Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Carvel Ice Cream and Ice Cream Cake

Guess what The Daily Kool found out the other day? July is National Ice Cream Month! Apparently, President Ronald Reagan decided to help out the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) back in 1984 by recognizing this cool and creamy treat. How we possibly could not have known about this is beyond us...but, we would be remiss if we didn't honor President Reagan's memory by throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into the spirit of this very important holiday, right? Since the third Sunday of July is officially National Ice Cream Day, The Daily Kool will be featuring some "kool" ideas and recipes over the next week in celebration of this event. Oh yeah...we're definitely going to take advantage of this legitimate excuse to indulge in one of our sweetest obsessions!

Let's kick off this party with perhaps one of the most recognized names in the ice cream industry...Carvel. Carvel is the nation's first retail ice cream franchise, whose ice cream treats and cakes have been a tradition in The Daily Kool family for years. Carvel has been making ice cream fresh daily for over 75 years and is home of the original all ice cream cake. Ah yes...a birthday party in our family just wasn't complete without a Carvel ice cream cake when we were kids. Just picture it...two flavors of luscious ice cream, piled high and brought together with an extra-thick layer of Carvel's famous chocolate crunchies right in the middle. Just thinking about it has us practically drooling. We're definitely taking the kids out for some Carvel today.

Taking a trip to our local Carvel ice cream franchise is a special treat. It is particularly child-friendly, with glass displays that are just the right height for little ones to select their flavors without our backs going out from having to lift them to see inside. Plus, the newest locations have these amazing rainbow sprinkle dispensers so the kids (okay, and adults) can have fun making their own colored concoctions. Everyone has their favorite flavor, and each expresses his/her individuality with proper aplomb. Our oldest son has fairly simple tastes with a simple cup of chocolate/vanilla swirl, while our youngest is a bit more creative with his combination of rainbow sherbet and M&Ms...yeah, it kind of grosses us out also. To the men of our family, a trip to Carvel is not complete without one of their famous flying fact, our father used to buy reams of the sandwich cookie (minus the ice cream) at least once a month so he could eat them straight from the freezer. Cherry vanilla is the ladies' all-time favorite flavor...with extra bing cherries, of course. Add a bunch of chocolate crunchies to the top and we are completely enthralled in our nostalgic bliss...not to mention a major sugar rush!

With over 500 ice cream stores and ice cream cakes available in over 8,500 supermarkets nationwide, Carvel treats are definitely a great way to keep "kool" this summer. In case you don't have a Carvel nearby, we've included instructions for making your own ice cream cake and the recipe for Carvel's famous chocolate crunchies...we couldn't believe how easy they were to make! Have we mentioned how excited we are about National Ice Cream Month? Enjoy!

Easy Ice Cream Cake
Supplies and Ingredients:
  • 9" x 3" springform pan
  • 9" cardboard or styrofoam cake disc
  • metal spatula
  • 2 gallons of your favorite ice cream (make one vanilla, if decorating)
  • 1 box Nabisco famous chocolate wafer cookies (oreo cones or crumbs work well also)
  • 1 bottle of chocolate Magic Shell coating
  1. Chill the springform cake pan for a couple of hours in the freezer.
  2. Take the first ice cream flavor (again, vanilla, if decorating) out to soften for about 15 minutes to give it a soft-serve (but not runny) consistency.
  3. Place the cake disc in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Using the metal spatula, spread vanilla ice cream all around the sides of the pan to about 1/2" thickness.
  5. Fill the pan about half-way up with your preferred ice cream flavor. Freeze until firm.
  6. While the first layer is freezing, chop up enough chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor to make about 2 cups. Add magic shell, a little at a time (about 1/2 bottle or so), until crumbs are completely coated, but not soaking wet. Set aside, but do not refrigerate.
  7. Once the bottom layer is completely frozen, use your spatula to spread the chocolate crunchies in an even layer on top.
  8. Fill in the last half of space with vanilla ice cream (again, if decorating). Make sure to heap the ice cream above the rim level. Then, use the metal spatula in a horizontal motion to scrape across the pan top, removing excess ice cream to create a flat surface.
  9. Chill for a couple of hours until completely solid.
  10. To unmold, run the sides of the pan under warm water until you notice a little melting along the pan sides. Place the cake pan on top of a bowl, unlatch the pan hing and press the sides down while removing the pan bottom. Transfer to a plate and chill again before decorating.
  11. Decorate any way you want, but make sure to work as fast as possible so the cake doesn't melt...we let the kids do it (we time them at five minutes), using gel, ReddiWhip whipped cream and sprinkles all around.
  12. Chill the cake one more time before serving.

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