Neapolitan Ice Cream Torte

Desserts, Ice Cream / Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Last week, the kitchen sink stopped draining. The first plumber asked if I’d used Drano and then said we’d have to hire a crew to break through the brick outside and replace our pipes. We got a second opinion. The second plumber had a brain aneurysm.

In the meantime, I took the dishes outside to hose them off and wound up with a shoe full of field peas.

So, I called my momma, who asked why I wasn’t washing them in the bathtub, and I’m like, BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE WE KEEP THE GIN. But really, it’s because we just moved here, and I’m not at a Place of Trust with the bathtub yet. I’m not going to scrub our utensils where strangers have warrrshed theirs, if you know what I mean.

I loaded the dishes into two laundry baskets and a very large Rubbermaid and drove them the 45 minutes to Mom’s house, where I tapped my toes to the rhythmic whoosh of the dishwasher and talked celebrity news with my grandmother. (Once we were watching an entertainment roundup, and my mom asked, “Who’s 50 Cent?” Mommaw looks over and says, “It’s ‘Fiddy,’ Sherry. Fiddy.”)

This morning, I’m waiting for Plumber No. 3. Thankfully, this Neapolitan Ice Cream Torte – didn’t require many pots, pans … or utensils. Basically, you layer ganache and store-bought ice cream in a springform pan and freeze it. I didn’t alter Dorie’s recipe much, except for making the ganache with semisweet chocolate (instead of bittersweet) and mixing strawberry ice cream in the food processor instead of raspberry. The resulting torte tastes like Neapolitan ice cream for grown-ups. A nice way to end the summer.

Not indoor plumbing-nice, but nice.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Torte

From Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”

  • 1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
  • 1 quart premium-quality vanilla ice cream.
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, for decorating (optional)
  1. Lightly spray an 8 or 8 1/2 inch springform pan.
  2. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted. Transfer the bowl to the counter, whisk in the sugar and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Rap the bowl against the counter to de-bubble the ganache, and pour one third of it into the springform pan. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to set the ganache. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the remaining ganache and keep it in on the counter.
  4. When the first layer of ganache is set, start making the strawberry ice cream. Puree the thawed strawberries in a food processor. Spoon the ice cream into the processor, and pulse just until it is blended with the puree.
  5. Spread half the ice cream over the ganache layer, return the springform to the freezer and freeze for at least 15 minutes. Scrape the remaining ice cream into a bowl, cover it with plastic and put in the freezer.
  6. When the raspberry layer is set, pour half of the remaining ganache over it. Return the pan to the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  7. When it’s time to spread over the next layer of ice cream, beat the ice cream with a wooden spoon or, if it’s too frozen to soften to spreadability with the spoon, scrape it back into the processor and whir for a few seconds. Spread the last of the raspberry ice cream over the truffle layer and freeze for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Finish by pouring the remaining ganache over the ice cream. Jiggle and tilt the pan to even the layer, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze the torte for at least 6 hours.
  9. To Finish: About 30 minutes – or up to 3 hours – before serving time, unmold the torte. The best way to do this is to warm the sides of the springform slightly with a hairdryer. Or, you can wrap a kitchen towel dampened with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. As soon as you remove the sides, pop the torte back into the freezer for 30 minutes, or more, so the warmed sides can re-firm.

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33 thoughts on “Neapolitan Ice Cream Torte

  1. I can’t believe you pulled this off with the plumbing woes you’ve been having. I have been known to abandon cooking plans for far less compelling reasons than an nonfunctional kitchen sink. It looks amazing! And your grandmother sounds like a hoot!

  2. Did you use your homemade chocolate ice cream in this recipe or did you buy some? Regardless, this looks delish – perfect summertime dessert.

    Good luck with the pipes!

  3. That is gorgeous! I won’t mention how Mommaw also says all soap operas are bullshit because “nobody could sleep with that many people.” I still say bleach the damn tub and wash ’em. OH! And I also won’t tell you how when Daddy and I were talking of your water woes he told of how when he was a boy he had to pump the water “up 30 straight feet from the ground” to get dishwater, and how even with “only a bucket”, they had clean dishes.

  4. Almost more than the recipes, I like the stories. LOVE your grandma!!
    And seriously, I would have forgone the recipe this week if I were in your shoes.

  5. My first “big girl” plumber experience ended when he went to jail in the middle of the job. Sink parts everywhere. I feel your pain.

  6. Your photo is fabulous – frosty and melty at the same time! I managed to end up with a sinkful of dirty dishes and I didn’t even use the food processor…kudos to you!

  7. Wow, everything looks great! One can hardly tell you’re having plumbing issues that have gone through two plumbers. I completely understand how you feel about the bathtub. I’m renting, so each time we’ve moved, I always feel uneasy with the bathtub for the first month. Good luck with the plumbing!

    Oh, and your grandmother? FABULOUS.

  8. Fiddy Cent… hilarious! Hey, great job on the torte! Your slicing abilities are clearly better than mine! :-)

  9. Rebecca, you crack me up. Probably because I have stupid stories too. You know, it’s like I wear a sign on my chest that says “KICK ME”… you seem to have the same sign. Do you walk into walls… while looking at them? Uh, cause I do.

  10. oh i agree with not wanting to use the tub–any time we move to a new place, everything must be solidly sanitized, toilet seats changed etc! thank goodness for having family somewhat reasonably close by. nice looking torte–hopefully you get plumbing soon so you can wash the springform!

  11. And this week’s adventure is…LOL…the PLUMBER! I needed a giggle this evening…always can find one here…utensils…lol.

    Very nice job…love the way the colors all go together and you really do great photos.

  12. Plumber number three??? How are you not at your wit’s end? Go have a huge slice of torte and put your feet up.

  13. Oh, holy cow, does that ever look good! Strawberries would have been perfect.

    Hope the plumber brings good news. Taking the dishes 45 minutes to be washed sounds like it would get old fast.

  14. Beautiful torte! I’m so sorry about your plumbing problems. Good luck getting everything fixed. And of course you had me laughing again, this time about your Mommaw and ‘fiddy’ cent, hilarious!

  15. Ha! I love the 50 cent story cause I can so hear the same thing being said in my family…
    And you really can’t go wrong with ice cream cake, looks great!

  16. I hope things are going better with your sink. Your torte looks wonderful, despite the other obstacles. I totally understand needing to have a level of trust with your new bathroom. I hate taking a shower in a new place.

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