November 29, 2023

S’mores Ice Cream Cake

S'mores Ice Cream Cake
S’mores Ice Cream Cake

This no-bake cake contains the best elements of a s’more – plus ice cream, making it a more refreshing option for warm summer nights. A graham cracker crust lined with a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache contains a super easy no-stir espresso ice cream topped with a cloud of marshmallow-esque Swiss meringue. Toast the meringue with a blowtorch or flambé it a la baked Alaska to bring the campfire straight to the table.

1 cake

  1. Make the crust. Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Place graham crackers in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Using a rolling pin or cast iron skillet, pound the bag repeatedly until the cookies break into fine crumbs. Place the crumbs in a medium mixing bowl along with the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon until the crumbs are well moistened and resemble wet sand. Press a little less than half of the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom of the springform pan with your hands. Squeeze the remaining mixture evenly onto the sides of the pan, trying to compact the crumbs as much as possible. The crust should extend about 2 to 2.5 inches past the edge of the pan, but not all the way to the rim. Cover lightly and freeze.

  2. Make the ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once the cream is simmering, pour it over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute before stirring, until the mixture is dark, glossy and fully emulsified. Pour the warm ganache over the bottom of the graham cracker crust. Using a spatula, spread the ganache in an even layer and return the crust to the freezer.

  3. Make the ice cream. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, add heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, instant espresso, vanilla extract, and salt. Using a hand mixer or food processor fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed until thick and glossy. You should stop mixing just before the mix reaches its peak. Excessive mixing will result in a slightly buttery ice cream. Make sure the mixture has visibly thickened. It should drip off the whisk and pile up in the bowl before slowly disappearing back into itself. When in doubt, mix too little rather than too much. Pour the thickened ice cream base into the graham cracker crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Cover tightly and freeze at least 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

  4. Make the meringue. Place egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Pour 5cm of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Once it is simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and place the heatproof bowl with the egg whites over the saucepan. Be careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the boiling water. Heat the egg white mixture, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture reads about 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (about 5 to 7 minutes). Then, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (about 3 to 5 minutes).

  5. Using a spatula, spread the meringue evenly over the frosting of the cake. Give the meringue a few lighthearted swishes with a spatula or the back of a spoon for an attractive, whimsical look. The cake can now be frozen up to 2 days before serving. To serve, toast the meringue vigorously with a blowtorch. Alternatively, place the cake under a well preheated grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown (make sure you serve the cake immediately as the ice cream will be melting by this point). Or, to flambé the cake, heat rum or brandy in a small saucepan over low heat until just hot (do not boil). Remove from stove. Use a long match to light the alcohol. Carefully pour the burning alcohol over the meringue. Serve immediately.