Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our One Year Blog-Aversary!

We have been blogging for one year! In celebration of this momentous occasion, we all decided to make the same cake -- Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte. Yum! Here are our takes:Rebecca

This cake took a long time, but also didn't. I know that doesn't make any sense, but the components are very simple and quick to put together, but there is a lot of waiting around time. Part of the reason that my cake doesn't look straight is because I didn't let the layers freeze for enough time before adding the next component (note to self: do not make this cake starting at 9:30PM) and because I am incapable of dividing the ice cream in half just by eyeballing it. However, it was delicious. I am so glad we picked this because it was amazing. Totally worth all the waiting around until almost 1AM.

I didn't make any changes to Dorie's recipe, except that I made my own raspberry ice cream, from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. It was really good, but annoying to strain out all the seeds from the puree. I think raspberry and chocolate are pretty perfect together, but I could see using strawberry, coffee, burnt sugar or pretty much anything else. You can get the recipe for the cake and the raspberry ice cream after the jump.
Sisters? What did you think?

Rachel here. As you all know by now, I'm the freakish sister who doesn't like chocolate. So I decided to take Dorie's recipe and put my own ganache-free spin on it. I used brownies instead of ganache, and then chose a caramel ice cream for the in-between layers, since I love the brownie/ caramel combo. I made the brownies in a springform pan, so that I would be able to take the brownies out and then put them back in the pan afterward. I realized once I took them out that they wouldn't be thick enough to cut slice into thirds-- if I were to do it again, I would make a recipe and a half so they would be thicker. So I put a layer of ice cream down on the bottom, then a layer of brownie, then another layer of ice cream and then another layer of brownie. Yum! Sarah, you're up...

Sarah here. It's odd that we picked this recipe for the Baking Sisters' birthday, since it doesn't actually involve any baking, but after a year of crazy intense baking I guess it was time to give our poor ovens a rest. And this recipe was so excellent! For whatever reason, I had a devil of a time trying to find raspberry ice cream in Cambridge so I ended up going with something called Crema di Marscapone. According to the Carte D'or Web site, it's "Divinely smooth ice cream made with authentic mascarpone, swirled with red berry sauce and sprinkled with pistachios. It's a real taste of Italian inspired indulgence." Indeed. Anyway, I wasn't sure what the pistachios were so I skimmed them off the top and I'm glad I did, because I don't think they would have gone well with the texture.

In terms of the procedure, my only advice would be to make sure the ganache layers are really good and frozen before you add the ice cream, because they can look deceptively smooth and then get all up in yo ice cream's grill when you try to add the next layer. I would also advise you to do something (grease? add parchment paper?) to the bottom of the pan, because the bottom layer of ganache would often get stuck and have to be pried out in an awkward manner that ruined the otherwise beautiful presentation of the slice. And it really is beautiful, not to mention delicious! Everyone will be so impressed when you serve it at your next party or picnic, and it's not that difficult at all! Thanks yet again, Dorie, we love you!

Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte
1 3/4 (14 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup sugar
8 large eggs
1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries in syrup.
1 tbsp Framboise Chambord or other reaspberry liqueur(optional)
1 quart premium-quality ice cream
1 pint fresh raspberries, for decorating(optional)

Oil or lightly spray an 8 or 81/2 inch sprinform panPut the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted. Be gentle with the heat you don't want the butter and chocolate to separate.Transfer the bowl to the counter, whisk in the sugar and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Rap the bowl against the counter to de-bubble the ganache, and pour one third of it into the springform pan.Freeze at least 30 min. to set the ganache. Press a piece of plastic wrap againt the surface of the remaining ganache and keep it in on the counter.

When the first later of ganache is set, start making the raspberry ice cream. Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Add the liqueur, if you're using it, and pulse to incorporate. Spoon the ice cream into the processor and pulse just until it is blended with the puree-don't process so long that the ice cream melts.Spread half the ice cream ouver the ganache layer, return the springform to the freezer and freeze of at least 15 min. Scrape the remaining ice cream into a bowl, cover it with plastic and put in the freezer. Don't wash the processor yet- you might need to soften the ice cream again.When the raspberry layer is set, pour half of the reamining ganache over it. Return the pan to the freezer for another 30 minutes.

When it's time to spread over the next layer of ice cream, beat the ice cream with a wooden spoon or, if it's too frozen to soften to spreadability with the spoon, scrape it back into the processor and whir for a few seconds. Spread the last of the raspberry ice cream over the truffle layer and freeze for at least 15 minutes.Finish by pouring the remaining ganache over the ice cream. Jiggle and tilt the pan to even the layer, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze the torte for at least 6 hours.

About 30 minute or up to 3 hours before serving time, unmold the torte. I used a hot kitchen towel and wrapped it around the pan for 10 seconds. The torte came out perfectly. If you need to pop it back into the freezer for 30 minutes so the warmed sides can re-firm.If you want to decorate the top of the torte with circlets of fresh berries, do this right before serving. To soften the truffle layer just enough to hold the betties, warm the top with a quick puff of air from the hairdryer, or run a long knife under hot water, wipe it dry and pass it quickly over the top of the cake. Arrange the berries over the torte, put the torte on a platter and head for the table.

Raspberry Ice-Cream
Recipe from David Lebovitz’s ‘The Perfect Scoop'
1½ cups (375ml) of half-and-half
1 cup (200g) sugar
1½ cups (375ml) heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1½ cups (375ml) strained raspberry puree
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Warm the half-and-half and sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice, then stir until cool over an ice bath.
  4. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, but to preserve the fresh raspberry taste, churn the ice cream within 4 hours after making the mixture.


  1. Absolutely beautiful. Also, I just want to add this to the blog: this pie is totally heat resistant. Sarah brought this cake to a picnic on the lovely Jesus Green and it was enjoyed by all who ate it, and admired from afar by the salivating crowd who didn't. Myself included in the latter category. Much love to you all. Great blog.

  2. Thanks, "Emma"! I'm glad you like the blog, even though you're a vegan.


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