pâtisserie natalie

June 1, 2009

Neapolitan Cakes

Phew! It is getting hot here. Hot for me anyways. Being a native Seattle-ite, I despise weather over 65 degrees and overcast is always a plus. But hot weather does create some good inspiration for ice cream treats. When I was really little, I would go to this outdoor pool with friends and I always wanted a neapolitan ice cream sandwich. Such a good combination: the chocolate cake/cookie(?) and the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice creams. I wanted to make this a little differently, as I now despise the milky chocolate ice cream. I also wanted to make a thin flourless chocolate cake. Since the chocolate cake was so chocolatey, I decide to forgo the dark chocolate ice cream, as it seemed like overkill. These started out as cakes, but since their size seemed a little scary on their own, I made some half sized ones as well.

The chocolate cake recipe is from a past daring bakers challenge that I didn't participate in, but the recipe looked so good, I had to try it.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.

While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your sheetpan and line with parchment, then butter the parchment.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
Whip the egg whites in a grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed, making sure not to overwhip, as this dries out the cake.
Beat the egg yolks together. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.

Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}

Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan's bottom, and bake at 375F/190C for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Once cool, remove the cake from the pan onto a clean work surface. Let cool for at least 1 hour. After an hour, use a circular cutter and cut as many shapes as possible from your sheet.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake [à côté de]

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups hulled strawberries
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

Wash and hull 2 cups of strawberries. Place in a food processor until you get a smooth puree.

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until steam begins to rise from the surface.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until blended. Gradually add 1/2 the hot milk, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 8 to 10 minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl and stir in the strawberry puree and vanilla. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until cold [at least 2 hours]

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a sheetpan lined with parchment and spread in an even, thin layer. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.

Le glace

Vanilla Ice Cream

Use the same instructions and ingredients above, but omit the strawberry puree. Split and scrape one vanilla bean. Put the seeds and pod into the milk when first heating. Make sure to remove the vanilla bean just before pouring into the ice cream machine. Use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.


Using the same cutter as you did for the cake, cut circles from the sheets of ice cream. Place on top of each other in alternating order.


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