Chocolate cake layered with vanilla coconut ice cream, chocolate sauce, coconut and chopped Almond Joy candies.
Good lighting makes me happy.
I'm far from calling myself a "food photographer", but I feel like each new recipe I shoot I am learning more and getting a little bit better. I think I enjoy the photo-taking just as much, if not more, than the baking! It's definitely the creativity.
Between work and school, it's hard to have the right lighting for my shoots. Coming home at 5, and trying to whip something up and then having to chase the setting sun is discouraging. I prefer to use natural light, and I guess that makes it harder on me.
"If there's a will, there's a way"! Whether it means using my lunch hour to shoot something, or getting up an hour or two early for work to shoot in the morning, I make it work. The weekends help, too!
Sometimes it's a struggle. But when I get pretty bright photos like these, they make me hopeful! Sure, they're not magazine quality like some of the ones I admire at other blogs. But progress is progress. And that's what matters.
Almond Joy is one of my favorite candy bars. My mom didn't know this until I made this cake, actually. After she learned this, I found a handful of large Almond Joy candy bars in the bowl of my stand mixer..."Because I never knew they were your favorite", she explained. She's so thoughtful!
I love the creamy coconut filling and the crunch of the almonds. If anything has almonds in it, I'm down.
I've been wanting to make an ice cream cake for a while, and decided to make it candy bar themed. This was my first ice cream cake to make, and it won't be the last!
If you like Almond Joys or any chocolate/coconut concoction as much as I do, you'll love this cake! I may or may not have eaten it for breakfast...two days in a row...
Even though Paul doesn't like almonds OR coconut, I brought him a slice to "taste". He took one bite and said, "Oh man. Why didn't you bring me at least half of the cake?"
I think he liked it! So, almond-loving or not, this cake will have you changed!
The chocolate syrup is drizzled on top of each cake layer, so it seeps into the chocolate cake. The ice cream melts into the cake layers as it thaws, and it turns into a beautiful blend of ice cream and cake.
Simple as ice cream cake! I'll show you. I started with a chocolate cake, in 2 layers. Box mix is perfectly fine. I won't tell if you don't tell. You'll also need some ice cream. I added coconut to my Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for mine.
I used a springform pan (the kind you make cheesecake with) to layer my cake and ice cream. With a round cake board in the bottom, and parchment paper lining the sides, it went:
1 cake layer
lots of chocolate syrup
ice cream layer
chopped Almond Joys
(then repeat 1 more time)
Almond Joy Ice Cream Cake Recipe:
1 chocolate cake in 2 layers
3 cups-2 pints of vanilla ice cream with coconut mixed in
1 bag of sweetened shredded coconut
1 sleeve of mini Almond Joy bars. (Or about 6-8 regular ones)
If using a springform pan, bake your cake in that pan so it fits perfectly. If using a 9 or 8-inch baking pan, use this to assemble the ice cream cake also. Start by baking the chocolate cake, and letting it cool completely. If you're short on time, after it has cooled for 10 minutes or so, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. This should help it cool faster, and start to freeze for the ice cream cake.
Prepare your ice cream. If you bought coconut ice cream, good for you! If you bought vanilla, let the ice cream thaw until it is stir-able. Stir in about 1 1/2 cups of coconut flakes. You can really just eyeball it until you think it's enough.
If you want to make the ice cream like I did, stir in the coconut flakes right at the end of the mixing in the ice cream maker, once it's reached soft-serve consistency.
Once your cake is completely cooled, (not warm to the touch any more), level out two even cake layers.
Line the inside of the springform pan with parchment or wax paper all along the sides and bottom, if preferred. I placed a round cake board at the bottom. The parchment paper will help for an easy removal in the end. It's really important if you're not using a springform pan to make sure you are able to lift the cake up and out with this paper.
Lay in the first layer of cake. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Use your judgement! Then sprinkle with a hefty amount of coconut flakes. Cover with about 1 1/2 cups of ice cream. Using a rubber spatula, spread the ice cream out over the cake to even it out (just like frosting a cake layer). Try to get the edges the same as the cake, and make it nice and level. Sprinkle with a handful of chopped Almond Joys, and you're done with the first layer! Repeat for the second layer, with another layer of cake, fudge, coconut, ice cream and candies!
Cover carefully and leave in the freezer overnight, or until ice cream has hardened. It's lovely for breakfast. Enjoy!