How To Make A Giant Dropped Ice Cream Cake
Hey there, welcome back! Before we get started I thought I’d just fill you guys in with a little update. If you remember last week I had a little bit of a dip and instead of caking (when I wasn’t up to it) I decided to just talk a little bit about my struggles, what they look like and some of the ways I’ve found to cope with them.
In keeping up with the old self care and that, instead of making the Giant Custard Cream I’d planned this week, I actually designed a cake that would hit certain calming mechanisms that I find help to chill out my brain. I promise to make the custard cream next week but for now I’ve gone with a Giant Dropped Ice Cream Cone Cake and here’s why. If you take a look at the waffle cone and all those little ridges, they have to be individually cut out of fondant. Finding a task that’s repetitive but demands concentration is amazing for the old noggin. You can’t overthink your other problems because if you take your eye off the ball it’ll be uneven. But it doesn’t require any actual thought. It’s cake mindfulness for people who suck at being mindful.
This whole cake is full of little tasks like that, the irregular shape means a lot of care needs to be taken when smoothing the frosting and even carving it to begin with. I love carving a cake cos there’s a little element of danger that just consumes your focus and lets you forget all of the days niggles.
Alongside the cake, I’ve also reached back out to my doctor and asked to be referred to a counsellor to try and work through the particularly difficult patches. While I’m waiting for the appointment to come through I’m trying some at home exercises like doing a feelings check throughout the day. I write down what I’m feeling and why I think that’s come about so that I can better understand them instead of being overwhelmed by them. It’s weird and difficult sometimes to put a name to the individual feelings but I think it might be helping so I’ll stick with it and hope for the best.
And lastly, I’ve been re-watching (Netflix) and binge listening (Spotify) to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Seriously, if you haven’t checked this show out yet please do it now. It’s laugh out loud funny, extremely poignant and seriously touching. Trust me on this!
Oh. Also! Big thanks to the sun for finally making an appearance and making it acceptable to make ice cream theme treats. I see a giant Twister lolly in the future. Maybe a Rocket. Oh, maybe a Calypso. Sun please come back so I can make this all happen. Please please please make it north of the border just this once???
1 ½ batches of Devils Food cake (I used this one cos it’s a dream)
300g butter + 2 tbsp
100g cream cheese
650g icing sugar
2 cups marshmallows (cut into little pieces)
3 cups rice krispies
1kg white fondant
1 tbsp vodka
100g white chocolate
1 cake dowel
1. Mix the cake batter and split between three, 6-inch pans lined with parchment paper. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to the side to cool.
2. Cut out a panel from a cereal box and bend it into a large cone, taping it into place. Pop this into a long cup. Next, line the cone with some parchment paper and place the cake dowel in the centre.
3. In a large bowl heat 2 cups of marshmallows (cut into little pieces) and 2 tbsp of butter over a pan of boiling water. When melted, add in 3 cups of Rice Krispies and stir well. Spoon this mixture into the cardboard cone, keeping the cake dowel positioned in the centre. Push down quite firmly to get the mix into the bottom corner. Set aside to dry.
4. Beat together 300g of butter, 650g of icing sugar and 100g of cream cheese until light and fluffy. It should be soft enough to spread easily but stay on the beaters if lifted out of the bowl. You can also add flavouring and colour here if you’d like. Weirdly mine was flavoured peppermint because even though I wanted a pink cake my sister wanted mint choc chip flavour. My dad complained the whole time eating it because the colour ‘put him off’. What a whiner.
5. When the cakes are cool, find the one with the best dome on top and keep this for the top layer. For the other two, level the top of one and carve the other to slant down on one side.
6. Attach the levelled sponge to your cake board with a smear of frosting, then add a layer of frosting on top. Next place your slanted cake on top and another layer of frosting. Lastly, pop on your domed cake you kept aside earlier. Place the entire cake in the fridge for 15 minutes.
7. Once the cake has chilled, carefully use a sharp knife to carve it into a ‘scoop’ shape. When you’re happy with the shape, cover the cake with a thin crumb coat of frosting and return to the fridge for another 15 minutes.
8. After it’s chilled, apply another layer of frosting (a little thicker) and smooth down the sides with a palette knife. This bit I LOVE!! It’s so freaking soothing and takes a fair amount of care leaving you focussed only on the task at hand. Grab a cup of boiling water and a clean tea towel. Pop the palette knife in the water to heat up, remove, wipe dry and then use it to smooth the cake. It makes it so much easier and the finish looks really professional. When you’re happy with it, stick it back in the fridge to chill again.
9. Time to check your cone. If it’s dry, remove its cardboard collar and push it into the cake at a slight angle. A little of the dowel might be poking out of the top, don’t worry, patch it up with a little fondant to create the pointed top.
10. Cover the cone completely with frosting, smoothing the sides so that there are no bumps or ridges left. Use a little frosting to fill in any gaps between the cone and the cake. Leave it to the side for later.
11. Knead the fondant for at least 10 minutes, this will make it easier to work with. When it starts to feel easier to handle, break off a small piece and colour it yellow, green, pink and purple. Even amounts of each colour. Roll this into giant sprinkles and leave to dry for later.
12. Colour the remaining fondant a gorgeous biscuit-y shade like you see on waffle cones. In the pics you can see some of my fondant is white, I thought it would show up better when I took a photo of the underside to show what it should look like then forgot to take the bleeding picture. What an eejit!
13. But enough about me, roll out half the fondant on a worktop dusted with cornflour. It needs to be as wide as the length of the cone and long enough to wrap around. Aim for 2mm thick but if you’re not comfortable that thin then don’t worry too much about it.
14. Using a small square cutter, cut holes into the fondant in a grid pattern. If you don’t have a square cutter, grab an old drinks can and cut out a strip of the aluminium, shape it into a square and staple shut. I made mine roughly 5mm each side.
15. Roll out the remaining fondant to the same size as the grid. Brush the top of the ‘grid’ fondant with a little water and place the rolled fondant over the top. Gently use your fingers to feel out the dents and smooth the fondant down into them, creating the waffle look.
16. Mist the cone with water that has been boiled then cooled. Wrap the waffle fondant around the cone, making sure the overlap is at the back. Secure the overlap with a brush of the sterilised water and trim off the excess edge and any spare fondant around the bottom.
17. To add a little more drama (cos I'm a drama QUEEN) and depth to the waffle, paint a little into the indents with a mixture of ivory food colouring gel and a tiny drop of alcohol.
18. Over a pan of boiling water, melt 100g of white chocolate. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bottom edge of the cone. While the chocolate is still soft but not super runny, cover with 2/3 of the giant sprinkles. Leave the chocolate to dry.
19. When the chocolate is completely dry, use a palette knife to add extra frosting to cover any rogue white chocolate and around the bottom of the cone. Around the bottom of the cone this time we don’t have to smooth it. In fact, the chunkier and messier the better cos we want it to look like it’s just been scooped from the giant ice cream store of my dreams. Finally, cover some of the cake board to look like melted ice cream and throw on the last of the sprinkles.
Voila! Jobs a good ‘un. See you next week for the giant custard cream. Just need to find a giant cup of tea to go with it.