My favourite foodie saying is “man tager vad man haver“. It’s a much quoted and miss-quoted saying attributed to Cajsa Warg, Sweden’s first celebrity chef, who published “Housekeeping Assistance for Young Women” in 1755. The quote translates as “use what you have”. It’s excellent advice in the kitchen. It reminds me to cook what I have available, and to plan future dishes according to what I can get hold of.
So when I wanted to make a celebration cake but didn’t have eggs, butter or wheat flour, I opened all the cupboards and had a look at what I had. Hm. For a moment I flirted with the idea of making a peanut butter flavoured sweet version of a farinata, but dropped it as a bad idea. Then I thought cheesecake but since I didn’t have the makings of anything more than a base, I had to be creative. Luckily, I had a fridge full of IceD&light.
Ice cream cake. Yeah.
Imagine it. A crunchy base with a smooth, cool topping. To me, ice cream is a panacea, it heals all that’s wrong in the world. A cake made with this magical substance could only be glorious. A quick foray into my cupboards and I had buttery Walkers shortbread, an amazing geranium-infused sugar (from Zing Organics), rapeseed oil and IceD&light on the side in the kitchen, ready for assembly.
Ice Cream Cake
This is a very flexible recipe. If you make it with IceD&light, like I did, it’s relatively low-calorie – for an ice cream cake – so you can allow somewhat larger servings, say it serves eight. If you make it with chocolate ice cream and decorate it with a mirror of Nutella, which would also be lovely, it serves 12.
IceD&light isn’t really ice cream but falls under the heading ”frozen deserts’. Dairy and egg free, they are made from fruit and a bit of sugar. I like them because they’re light in texture but big on flavour, vegetarian and made locally. The elderflower and gooseberry is probably my favourite – it makes a lovely G&T float. (I experiment.) The raspberry is zingy and big but, much to my surprise, the strawberry is even better. It’s so clean, better than most strawberry flavoured things, and really well balanced. Because there’s no dairy, the texture is closer to a really good sorbet than to ice cream, but it’s less icy. The lemon flavour takes me back to childhood summers and the excitement of sorbet in a lemon skin. All flavours are smooth and towards soft serve so it’s perfect for when you want to, say, use it to make a frozen cake. The blackcurrant flavour is big and bold and that, together with raspberry, was my choice.
The buttery-ness of the shortbread is a wonderful foil to the icy mixture.
- 200 grams Walkers shortbread (or similar)
- 4 tbs rapeseed oil
- 2 tbs geranium sugar (optional)
- 2 tbs water
- ½ tub blackberry IceD&light
- ½ tub raspberry IceD&light
- (Or substitute your 550 ml of your favourite flavour soft-serve ice cream.)
- 200 grams of seasonal fruits. (Optional)
- Unless the cake will be eaten in one sitting, chose fruits and berries that freeze well. Frozen forest fruits, for example. I used frozen raspberry.
- Crush the shortbread (or blitz in a food processor) until the crumbs are a bit like breadcrumbs.
- Add oil, sugar and water, and mix.
- Pour the mixture into a lined (or easy-release) round cake tin and press down firmly.
- Put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to help the base harden.
- Spoon on IceD&light, with a table spoon, and smooth out over the base.
- You can use more than one flavour, or use all one flavour. Because I had the geranium infused sugar, I used blackcurrant and raspberry which works well with the other flavour.
- Freeze for another 30 minutes before serving.
- Just before serving, decorate with your chosen fruit.
Where to find
37 Broughton Street
8 Brougham Street
Walkers Shortbread Ltd
Aberlour House, Aberlour on Spey
Scotland, AB38 9LD
Argyll, PA29 6XG
Telephone: 01583 441185