourage the glaze to run over the edges of the cake.
- Put the ice-cream cone face down into the middle of the glaze, then arrange a few sprinkles around the centre.
Top Tip for making Martha Collison's mint chocolate 'ice-cream' cake
You can decorate this as you wish, if you'd like to go bold and colourful, you can even top it with whisps of candyfloss for that extra little bit of colour and texture!
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