They say you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream. And that’s sort of the same thing isn’t it?! Well how about buying the ingredients to create this spectacular show-stopper of a beauty guaranteed to bring you happiness. This ice cream cake is so ridiculous easy to make I should be embarrassed for even sharing it. But I’m not.

This recipe combines two of my childhood memories; I’m sure I’m not the only one to remember licking melted dribbles of artificially-flavoured strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream off my fingers. And of course, the ice cream had to be served in those hideous pink cones!  The other childhood memory is trips to Milky Lane for soft serve – which meant an award for best parents for mom and dad!  I would sit and swoon over the intricate ice cream cakes that were made to order – if you managed to score a Milky Lane ice cream cake for your birthday party then you were the luckiest kid ever.
 Despite the kitsch-ness that we associate with Neopolitan ice cream, it actually has a far more dignified history. Invented in Italy (Naples to be exact) it was apparently first made up of the colours of the Italian flag – pistachio, vanilla and cherry! Over time, pistachio and cherry (sadly!) got ditched for the more popular chocolate and strawberry. I’ve subbed the chocolate layer for a brownie base but if that’s too much effort, then go for chocolate cake, crushed chocolate biscuits or even just good ol’ chocolate ice cream!

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

Serves 10-12

 

300g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

150g unsalted butter

2 tsp vanilla

150g caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

75g plain flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1L vanilla ice cream, softened

1L raspberry, strawberry or mixed berry sorbet, softened

Chocolate sauce, to decorate

Fresh raspberries, frozen, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 20cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. For the brownie base, melt 200g chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla together in a heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then leave to cool for a few minutes. Beat in the eggs, then sift in the flour, cocoa and salt and fold in until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the remaining chocolate. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the top starts to crack but the centre remains gooey. Turn off the oven and leave the brownies inside for a further 5 minutes before removing. Leave to cool completely in the tin. Loosen with a palette knife, clean the tin and place the brownie base back in the cake tin. Spread over the softened sorbet and place in the freezer to set. Top with softened vanilla ice cream and and freeze until set. Remove from the mould, top with chocolate sauce and decorate with raspberries.

 

 

TIP