Rich low carb mint chip ice cream with layers of gluten-free chocolate cake and a sugar-free chocolate ganache. Worth the effort for tasty summertime dessert!
I don’t consider myself a particularly indulgent parent. I don’t satisfy my children’s every whim and I try to instill a sense of responsibility and gratitude in them. If anything, I probably err on the side of being too hard on them, too unyielding. Sometimes it feels like I say no more than I say any other word, and it can come as a bit of relief to say yes once in a while. When my husband cooked up a rather indulgent scheme for the three kids a few weeks ago, I hemmed and hawed but I eventually gave in. And so we held a half-birthday party for our three kiddos, replete with cake, balloons and presents. If that’s not parental indulgence, I don’t know what is!
All of my kids are born in the last quarter of the year. My husband and I often feel that from early October through Christmas, we get no break whatsoever. We go from birthday to birthday to Thanksgiving to birthday to Christmas. Wham, Wham, Wham, one event after another with barely any time to breathe. As we are not particular indulgent parents, we don’t fete our children’s natal days with lavish parties and excessive gifts. Oftentimes, they are just small family get togethers, and yet we still find ourselves run ragged in those last three months. My husband, whose birthday is just after Christmas, is sensitive to the fact that the individual attention for each kiddo can get a little lost in the holiday season. And in terms of presents and new toys, it’s feast or famine for my kids. They get all their new goodies in the last few months of the year and then it’s a long dry stretch until “birthday season” rolls around again.
So it was with that in mind that my husband picked up one present for each of the kids and coaxed me into saying yes to a Half-Birthday party. It was only the 5 of us, but it was really a sweet little evening. We hit the buffet at a good Chinese restaurant because the kids had been asking to dine there for ages, and then we surprised them at home with a big bunch of balloons and this delicious low carb ice cream cake. My husband had to employ a great many distraction techniques during the day for me to get the ice cream cake done. I nearly got caught red-handed while taking some photos, but my husband quickly intervened and whisked the curious child back up the stairs to the playroom. They knew something was up, but they really weren’t quite sure what to make of it.
As you might expect, they were absolutely delighted to discover the cause of Mummy and Daddy’s strange behaviour. They really enjoyed the full and being made to feel special on a random day in July when it was no one’s birthday. I loved seeing how happy they were and it was worth it for me to let go a little bit and say yes.
The cake was well worth it too!
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter softened
- 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener
- 2 large eggs room temperature (or 3 egg whites, if trying to use them up!)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp vodka optional, helps reduce iciness
- 2 tbsp vegetable glycerin optional, helps keep it soft in the freezer
- 1/2 tsp mint extract
- 1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or Homemade Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9-inch springform pan well (line with parchment and grease parchment if your pan has a history of sticking).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, protein powder, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with sweetener until well combined. Beat in eggs or egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat in half the almond flour mixture, then the almond milk and finally the remaining almond flour mixture until well combined.
- Spread in prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife or an offset spatula.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove and let cool 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and let cool completely. Once cook, cut horizontally into two even layers.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine whipping cream, almond milk, sweetener and mint leaves. Bring to a low boil, then remove from heat, cover and let steep 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and blend until mint leaves are pureed. Bring cream mixture back over low heat until it reaches about 175F on an instant read thermometer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and then slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture. Then slowly whisk yolks back into cream, whisking continuously. Cook until mixture reaches 180F on an instant read thermometer.
- Pour mixture into a bowl set over an ice bath and let cool 10 minutes, Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- Stir in vodka and vegetable glycerin, if using, and then stir in mint and stevia extracts. Sprinkle surface with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Pour custard into the canister of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's directions. Once churned, transfer to a bowl, stir in chocolate chips and place in freezer while beginning to assemble cake.
- Line the sides of the same springform pan with parchment paper, with the parchment rising above the sides of the pan by an inch or two.
- Place on layer of cake on the bottom of the pan and spread with half of the mint chip ice cream. Carefully place the second layer of cake on top of the ice cream (Note: If the cake layers seem fragile, try cutting them in half to make it easier to transfer them back into the pan). Top with remaining ice cream. Freeze until ice cream is firm, at least 2 to 3 hours.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate together, stirring until smooth. Stir in powdered sweetener and vanilla extract.
- Let cool 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened but still pourable. Pour over top of cake, allowing it to drip down sides. Serve immediately
- To cut the cake, immerse a sharp knife in very hot water for 30 seconds. Return to hot water as needed while cutting. The leftovers may freeze quite hard so let sit out 10 to 15 minutes before cutting again.
Serves 16. Each serving has 10.64 g of carbs and 3.84 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 6.8 g.
Food energy: 317kcal
Saturated fatty acids: 13.23g
Total fat: 27.17g
Calories from fat: 244
Total dietary fiber: 3.84g