I first learned this recipe at a cooking class in Charleston, West Virginia. I made it for a couple of birthday parties, and the guests were so impressed that I filed it away for a special celebration. You can use whatever flavor combinations you like or the ones I’ve chosen here, which will make the peanut butter and chocolate fans in your life happy. Here is how to make a layered ice cream dessert that is simple and delicious, and incredibly impressive.
You will need a springform pan and a cake pan that is the same size to make this recipe. Plastic wrap is also a requirement.
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Tempering the Ice Cream and Layering
Line your 9″ cake pan (the one shown is insulated, but that is not a requirement) with plastic wrap. I smear my damp hand around the pan before adding the plastic so that it adheres good and tight. Leave an overhang of plastic on the sides to lift it out of the pan once it is frozen.
Scoop your ice cream into a bowl and either allow to melt a bit naturally or microwave it a few seconds at a time on 50% power. I don’t have the patience to wait, so I use the microwave. Once you can mush the ice cream together, spoon it into the prepared pan.
Top with another piece of plastic and push against the ice cream to make it smooth across the top. Freeze about 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, grease the springform pan with a light layer of butter.
Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Pull the ice cream out of the cake pan with the overhanging side pieces. Carefully turn the ice cream upside down and sit it inside the springform pan. This is layer #1. Repeat with the second and third layers, working each flavor of ice cream to the sides to keep it as circular as possible.
When the third layer is complete, freeze for a few minutes before properly wrapping to prevent freezer burn, or eating.
Prepare the Crust
Place the ingredients in a food processor and give them a few pulses to chop. Pour melted butter into the mix and pulse again, two to three times, to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the buttered springform pan. Keep the layer smooth since the frozen ice cream will need a flat place to sit. You can use whatever nuts you choose.
I tend to use either pecans or walnuts, but macadamia nuts are a great way to make this layered ice cream dessert have a tropical taste.
How to Serve and Store the Ice Cream Dessert
When ready to serve, run a warmed towel around the springform pan a bit and then unmold. I sit a damp, folded paper towel underneath the metal springform bottom (the ice cream dessert is sitting on top), and sit on a decorative plate or pedestal cake stand. The paper towel will keep it from sliding around.
Run warm or hot water over a sharp knife before cutting. Rinse the knife with water to keep each slice to keep each piece pretty—the dessert pairs well with fresh berries or even potato chips.
Store the ice cream dessert by wrapping the plate tightly in plastic wrap. It still tastes delicious even after a week or two in the freezer. You can make this recipe in advance, too.
Hint: I buy the industrial pack of plastic wrap (Anchor Wrap: All-Purpose Food Service Film)) from Sams Club and have since owning restaurants and catering business. It is much more economical, easier to use, and stores conveniently underneath a counter. The quantity is 12 in. X 2000 ft, and it seriously lasts three or four years. You sit the cardboard holder on the counter, place your item to be covered in front of it, pull the wrap over (no clinging), slide the cutter across the size needed, and press against the item. It works so much better than Cling-Wrap or any other plastic wraps I’ve used.
I used 1.5 quarts of Edy’s Chocolate and Slow-Churned Cookie Dough (it was on sale), and two pints of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Half Baked (with fudge brownies) since I knew my husband would love this triple chocolate threat.
My favorite recipe is using the macadamia nut crust with two layers of premium vanilla bean and one layer of mango sorbet, or any fruit flavor you choose. This lightens the taste up and looks (and tastes!) really refreshing.
A fun and colorful idea would be to create a Neapolitan layered ice cream dessert with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. I think strawberry would look best for the top layer.
Which flavor choices would you pick for this layered ice cream recipe?
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