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Double Dark Chocolate, Caramel, and Pretzel Crunch Ice Cream Cake

Double Dark Chocolate, Caramel, and Pretzel Crunch Ice Cream Cake

When we were kids, my brother would go to the ice cream shop and order a cake cone filled with chocolate ice cream, then dipped in chocolate, and topped with chocolate sprinkles.  This recipe I’m sharing with you today is what the dreams of Dan as a young boy are made of.  You see, we come from a long line of ice-cream-eating ancestors and have never had much of a choice in whether or not we would feel the evolutionary pull toward always having it in the freezer.  My Grandpa Ron actually got his college degree in dairy science, cementing ice cream deep into the roots of our family tree.  My dad introduced Lily pretty quickly after her first birthday and she has never looked back.

So, when the folks at Nestle contacted me about a month ago and asked me to make the most ridiculously rich dark chocolate dessert in the world, I knew what they were really asking for.  They wanted THIS ice cream cake.  It has dark chocolate ice cream studded with dark chocolate morsels, a dark fudge sauce, and a salty caramel sauce, all sitting atop a crispy pretzel and dark chocolate crust.  Of course, since I wanted to make sure everything turned out perfectly, I made this recipe about six times.  Then I taste tested all of them.  Now, my pants are tight (in the most delicious way possible).

Now, on to the fun stuff!  I created this recipe as part of the Nestle Tollhouse Dark  Pinspirations contest.  This means that the more my post gets repinned on Pinterest, the better it is for all of us.  If you repin the recipe here and then come back to leave a comment on this post telling me about it, you will be entered to win one of 50(!) free bags of Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Morsels.  AND, if I win the contest then I will randomly select one of the commenters on this post to win a $100 Amazon gift card!  Woohoo!

So, here’s what you do: Click here and repin the recipe.  Then, come back here and tell me about it.  Easy as pie dark chocolate ice cream cake.

The 50 winners of the free morsels will be selected on April 1, 2013 and mailed a coupon.  If applicable, the winner of the $100 Amazon gift card will receive it via email.  All winners will be chosen randomly.  This post is sponsored by Nestle, but all opinions are my own.   The Amazon gift card would be sponsored by me.


Double Dark Chocolate, Caramel, and Pretzel Crunch Ice Cream Cake

To Assemble the Cake:

Line a 9” spring form pan with plastic saran wrap.

Put the frozen ice cream (recipe below) into the prepared spring form pan and freeze until hard.  Then prepare the dark chocolate pretzel base (recipe below) and spread evenly over the top of the ice cream layer and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.  When you are ready to serve, unlock the spring form pan and remove the sides.  Then flip the cake over – quickly and carefully! – so that the chocolate base is on the bottom.  Remove the plastic wrap.  Slice and serve frozen with whipped cream, crushed pretzels, and leftover caramel and fudge sauce drizzled on top.

For the Ice Cream:

2 cups heavy cream 1 cup low fat milk The seeds from one vanilla bean ½ cup Nestlé® Toll House® Baking Cocoa 1 2/3 cups (10 ounce package)  Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels, finely chopped plus one cup Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels 4 large egg yolks ½ cup granulated sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp salt ¼ cup Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe below) ¼ cup Fudge Sauce (recipe below)

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

Combine the cream, milk, and vanilla bean seeds in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Add the 10 ounces of chopped chocolate morsels and let it sit for a couple of minutes while they soften.  Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and set aside to cool.

In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks until they are smooth. Slowly add the sugar and whisk until it is smooth and the mixture is pale yellow. With the beater running, slowly pour 1 cup or ladle of the chocolate mixture into the eggs.  Then repeat with a second cup.  Work slowly so the hot mixture doesn’t scramble the eggs.

Then pour the chocolate-egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and will coat a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through the prepared fine-mesh strainer. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt, and then put the bowl in the fridge about 15 to 20 minutes to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and put back into in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight. You can do this step a couple of days in advance as long as you keep it covered in the fridge.

When the mix is cold, put it in an ice cream machine and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When the ice cream is almost done, add the extra 1 cup of dark chocolate morsels.  Then stream in the caramel and fudge sauce immediately before turning the machine off.

For the Dark Chocolate Base:

1 cup Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels ¼ tsp vanilla extract 1 ½ cups small salted pretzels, broken into pieces

On a stove top using a double boiler and medium-low heat (or a heat-proof glass bowl over a small sauce pan with simmering water), melt the chocolate, stirring fairly constantly.  Stir in the vanilla extract, then add the pretzel pieces and mix until they are fully coated.

For the Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup heavy cream 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp sea-salt flakes

Put the heavy cream into the microwave for about a minute to warm it up.

Spread the sugar out in a medium frying pan and put over medium heat.  Let it sit until the sugar starts to liquefy and then stir slowly until it is all liquid and an amber color.  Take off the heat and carefully add the heavy cream into the sugar, stirring constantly, until combined.  If it seizes up (the sugar gets hard), cook over a low heat until the sugar all melts.  Add in the vanilla extract and salt.  This can be made in advance as long as it is kept in an air-tight container in the fridge.

For the Fudge Sauce

1 cup heavy cream 2 Tbsp. butter ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 cups (12 ounces) Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Morsels ½ tsp vanilla extract Pinch of salt

Over medium heat, melt the butter into the cream.  Then whisk in the sugar until it is dissolved.  Lower the heat and add the chocolate chips in and let it sit for about 2 minutes (until the chips are soft) and then stir them into the cream.  Mix in the vanilla extract and salt, and remove from the heat to cool.  This can be made in advance as long as it is kept in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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