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Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Cake (still frozen)

Chocolate cake can seem a bit heavy for a hot summer day, unless you add three layers of cherry ice cream in the middle to cool things off. Thanks to Martha Stewart I had a recipe for ice cream that didn’t require an ice cream maker, and I made a large batch using only my mixer and freezer. The recipe uses crème fraîche, which gives the ice cream a heavy, cream cheese like flavor. It is a bit rich to eat on its own, but makes a nice filling and looks great between layers of dark chocolate cake.

To complete the cake I added a layer of chocolate ganache and shiny chocolate glaze on top, which hold up well in the freezer. The cake should be left out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving (or the devil’s food cake will be too cold, like shown in the picture above.) This cake is very rich, so plan to share or you’ll have enough left overs to get you through the rest of summer.

To assemble the cake:

1) Make the ice cream up to one week (or at least one night) before making the cake.

2) Bake the Devil’s Food Cake in two 9″ round pans.

3) While the cake is baking, make the ganache and put it in the refrigerator to chill. The ganache should be thick but still spreadable.

4) Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally to make 2 layers. Place one layer cut-side up on cake base (I use the bottom of a springform pan.)

5) Make a ring of ganache around the edge of the cake using a piping bag (or spread it on with a knife) to create a barrier to hold the ice cream filling. The ganache ring should be as thick as a layer of cake.

6) Spread a thick layer of ice cream in the middle of the ganache.

Cake layers

7) Repeat with remaining layers, ending with a layer of cake.

8) Coat the entire cake with a thin layer of ganache. Place in the freezer to set.

9) Place a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet. Place the cake on the cooling rack.

10) Make the shiny glaze. When the glaze just begins to thicken (like the consistency of warm hot fudge), pour the glaze over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides, completely covering the cake. Do not wait too long to pour the glaze over the cake or it will turn into a pudding like consistency. If this happens, transfer the glaze to a microwave safe bowl and reheat until thin. Stir the glaze until smooth and let cool until it reaches the desired consistency. (I let mine cool too much, creating a slightly lumpy consistency when poured.)

11) The excess glaze will drip through the wire cake rack onto the baking sheet. Wipe excess glaze from the cake base. Serve immediately or freeze in an airtight container*.

*If cutting the cake while frozen, place slices in the microwave for 9 seconds to bring the ganache and cake back to room temperature (the ice cream will still hold.)

Cherry Sherbet
Recipe from July 2005 issue of Martha Stewart Living
Makes 1 quart; Serves 6

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup crème fraîche
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound sweet cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1) Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Stir together 2/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Transfer syrup immediately to a medium bowl. Place bowl in ice-water bath, being careful not to let water reach rim of bowl. Let syrup cool completely, stirring frequently.

2) Whisk together crème fraîche, heavy cream, milk, salt and the syrup in a large bowl. Transfer to freezer; let set, whisking mixture vigorously for 2 minutes every 30 minutes, until sherbet is the consistency of whipped cream and whisk leaves a trail, 3 to 4 hours.*

3) Meanwhile, put cherries, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and the lemon juice in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries begin to break down and juice has thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Let mixture stand at room temperature until it has cooled completely.

4) Gently fold cherry mixture into sherbet until just combined (juices should leave streaks.) Cover surface of sherbet with parchment paper and freeze in bowl until set, 4 to 8 hours.

5) If making a day ahead, transfer sherbet to an airtight container, and place a piece of parchment paper directly onto the surface of sherbet. Cover tightly.

*I placed all ingredients in my mixer bowl and whipped using the whipping attachment. I whipped once after freezing for 30 minutes until the mixture was just thickened. I froze the mixture for 30 more minutes, and whipped until the mixture was the consistency of whipped cream. I stirred in the cherries and let freeze overnight.

Devil’s Food Cake
Recipe from Godiva Chocolatier

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/4 cups unsweetened nonalkalized cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled


1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust pans with flour and tap out excess.

2) In large mixing bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3) In medium mixing bowl, whisk together whole eggs and egg yolk until combined. Whisk in vanilla extract and melted butter. Whisk in buttermilk and coffee. Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients and whisk just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing it equally.

4) Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until edges of cakes pull away from sides of pans and a toothpick inserted into center of each cake comes out clean. Cool cakes on wire racks for 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from a recipe for Chocolate Tart Filling by Jacques Torres

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons honey
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped


Pour the heavy cream and honey into a 1 quart heavy bottomed saucepan and place over a medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized mixing bowl and make ganache by covering with the hot cream. Add the cream in 2 additions, each time letting the mixture stand for about 30 seconds to allow the heat to spread throughout and then stirring slightly to combine. Once all the hot cream has been added, gently stir the ganache until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth.

Shiny Chocolate Glaze

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup crème fraîche
5 leaves of gelatin


1) Place the gelatin leaves in cold water to soften.

2) In a large saucepan, mix together all ingredients except the gelatin. Place saucepan over high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.

3) Remove the gelatin leaves from the water. Squeeze the gelatin leaves to remove all excess water. Place the gelatin leaves in the warm chocolate mixture. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.


Cathy says on July 24th, 2005 at 6:58 am:

Wow!! That is a mighty impressive cake. It’s not even 8:00 in the morning and my stomach is growling just looking at it. It really is beautiful. And chocolate and cherries together… yum! You did a great job!

Robyn says on July 24th, 2005 at 2:12 pm:

Oh man, that cake looks amazing! You made me crave cake and ice cream, first thing in the morning…actually, I’d crave that whether or not I looked at your photo, but staring into the depths of layers of cake and ice cream doesn’t help. ;)

Debbie Bernard says on July 24th, 2005 at 2:58 pm:

I was in NY and got to try a piece of my very own. It tastes as good as it looks and is a very refreshing dessert after a hot & humid day. I’d be willing to try it for breakfast, too!

Whitney says on July 24th, 2005 at 4:10 pm:

Looks heavenly! I’ve been looking for a good devil’s food cake recipe–how’s the Godiva one? And non-alkalized cocoa–is that natural or Dutch process? I can never remember which is which.

Kristin says on July 24th, 2005 at 6:00 pm:

It is delicious, thanks for sharing it with me while I was in NY!

Kelli says on July 24th, 2005 at 6:37 pm:

Hi Whitney — The DFC recipe from Godiva is actually really good. I chose it because it uses brewed coffee which makes it particularly moist and flavorful (it doesn’t taste anything like coffee in the end, only chocolate.) I normally use dutch processed Valrhona cocoa, but I ran out and only had Hershey’s cocoa in my cupboard (the horror! :) ) so I used that. It came out great.

If only ice cream cake shipped well I’d send some to you all for breakfast! Thanks for the nice comments.

Mrs. Happy Housewife says on July 25th, 2005 at 8:09 am:

This looks great. It reminds me of a cherry cheesecake enrobed in chocolate glaze I once tasted. I love Devil’s food cake. I use Martha’s recipe from her Baking issue. I’m going to try this one next time to compare. I always pour a chocolate glaze of cocoa, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla over it.

ss says on July 27th, 2005 at 9:04 pm:

Wow. I think I love you.

chandra says on July 30th, 2005 at 3:09 pm:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You made that? OMG.. that freaking cake is gorgeous!! I am sooooooo very very green right now. One day.. one day…

Courtney says on January 26th, 2006 at 3:52 pm:

Oh wow, just what I was looking for! Great site!!!

Lisa says on February 20th, 2006 at 12:04 pm:

To answer Whitney’s question about non-alkalized cocoa, non-alkalized means NOT dutched or dutch process cocoa, so the recipe calls for regular, unsweetened baking cocoa, NOT dutch process. Also, did you know that Cook’s Illustrated did a blind cocoa tasting *tasting them all plain and in baked goods*, and Hershey’s unsweetened baking cocoa came in first place? I also usually use Valrhona or Callebaut chocolate ‘everything’ in baking, but, like Kelly, every so often you need to substitute what you have on hand, (especially when you get that sudden baking urge, and are too lazy *or it’s too late* to go out and get anything you ran out of or don’t have on hand) and you’d be amazed at the results. Sometimes you can’t tell the difference at all, and sometimes *gasp* it’s even a little better!

Erica says on December 29th, 2006 at 11:47 am:

yummy lookin

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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