I baked the Chocolate Ice Cream Cake back in February as a birthday offering for a co-worker, one of those who almost always lands a taste of cake-o'-the-week on Mondays when I remove the extra calories from my house after the weekend baking. C. asked me to bring her the recipe for the English Gingerbread Cake so she could make it herself, and I brought in the cookbook. Somewhere in the oooh-ing and aaah-ing over the lovely cake pictures, C. lit on the ice-cream cake recipe, and I offered to make it for her birthday celebration the next week. C. and her officemate B. frequently decorate their office for holidays major and minor and for each other's birthday, and birthdays almost always are an occasion to bring in cake.
Rose's Chocolate Ice Cream Cake uses the cake from the German Chocolate Cake. The instructions call for making a half recipe for an ice cream sandwich, which has thinner cake pieces of equal thickness surrounding the ice cream, or a 3/4 recipe for the ice cream cake where a thicker slice of cake goes on top of the ice cream and a thinner base under it. All that seemed very complicated--yeah, I know, I'm the one always making half recipes--so I made a full recipe and split it between 9" and 6" pans. That allowed for a smaller cake for family tasting and the full sized one for the birthday cake at the office. The German Chocolate Cake recipe yields a thin batter, which baked nicely in conventional cake pans.
To construct the ice cream cake, you want a springform pan (for easy unmolding) a little smaller than the cake so it compresses a little, keeping the ice cream from creeping up or down the edge of the pan. I have graduated springforms down to 6", but as I baked the smaller cake in a 6" pan, I needed something a little smaller than my smallest springform for the ice cream cake. My solution was to pad my 6" springform with some craft foam to decrease the diameter, then line it with parchment paper (not being sure of the chemical characteristics of craft foam when in contact with food).
I cut both cakes into two layers, squished a layer into each of the two springform pans, added a layer of C.'s choice of vanilla bean ice cream to the big one and cappuccino mocha chip frozen yogurt to the smaller (no, I did not tackle homemade ice cream for this), and put on the top cake layers. Both cakes then got wrapped tightly and placed in the freezer to firm up.
Then it was on to the hot fudge sauce. Permit me a small rant: "Chocolate Snowball Hot Fudge Sauce". Ya think perhaps some of these titles got a little out of hand? Why both Chocolate and Fudge? Why "snowball"? Maybe the name came from the recipe's source, Letty Flatt...but it still bugs me. I just called it hot fudge sauce. However, whatever you call it, do make the sauce--the sauce makes the cake.
I took the large cake to office in a cooler, with the fudge sauce, warm, in an insulated gravy boat. It was a couple of weeks before I quit being stopped in the hall by either people who had a piece and wanted to rave about it (again), or those who missed out and started the conversation with "So, I hear you brought in a wonderful cake...make sure I hear about it next time."
I cut the smaller cake for the family a day or two later, then put the remainder back in freezer. It kept very nicely, and the fudge sauce kept equally well in the fridge. I succumbed to the last piece over a month after it was made, and it still tasted great.