You begin by making the “ice cream,” and letting chopped mint steep in warm cream for 30 minutes. After steeping, the mint was strained from the cream, the cream was brought back up to a simmer, and then it was poured over some chopped bittersweet chocolate. The chocolate-cream mixture was whisked until smooth before it was covered and chilled overnight. Next, the thin cake was made. More bittersweet chocolate was melted in a double-boiler. Egg yolks, coffee, and salt were whisked into the melted chocolate. Egg whites were whisked in a stand mixer until firm peaks were formed. The whites were folded into the chocolate mixture in two stages, and then a scant quarter cup of flour was folded into the batter. The cake batter was spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and it was baked for about ten to twelve minutes just until dry to the touch. After the cake cooled on a rack for 30 minutes, it was wrapped with plastic wrap and left in the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes. The cake was removed from the pan and cut in half widthwise and set aside while the chilled ganache was whipped until fluffy and it held stiff peaks. The whipped ganache, or ice cream, was spread on one half of the cake, and the second half was placed on top and pressed to make flat. The sandwiched cake was then covered again and placed back into the freezer overnight. I wasn’t kidding about lots of waiting between steps. Last but not least, the big cake sandwich was cut into portions.
The ice cream layer and the cake were both surprisingly tasty given that there was no added sugar in either. However, because of the sugar absence, the ice cream does freeze to a very solid state. It’s a good suggestion in the book to let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. There were no issues with the cake though. It was a tender and perfect way to sandwich ice cream. And, of course, the mix of chocolate and mint was meant to be. This got a thumbs-up for a treat that wasn’t too sweet.
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