Our cousin recently had a big birthday. Fifty. Fifty! How can this be? We remember vividly, and so fondly, the themed parties his mother organized when he was a little boy. Now our own children range in age from two to twenty…(eesh!)
Our aunt and uncle had a big suburban backyard. Everyone would gather for those July birthdays: grandparents, godparents, three grown siblings, their children. Our aunt would load the picnic tables with BBQd steaks and platters of boiled corn; our Baba would make cheese-filled phyllo pastries; we kids would clamour for chips and dip and root-beer floats.
But best of all, our aunt would coordinate the decorations, the cake, and the party favours to whatever our cousin loved each summer. Baseball, outer space, a new puppy…the theme would dictate the icing on the cake, literally. Marzipan rockets. Sugar-frosting hockey sticks. And streamers and balloons to match.
It was both homey, and glamorous, all at once.
This was also where we first sampled ice-cream cake. A Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge ice-cream cake, to be exact. It set the standard for some time to come.
Below is an ice-cream cake recipe that is equal parts nostalgia (Neapolitan ice cream!) and post-millennial freshness (organic ingredients!). Gather your folks and dig in. Even if it isn’t your birthday.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake
Line the bottom of a standard loaf pan with parchment paper.
Mix cookies and butter together in small bowl until moist.
Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften for a few minutes. Scoop ice cream into a mixing bowl and stir until soft.
Spread ice cream in bottom of pan with a spatula. Sprinkle with a third of the wafers. Transfer pan to freezer for 5-10 minutes, until firm.
Repeat steps with vanilla and strawberry. Freeze until firm, approximately 2 hours.
To serve, dip a knife into hot water and loosen edges around pan. Flip onto a serving plate and remove parchment paper. Slice, plate, and top with chocolate sauce.
Makes 8 Serving