Here we are at the end of the parties (and I feel a strange relief) and here it is the second long-awaited (really?!) recipe for a fresh dessert, perfect for a summer birthday.

This was my first experiment with layered ice-cream cake, and it went very well: you can choose the flavors you like and match them as you prefer. I immediately chose pistachio ice cream, my favorite, and then I matched it with a more "neutral" flavor, cream, with a slight lemon flavoring.

The pictures are ugly enough (don't worry, I know), but I should be satisfied I took some … if the result is not the best, who cares?! The important thing was the taste! In the lower picture of the composition you should be able to see the color contrast light green/light yellow – from outside it was more difficult to see it (they were two pale colors, so there wasn't a striking difference: if you choose chocolate and fiordilatte and you don't see the difference, I would worry). You'll see the contrast even better in the final photo: its quality is slightly higher, but always in the category "not so good".

I imagine that you are not here to hear me whining about the quality of my pictures, so I give you the recipe right away, before you take the pitchforks.

PISTACHIO AND CREAM ICE-CREAM CAKE

Ingredients (for a cake of 24 cm in diameter)

For the base

* 250 g cookies (I used Petit, but you could use Digestive or what you prefer). You could reduce this dose by 50 g, 'cause the base was quite thick.

* 200 g unsalted butter (if you use the right amount of butter, the base will remain softer, in spite of the long staying in the freezer)

For pistachio ice-cream

* 3 eggs, divided into egg whites and yolks

* 200 ml heavy whipping cream (you could use 200 ml or 250 ml)

* 100 g powdered sugar

* 70 g pistachio concentrate cream

* a pinch of salt

For cream ice-cream (sorry for the word pun)

* 4 egg yolks

* 100 g granulated sugar

* 250 ml milk (you could increase this dose, since part of the milk will evaporate)

* 200 ml hard whipping cream (you could use 200 ml or 250 ml)

* the peel of half a lemon

Procedure

First of all, prepare the cookie base (if you prefer you can use as a thin sponge cake base, and maybe put a second sponge cake layer to separate the ice-cream flavors, but I prefer a crispy base). Put the cookies in a food processor and crumble them finely (but don't pulverize them) or, if you don't have a food processor, unleash your wrath with a rolling pin or other blunt object on unarmed cookies. Put the crumbled biscuits into a bowl and melt the butter in a saucepan (or in the  microwave). Pour the melted butter onto the cookies and stir until the mixture is homogeneous. Cover the bottom of a spring form pan with baking paper, making sure to tuck the excess paper under the pan (so it will be easier to slide the cake on a serving dish) and close the cake ring (so the parchment paper, will be stapled). Spread the cookie crumbs and butter mixture on the bottom of the pan, level with the back of a spoon and place the pan in the refrigerator to cool down.

Now prepare the first ice cream layer, the pistachio one. Take 3 bowls: in the first one beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until very stiff; in the second one whip the egg yolks with powdered sugar (so that the mixture will be more homogeneous, using standard whips) and then add the pistachio cream mixing with the whips, so that the mixture will be blended; in the third bowl whip the cream. Now incorporate the whipped cream into the yolks, sugar and pistachio bowl, stirring from the bottom up not to deflate the mixture. When it's homogeneous, do the same thing with the egg whites. You'll obtain a smooth and thick cream: pour it into your ice-cream maker and let it run for 30 minutes (more or less, depending on the ice-cream maker: read the instruction). After this time, pour the ice-cream on the cookie base and place the mold in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours, so that the pistachio ice-cream will become compact and so that ice-cream maker drum will re-freeze (needless to say that you should put it back in the freezer: don't take me for stupid, but it's better to specify). In the meantime, do other things: sunbathe, enjoy a movie, take a walk or something.

After this rest time (and after verifying that ice cream is firm and that the drum is re-frozen), proceed with the the second ice-cream layer, the cream one. Bring to a boil the milk flavored with lemon peel, then turn off the heat. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar (here granulated sugar is fine, 'cause you cook the mixture) and add slowly the hot milk; put the mixture in a saucepan and place it over fire, stirring until the cream will veil the spoon. The mixture SHOULD NOT BOIL (otherwise you'll get a sort of lemon flavored omelet). Pour the cream into a bowl and let it cool down completely; then, add the whipping cream (in hindsight I think that you could whip the cream, so that your final mixture will be thicker, but I followed the recipe, which included whipping cream, and all went well) and pour the mixture into the ice-cream maker for 30 minutes (again depending on your ice-cream maker). Once you have your cream flavored ice-cream (which is softer than the pistachio one) pour it onto the pistachio layer and put the mold in the freezer for another 2 to 3 hours.

[PS: Obviously, since cream flavored ice-cream requires only egg yolks, don't throw away the egg whites! You could use them for an egg whites cake, for cat tongues or for a home-made Viennetta, or you could just freeze them and use them later.]

Pull out the ice-cream cake from the freezer at least 10 minutes before serving (otherwise it will be a little too frozen -if you notice, in the final photo, taken just when I pulled out the cake from the freezer, you can still see ice crystals) and garnish as you wish. I left it in its purity: I was too anxious to taste it to waste time with the garnishment!

This first experimentation with layered ice-cream cakes won me over: the cake is cold (don't tell me?!), pistachio ice cream really taste of pistachio (it shouldn't be underestimated) and cream (lemon flavored, as I like it), the cookie base is crispy, but not made of marble, and the whole is superb! From now on… ice-cream cakes galore!


 

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