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Espresso martini ice cream cake

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Recipe may contain gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, milk and soy.

An ode to the espresso martini, this is the perfect make-ahead dessert for a hot summer day or a special someone’s birthday. Made with ready-made cake and bought ice-cream, just make a simple coffee and vodka syrup to create this show-stopping cocktail inspired dessert.

10 Ingredients


  • 2 tbsp vodka

  • 2 tsp arrowroot (see note)

  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted, plus extra, to dust

  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) espresso coffee

  • 2 x 450g bought chocolate mud cakes

  • 1L ctn coffee flavoured ice-cream

  • 1L ctn vanilla ice-cream

  • 300ml ctn thickened cream, whipped

  • Chocolate-coated coffee beans, crushed, to decorate

6 Method Steps


  • Step 1

    Grease a 6cm-deep, 20cm round springform cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.

  • Step 2

    Combine vodka

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    (2 tbsp vodka) and arrowroot (2 tsp arrowroot (see note)) in a small bowl. Combine cocoa (1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted, plus extra, to dust) and sugar (100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar) in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk the espresso coffee (125ml (1/2 cup) espresso coffee) into the cocoa mixture until smooth and well combined. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until syrup has thickened. Stir in the vodka mixture. Bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute or until thickened. Pour into a heatproof jug and set aside.


  • Step 3

    Use a large serrated knife to trim icing from the mud cakes and level the tops. Place 1 cake, cut-side up, in the base of the prepared pan. Cut the remaining cake into pieces to fill any gaps. Brush the surface of the cake with 60ml (1/4 cup) of the vodka syrup. Place remaining syrup in the fridge until required.

  • Step 4

    Remove coffee ice-cream (1L ctn coffee flavoured ice-cream) from the freezer. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften slightly. Spoon the coffee ice-cream over the cake. Smooth the surface. Drizzle with 60ml (1/4 cup) of the remaining vodka syrup. Place in the freezer for 1 hour to set.

  • Step 5

    Remove vanilla ice cream (1L ctn vanilla ice-cream) from the freezer. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften slightly. Spoon vanilla ice-cream over the coffee layer and smooth the surface. Place in the freezer for 6 hours or overnight until firm.

  • Step 6

    Serve the cake topped with whipped cream. Drizzle with remaining syrup and scatter with coffee beans.
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Recipe Notes

You can replace arrowroot with cornflour, but the syrup may lose some of its sheen and gloss.

Image by Brett Stevens

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