Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I have an Epic Chocolate Ice Cream Cake to recipe to share with you today but first I wanted to toot my own horn a bit and tell you that I ran a Marathon (aka the lengths some mothers will go to to get some time by themselves!).
It all started with my friend Kat. I call her my OK friend. It’s not that she’s just an OK friend (she’s AWESOME!) it’s that OK is normally my response when I get a sms from her with a new crazy idea… like running a marathon. It all started in September when she messaged me from a running event in Angelsea and suggested we could do the 100km event in a relay team. I replied OK and then stupidly, I think I suggested doing the 50km solo event and that became our goal. From there we signed up to more crazy endurance events and a Marathon in our home town. I mean, why not right?!!! Sadly, Kat got injured and was unable to do the Marathon but she became my pacer in the later stages of the race.
People have been asking me this last week what it’s like to run 42 kms (or in my case ugly run and shuffle with a bit of walking over the last few kms), especially seeing how it would have been much easier to simply drive them. Actually the number question has been why, to which I reply “because I can”.
The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction as I came over the finish line only just masked the pain I was feeling for a second. I dared not sit down as I was scared I would never be able to stand again. My knees ached, my shins felt like they’d be attacked by sledge hammers and I swear to you I thought my bladder was about to explode. I was also covered in sand; it was like I’d been rolling around on the beach all day only it was 4 ½ hours of sweat over my body. Over the last 6kms my hips and pelvis started to ache and I started to feel like I was giving birth again. If you’ve not had a baby, just imagine running with a large watermelon up your butt that’s half way out; yep that’s how I felt.
It wasn’t all pain and crowning (that was just the last 10kms). I felt a huge sense of pride running out on the course knowing that I had put in the effort and dedicated myself to the training over the past 4 ½ months. The race itself was just one of the many, many runs I have been on recently; it just also happened to be the furthest I have ever gone before. I was nervous beforehand; actually, I was scared. Scared that I wouldn’t be able to complete the distance, that I’d let people down if I didn’t succeed and that my time spent training (and there have been many hours each week) and my time away from home would be for nothing. I think being scared helped me initially as I was focused on my goal of just finishing (there was never going to be a record breaking time), and towards the end, when those hard and ugly kilometres set in, it was the thought of conquering that fear and achieving the goal that kept me going. Another helpful factor was my naivety; being my first marathon I had no idea what to except so I was able to blindly go forward not really knowing what pain it would bring.
Choosing to take up long distance running is not something I ever saw myself doing. 4 years ago Kat and I decided to do a 5 km Obstacle Course Race and I thought I should learn how to run. My goal was 5kms using the Couch to 5km program and then it slowly grew (mainly due to random sms’s from Kat suggesting new events and locations!). Over the past 6 months running has become more of a scheduled part of my week, as consistent training becomes more important as the events get longer and harder. I will never be fast or good, but I really enjoy just getting out there and testing my body over new territory. The training is hard, the sacrifices are real and the injuries have been awkward but I’m already planning more race goals (50kms!) and am excited about the challenges I have laid out for myself.
And yes I know that medal has the wrong year on it. Initially I was worried it had taken me 12 months to complete the Marathon, but it was just a mix up and I now proudly have the 2017 medal.
Now… on to this well deserved Epic Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.
Please, don’t look at all the layers, the novel that is also known as the list of ingredients and my thesis for the instructions and think that’s all too hard. IT’S NOT!!! The hardest part of this Epic Chocolate Ice Cream Cake is making room in your freezer, the rest is super simple and oh so good.
Let me break it down for you.
It may feel like it took you longer to read the ingredient list than it did for me to complete the marathon, but when you look closer you’ll see there’s actually very few ingredients; each one is just used several times. There are 2 Cups of Sweet Potato mash, 6 Cups of Coconut Cream, 3 ¼ Cups of Cocoa, just over 2 Cups of Sweetener (which is way more than I normally use in a dessert but this isn’t an everyday cake) and many teaspoons of Vanilla Extract. There’s a small handful of other ingredients in the cookies (arrowroot, coconut flour, bicarb, coconut oil) but otherwise that’s your shopping list.
The instructions may look like it will take you forever to make this Epic Chocolate Ice Cream Cake but most of the time is spent waiting… patiently waiting for a layer to freeze before adding another. Making the Chocolate Sweet Potato Ice Cream will take you less than 5 minutes, as will the Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Frosting and the Chocolate Cream. The longest step is waiting for the cookie dough to rest (a whopping 30 minutes of staring at the edible cookie dough, resisting the temptation to eat it raw; which you could actually do as it’s egg free). It’s actually a really really easy recipe with a show stopper of a cake at the end!
Here are my hot tips for a cool ice cream cake. After you’ve made the first layer of Chocolate Sweet Potato Ice Cream, make the cookies, the Chocolate (for the Dairy Free Chocolate Chips) and the Chocolate Cream. You won’t need these until later but it will give them a chance to cool and set before using. If your Chocolate Cream is too runny after being in the fridge for a few hours add in gelatine. Gelatine can be used to stabilise cream, as sometimes Coconut Cream doesn’t thicken as it should, especially in the heat. You can scrimp on the Chocolate Frosting decorations but they do hide some of the mess at the bottom of the cake. I also like the idea of having a frosting fence to keep my cookies from escaping!
So this Chocolate Ice Cream Cake is truly EPIC!!! It has 4 layers of chocolate, plus cookies and frosting so it’s perfect for the chocoholic that’s hidden in all of us (don’t deny it!). It’s also incredibly allergy friendly. This Epic Chocolate Ice Cream Cake is Gluten Free, Paleo and Vegan friendly (unless you use the gelatine), Dairy Free, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free and it’s full of Sweet Potato; although you wouldn’t know it unless my very honest children decided to tell you.
My next Epic adventure is in just less than 3 weeks (yikes!!!). It’s a 42km Sky Run over trails and tracks. If I complete it I will be on course for near on 9 hours. Any suggestions on what my reward cake should be? Or maybe just an entire Chocolate Ice Cream Cake?!
- 1 Cup cooked Sweet Potato puree (to cook a sweet potato; place a whole, unpeeled, sweet potato in a moderate oven and bake for 1 hour or until mushy inside. Peel the skin and remove the mushy insides)
- 1 Cup Cocoa
- 2 Cups Coconut Cream (thick dairy cream can be substituted)- place an opened can of coconut cream/milk in the fridge overnight and spoon off the thickened cream to use.
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup can be substituted)
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, slightly softned (not melted)
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup or Honey can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup minus 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot/Tapioca Flour
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
- Dash Salt
- 6 Tablespoon Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 3/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Salt
- 1 Cup Coconut Cream (put can of cream/milk in the fridge overnight and scoop off the thickened cream)
- 1/2 Cup cooked Sweet Potato puree (to cook a sweet potato; place a whole, unpeeled, sweet potato in a moderate oven and bake for 1 hour or until mushy inside. Peel the skin and remove the mushy insides)
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Cup Coconut Cream (thick dairy cream can be substituted)- place an opened can of coconut cream/milk in the fridge overnight and spoon off the thickened cream to use.
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup can be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 100 grams Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Cream (400ml Can), can opened and left in the fridge overnight
- 3 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Optional (for stabilizing) 1 3/4 teaspoons Gelatine
- 1/2 Cup pureed Sweet Potato (to cook Sweet Potato; place whole in a moderate oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until soft and squishy. Wait til cooled then remove the peel and use the mushy sweet potato)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon melted Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa (sifted- or at least no lumps)
- Use a 20cm/8 inch springform ring tin. Line the bottom with grease proof paper and spray the tin.
- Make and pour the Chocolate Sweet Potato Ice Ceam over the base.
- Cover with plastic wrap and palce in the freexer for a minimum of 4 hours. This is also a great time to make the cookies, the chocolate and the chocolate cream, as the latter 2 need time to set before using.
- Take the cookies and cut/break into chunks and crumbs. Have a mixture of small, medium and crumb pieces. Spread 2/3's of the cookies over the chocolate ice cream.
- Make the fudge sauce and pour evenly over the cookies.
- Cover with plastic wrap again and place in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Make the Chocolate Chip Chocolate Sweet Potato Ice Cream and pour into the cake tin over the fudge layer. Cover with plastic wrap and palce in the freexer for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Take the Chocolate Cream and spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and palce in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Make and use the Chocolate Frosting. (this can be made earlier however it is most 'pipable' at room temperature so allow time for it to soften). Pipe the frosting around the base of the cake and around the edge of the top. Use a small/medium sized star tip.
- Take the remaining cookie pieces and place in the middle on the top of the cake.
- Cover with plastic wrap and palce in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.
- The cake can be kept in the freezer for ages, and needs to be stored there between serves.
- The cake will be frozen so allow a couple of minutes before cutting, and/or pour boiling water over the knife before cutting.
- I (accidently) found that a thawed piece of cake actually tastes amazing! I wouldn't suggest you leave the enitre cake out to thaw (as it will collapse into a tasty pool of chocolate) however single pieces in bowls can be our secret treat!
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
- Put all the ingredients into a blender/mixer and process until combined. Scrape the edges down to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated. Alternatively use a bowl, a mixing spoon and some arm strength and mix until combined.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to firm.
- Pre heat the oven to 180C/360F. Line and grease a large baking tray.
- Take 1/2 Tablespoons amount of mixture and form into balls. Place the balls on the tray and flatten slightly
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 7-9 minutes. Before removing from the oven check that the bottom of the cookie has firmed and they have turned a golden brown colour. The cookies will firm up upon cooling.
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and and stir over a medium heat until fully incorporated.
- Ensure that you stir constantly otherwise it may stick and burn. Use immediately (if not hot or the ice cream layer will melt) or store in the fridge. The sauce will thicken in the fridge so it will need to be lightly warmed before using.
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Stir in the Chocoate Chips by hand.
- Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a very low heat. Stir in the Cocoa and maple syrup (vanilla if using). Allow to thicken slightly.
- Pour the Chocolate into a small lined baking tray and freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove the Chocolate from the freezer and break into large pieces.
- Place the pieces in a zip lock freezer bag. Using a rolling pin, hammer, your feet etc bang the bag until the pieces are broken into smaller pieces. Use immediately or refreeze for later use.
- Alternatively, use a sharp knife and a cutting board to cut the chocolate into small pieces (this is the more grown up way to make Choc-chips).
- Remove the can/s of coconut cream from the fridge and spoon out the thickened cream from the top of the can into a kitchen stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand blender).Discard the watery remains from the can.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and whip until thick. Shift the cocoa over the cream and whip until incorporated.
- Store the cream in the fridge.The cream will thicken in the fridge.
- If the cream is too runny and is not thickening; sprinkle the gelatine over 2 Tablespoons of water and allow to thicken for 5 minutes. Place the gelatine mixture over a bowl of hot water and allow it to dissolve, then whip it into the cream. Gelatine cream needs 4 hours in the fridge to thicken before using.
- Place all the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.
- Use immediately or place in the fridge.