I admit, at some point during this production I was ready to just throw in the dishtowel. My childhood sort of sucked anyway so why was I trying to recreate this cake? In reality, I never even got to have one for my birthday. It was always the kids in the Benetton shirts who got the Cookiepuss. So sometimes ice cream cake can turn into existential crisis at the drop of a hat.
But I really wanted that Cookiepuss. And Halloween was the perfect time to do it! If you didn’t grow up in NYC the prospect might actually a little but frightening I suppose. You can wikipedia it, but in brief, Cookiepuss is a space alien who arrived at Carvel Ice Cream Bakeries with an ice cream cone for a nose and cookies for eyes and lots of frosting and sprinkles for embellishments (like a hat! and hands!) She’s made, of course, of ice cream – one layer of chocolate then a layer of cookie crumbles, then a layer of vanilla. Instead of going for the traditional shape, I thought a teardrop pan would make my life easier. No big whoop.
But I guess I didn’t think it through enough because when everything was assembled I realized that my plan wasn’t going to work. For one, I had made my own cashew ice cream which was way too hard for an ice cream cake. For another, how was I going to get it out of the pan?
Problem one was easily solved with some So Delicious ice cream. It’s perfectly creamy and easily accessible, and their Chocolate Velvet and Creamy Vanilla soy varieties really just can’t be beat.
But even with the ice cream I was still left with the engineering issues. The parchment paper I counted on was clearly not going to work, it was just way too slippery. I considered fashioning something together with springform pans. Ultimately I went with tin foil and prayed to Fudgy the Whale that it would work. And it did. So who’s wearing the Benetton shirt now, huh?!
So learn from my mistakes! Maybe you’re not going to be making a Cookiepuss, but for any molded ice cream cake in general I think these are a few good rules of thumb.
1) Line your pan with tin foil and have plenty of extra foil overhanging the edges. This will make it easy to pull out.
2) Spray twice. Use oil to spray the pan before lining with tin foil and then spray the tin foil.
3) Make sure that the ice cream is creamy! I mean, duh, it’s called ice cream. But make sure it’s a spreadable consistency. Plopping it into the tray won’t work.
4) You’ll need twice as much ice cream as you think you’ll need! Remember that once the ice cream gets to s spreadable consistency it loses a lot of air.
And here is how Vegan Cookiepuss came together.
I scraped a bunch of oreo type of cookie cream free from its wafery imprisonment. You can reserve the cream to use in your frosting, but I didn’t because I gave up on life at some point. Newman-Os used to sell just the cookies sans cream, but I’m not sure they still do and in any case I couldn’t find any.
Cookie crumbs! Just grind ‘em up in a food processor.
Spread a layer of vanilla into the foil lined pan. This took me an astonishing 2 quarts of ice cream! Get it nice and even and the sprinkle on a layer of cookie crumbs. You can reserve some of the crumbs for decorating, too. They taste so good when some are mushy and some are still crispy when you’re eating the cake.
Flash forward! Add the chocolate layer. Freeze for several hours. Carefully invert CP and coax her out of the pan. Frost with buttercream. Then decorate like crazy, and as ridiculously as possible. (Aim for Cake Wrecks). And voila! You’ve got your very own Cookiepuss!
For my Halloween party, best costume won the ice cream nose. Or just the first totally adorable kiddo who asked! Far be it from me to deprive a child of Cookiepuss, they might turn out completely off-kilter and try to recreate one as an adult.
Oh and if you’d like to see the Carvel commercials, go ahead and live the dream!