Meringue and Ice Cream Cake

If you’ve been visiting this week, then you would know what was coming today! The topping for the ice cream cake! But, as with the other recipes, you can just use this meringue to go with any other recipe you want. You could make a lemon meringue pie, make a different ice cream cake, use it to top a regular cake, make a tart…lots of possibilities! The recipe is straight out of the Bi-Rite Creamery cookbook. In case you are worried about using lots of egg whites for this (something than turned me off before from making certain recipes), I can tell you that it pairs perfectly with most ice cream recipes, which is the main reason I wanted to make this over a different frosting. Meringue needs 4 egg whites, and the buttermilk ice cream I paired it with (much like other ice creams I make) uses 4 egg yolks. Yay! Meringue also works really well for ice cream cakes because it stays fluffy and soft in the freezer. This particular meringue is not too sweet like some, so it is almost like a whipped cream topping, but healthier. Before you make the meringue, though, you will want to assemble the cake, so I will provide those directions first.

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These directions work for any standard cake baked in an 8 or 9 inch pan. You can feel free to change it up. I chose to have one main cake layer, and one layer of ice cream, but you could cut the cake in half and make two layers of cake, and layer the ice cream accordingly. To properly assemble an ice cream cake, you want the cake to be cool (you can pop it in the fridge or freezer to help), and you want the ice cream to be either freshly churned, or softened in the fridge. It should be spreadable, but not liquidy. Mine was a little soft, but it still worked (it’s just a little messier).

Directions for Assembling an Ice Cream Cake

I decided to use my cake ring to help assemble the cake just like when I make the Momofuku cakes. First, I cut the cake using the ring to have a 6-inch wide layer.

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If you have a bigger ring, you could use that, too. Use a serrated knife to flatten the top of the cake so that both the top and bottom are flat.

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Have your cake pan handy. I like to keep the parchment from the bottom of the cake for this reason. You can reuse it here, placing the cake ring in the center of the pan on top of the parchment. Next, use parchment paper, liner paper (what I used), or acetate (what pastry chefs use) to create a cylinder in the ring. Tape it closed.

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Next, place the cake layer down.

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Take the ice cream and create an even layer on top, using an offset spatula to help spread it out.

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It helps to make the ice cream layer about the same size or smaller than your cake layer. I used some of the remaining pieces of cake to make another thin layer of cake on top.

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You will be covering this with meringue, so it doesn’t have to be pretty.

At this point, place the entire cake in the freezer to chill for an hour or more (you want the ice cream to harden).

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Once the ice cream is firm, you can pull off the paper covering the sides of the cake. Spread the meringue (see below) evenly over the sides and top. You can use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make some interesting textures. At this point, you could use a butane torch to toast the meringue, but we opted to leave it smooth.

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While you were waiting for the ice cream cake to harden is when you should make the meringue.

We decorated with some Oreo-style cookie crumbs

We decorated with some Oreo-style cookie crumbs

Meringue does not keep, so you want to use it immediately. This recipe should make more than you need, but you probably have extra cake leftover anyway. I used the meringue on top of the mini cupcakes I had made, just dipping their tops right in the bowl.

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Note: Egg whites whip up faster when they are room temperature, so pull them out of the fridge a bit before you start.

Directions for Meringue

From Bi-Rite Creamery

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Use a double boiler, or use a stainless steel mixing bowl on top of a saucepan with an inch or so of water boiling underneath (as much as you can put underneath without touching the stainless steel bowl. In the bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.

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Continue whisking for about 3 minutes (you want the eggs to reach 140 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved, but it will still look very liquidy.

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Use the bowl with your mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip the egg mixture until it is glossy and the peaks hold their shape.

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This will take about 5 minutes.

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Use the meringue immediately.

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Pac Man Style

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Directions for Assembling an Ice Cream Cake without pictures

I decided to use my cake ring to help assemble the cake just like when I make the Momofuku cakes. First, I cut the cake using the ring to have a 6-inch wide layer. If you have a bigger ring, you could use that, too. Use a serrated knife to flatten the top of the cake so that both the top and bottom are flat. Have your cake pan handy. I like to keep the parchment from the bottom of the cake for this reason. You can reuse it here, placing the cake ring in the center of the pan on top of the parchment. Next, use parchment paper, liner paper (what I used), or acetate (what pastry chefs use) to create a cylinder in the ring. Tape it closed. Next, place the cake layer down. Take the ice cream and create an even layer on top, using an offset spatula to help spread it out. It helps to make the ice cream layer about the same size or smaller than your cake layer. I used some of the remaining pieces of cake to make another thin layer of cake on top. At this point, place the entire cake in the freezer to chill for an hour or more (you want the ice cream to harden).

Once the ice cream is firm, you can pull off the paper covering the sides of the cake. Spread the meringue (see below) evenly over the sides and top. You can use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make some interesting textures. At this point, you could use a butane torch to toast the meringue, but we opted to leave it smooth.

While you were waiting for the ice cream cake to harden is when you should make the meringue. Meringue does not keep, so you want to use it immediately. This recipe should make more than you need, but you probably have extra cake leftover anyway. I used the meringue on top of the mini cupcakes I had made, just dipping their tops right in the bowl.

Directions for Meringue without pictures

From Bi-Rite Creamery

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Use a double boiler, or use a stainless steel mixing bowl on top of a saucepan with an inch or so of water boiling underneath (as much as you can put underneath without touching the stainless steel bowl. In the bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Continue whisking for about 3 minutes (you want the eggs to reach 140 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved, but it will still look very liquidy. Use the bowl with your mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip the egg mixture until it is glossy and the peaks hold their shape. This will take about 5 minutes.

Use the meringue immediately.

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