This is actually my second attempt at this cake. The first attempt didn't go so well. The cake itself worked out just fine, and I'm sure it was delicious. However, I was unable to actually try the cake in it's entirety. After I finished decorating it, I had placed it back in the freezer to harden back up. That's when I heard a loud clunk. I opened the freezer to see all my hard work pouring down the side of the door... I guess that's what I get for trying to perform a balancing act with my latest dessert project. I saved about half of the cake, which was pretty much ruined at that point. I scooped it into a container and ended up eating it as ice cream instead.
In any case, I learned my lesson and bounced back this week with a perfected recipe and better pictures, oh, and a cleaned out freezer too. ;) I must say I am actually kind of glad about what happened. This cake turned out much better in the end!
I know there are a lot of components to this cake which makes it seem a little complicated, but it's actually pretty easy. If you want to make it a little simpler you can omit the cashew cream and coffee sauce, but I think it really adds to the flavor of the cake. I admit it's a little time consuming, but trust me, it is totally worth it!
The ice cream portion of the cake tastes like a creamy chocolate banana soft-serve ice cream with a hint of coffee. The coffee cream and sauce really help bring out the mocha flavors the most though. The crust is a little salty, which I think adds a nice balance to the sweet richness of the cake and cream. If you are watching your sodium, you may want to omit the salt from the crust, or lighten it to 1/8 of a teaspoon. I think everything goes together perfectly as-is though. :)
Chocolate Almond Crust:
- 1 & 1/4 Cup Almond Flour
- 2 TBSP Date or Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 3 TBSP Melted Coconut Oil + more for greasing pan
- 3 Frozen Bananas (cut into coins before freezing)
- 2/3 Pint Whipping Cream
- 1 TBSP Raw Honey
- 2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 3 TBSP Strong Brewed Coffee, chilled
- 1 Cup Raw Unsalted Cashews (soaked at least 2 hours)
- 1/4 Cup + 1 TBSP Strong Brewed Coffee, chilled
- 2 tsp Raw Honey
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 TBSP Firm Coconut Oil
- 1 TBSP Strong Brewed Coffee
- 1 tsp Raw Honey, or more to taste
- 1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (or try Coconut Flour for non-chocolate coffee sauce)
Before beginning make sure you have prepared frozen bananas, soaked cashews, and chilled coffee. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while you make your crust and place your food processor in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before making the ice cream cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9" baking pan with coconut oil, I find that a spring form pan works best for this. I lined the bottom of mine with parchment paper which made it much easier to slide the finished cake onto the serving dish.
In a large bowl combine the almond flour, date sugar, salt, and 1 TBSP cocoa powder and stir well. Add the 3 TBSP melted coconut oil and continue to stir until the mixture is moist and crumbly.
Evenly press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 7-10 minutes, just enough to bind together. If you used parchment paper the crust may feel like it is going to crumble apart, don't worry because the ice cream holds it together quite nicely. Allow crust to cool for a few minutes, then place in freezer to chill while you make your ice cream cake. Make sure it is completely cool before pouring ice cream over it.
Ice Cream Cake:
Place bananas in chilled food processor with whipping cream, honey, and cocoa powder. Blend until no lumps remain. Add coffee and continue blending until everything is well combined and creamy. Try to work quickly while everything is still chilled. You should have a very smooth creamy textured ice cream, similar to soft-serve. Pour ice cream over the chilled crust and spread evenly.
Allow to chill in freezer until solid, about 2 hours.
Coffee Cashew Cream:
Drain the cashews and place in food processor with the coffee, honey, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and no lumps remain.
Transfer to a freezer safe dish and allow to chill for about 20-30 minutes to thicken up. Transfer to a piping bag once ice cream cake is finished chilling. I recommend using a large tip because small pieces of cashews may still remain and get stuck easily. I made that mistake on my first attempt...
Chocolate Coffee Sauce:
Over low heat, warm the coconut oil, coffee, and honey in a small saucepan. Stir frequently until the coconut oil is melted and the honey is fully dissolved. Add cocoa powder and stir until no lumps remain. You should have a very thin sauce.
Allow to cool, but not enough to harden, before drizzling over cake.
Once the ice cream cake has finished chilling, drizzle with the coffee sauce and pipe the cashew cream decoratively around the cake. You can actually pour the sauce over the cake before it has finished chilling, I actually recommend this as it makes your serving dish look much cleaner. But do make sure the cake is solid before piping on the cashew cream. I was too impatient my first attempt, and the cake was too soft when I decorated it. I ended up with most of my frosting sliding around and it was very sloppy looking!
I learned from my mistakes and walked away with a much nicer cake this time around. And I must say, the finished product is much better as as cake than an ice cream. :)