Are you still with me out there? I apologize for leaving you hanging with my last post (salted chocolate, pecan and toffee squares) but I’ve been busy with a weekend trip, cleaning, laundry….oh, ok. Who am I kidding?? My husband and I have started watching Downton Abbey and have formed quite the addiction to the show. Do you watch? I really enjoy watching this show. Great character development, good plots, nice twists and turns and such a different time period, right? Imagine having a whole kitchen of help that cooks, prepares and cleans up every meal, every day. Sounds heavenly. Well, if you haven’t checked out this show–you should. Enjoy. Your Welcome.
Something else you may enjoy? This cake! My husbands birthday was a couple weeks ago and I asked him what type of dessert he would like. I would have put money on a chocolate on chocolate on chocolate cake….he loves him some chocolate. But instead, he said he had a creation he had been imagining in his head and wondered if I’d give it a go. This instantly makes me nervous. I am a recipe kind of girl, especially for baking. He then started talking about crackle (crackle=salted chocolate, pecan and toffee squares). He wanted crackle, ice cream and caramel in cake form. Now this, I can do….with Martha’s guidance, of course. After several brainstorms with Martha, here’s what we came up with. The variations are endless and really, no matter what you do, it’s going to be good. Well, not good for the waistline but I digress. Enjoy!
For this cake, we decided that on a couple layers of crackle, ice cream and caramel. So, let’s start by making some crackle! Please follow the recipe here, but instead of making on a large baking sheet we are going to make in a couple 9″ spring form pans and a cookie sheet.
Here’s a picture of one of the two 9″ springform pans I used. Please read through this whole post before deciding how you will prepare this cake. You could use a pie pan, or any pan for that matter. Just know this is the base layer of your cake. You will need to break apart and cut the graham crackers to fit as best you can.
Please follow the steps of the recipe with all of your squares.
I put foil in the other 9″ pan as I thought I would want to pull it out in one piece and use as a layer in the cake. I did NOT do this. After strategizing with Martha, we decided that once frozen as a middle layer, it may be too hard when cutting and eating. Stick with me…I will now explain what I did to put the cake together. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of each step. (Remember how I told you I had 2 young children??)
- Ok, after your crackle has cooled place the bottom layer in the freezer till solid. I covered the pan with plastic wrap and placed in freezer overnight. Prepare your caramel sauce. You could buy caramel sauce but I made this recipe and it was AMAZING. Really, most things the Pioneer Woman makes are. I doubled the recipe. Place caramel sauce in the fridge overnight. It will thicken up nicely.
- Now, get your ice cream and let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes to soften. You don’t want it too soft or it will form ice crystals when freezing but it should be soft enough to spread fairly easily. For both layers, I used a gallon of Organic French Vanilla Ice Cream. You could try different flavors. I think coffee would be outstanding.
- Once your ice cream has softened, layer on top of the crackle. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. I left in all day.
- Now, get out that yummy caramel sauce and pour on the frozen cake. Use as much as you’d like. I’d say I used about a cup or so.
- Remember that small baking sheet of crackle? I placed all of it in a ziploc bag, sealed tightly and crushed with a rolling pin. Then, sprinkle that on top of the caramel sauce for your next layer of cake. (Using the crushed crackle as the layer really worked well as it froze–thank you, Martha!) Freeze.
- Repeat with another layer of ice cream. Freeze. Add caramel sauce on top. I will warn you that my cake was taller than my pan. I had to use foil to extend the pan upwards and it worked nicely. Next time, I will use a deeper pan, not make as thick of layers or perhaps only one layer and end with crackle on top.
Yes, you will have some crackle left over. Yes, that is extremely dangerous. Since, my leftover was in the other 9″ pan, I immediately placed in freezer wrapped in plastic wrap and then foil. This will be the base layer to another cake or perhaps a tasty little snack for the next episode of Downton Abbey….
We went to our friend’s house for dinner and I brought the cake….I was so nervous what was going to happen once I released the 9″ springform pan. I was able to snap one very quick picture with my phone without looking like a total wierdo:
It was messy. But, it was delicious! Next time, I would not use quite as much caramel sauce or perhaps make in a non-springform pan and just cut and serve. It was pretty to look at but we inhaled it so quickly it probably didn’t matter.
This is really easy and has many variations. Make to suite your tastes and use whatever pans you have. Next time, I think I am going to try coffee ice cream and maybe some hot fudge sauce.