This ice cream cake is the dessert to serve on a hot day. Made with berries, cherries and chocolate, this festive Curtis recipe ticks all the boxes.
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Arrange a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 175°C (155°C fan-forced). Lightly grease and line a 20cm (base measurement) round cake pan and a 15cm x 38cm (base measurement) rimmed baking tray with baking paper. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup (125ml) water to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Set aside for 10 mins to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour and bicarbonate of soda. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and salt to combine. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, in 2 batches, alternating between each addition. Whisk in the cocoa mixture.
Pour 600g of the batter into the prepared tray. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 mins or until the cake in the baking tray springs back gently when pressed. Bake cake in the cake pan for a further 5 mins or until cake springs back gently when pressed. Set aside for 10 mins to cool. Invert cakes onto wire racks. Remove paper and set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the cherry sauce and frosting, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the caster sugar, lemon juice and 450g cherries to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 mins or until the mixture thickens slightly. Set aside to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and blend until the cherry sauce is smooth.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the butter, icing sugar and almond extract for 2 mins or until very pale. Add 2 tbs cherry sauce. Beat until combined. Place the remaining cherry sauce in the fridge until needed.
Invert the rectangular cake onto a large chopping board. Trim 1.5cm from each side. Top with cherry frosting, spreading evenly to the edges. Place in the fridge for 30 mins or until the frosting is firm.
Cut the rectangular cake into quarters. Place one quarter on a plate. Top with another quarter and gently press to adhere the layers. Repeat with the remaining quarters. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins or until layers are firm.
Using a warm knife, trim the iced cake to a 16cm x 10cm rectangle. Halve the cake crossways and cut each half lengthways into six 1.5cm-wide strips, wiping the knife clean after each cut.
Line a 23cm (base measurement) round springform pan with baking paper. Transfer the round cake to the prepared springform pan. Arrange the cake strips around the edge of the cake, flush with the edge of the pan. Spread half the ice cream over the round cake. Drizzle 2 tbs cherry sauce over the ice cream and use a round-bladed knife to gently marble. Top with one-quarter of the strawberries, one-quarter of the blueberries and one-quarter of the raspberries. Repeat layering with the remaining ice cream, 2 tbs cherry sauce and one-third of remaining berries. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 4 hours or until firm.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining cherries, the remaining berries and the extra sugar and toss to coat. Set the berry mixture aside for 10 mins to develop the flavours.
Transfer the cake to a serving platter and set aside for 10 mins to soften. Top the cake with half the berry mixture. Serve immediately with remaining cherry sauce and remaining berry mixture.
Make ahead: The ice cream cake can be assembled up to 5 days ahead, covered and frozen. Top with berries just before serving.
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