I love this Ice Cream Cake!!! Making my own Gelato gives me a great deal of satisfaction and, since there are no preservatives or additives, the texture is creamy smooth and the flavor is delicious.
For the Brownie Bottom
I have tried many brownie recipes for the bottom crust of this cake but was not successful in finding one that I liked until a pastry chef friend told me to try Ghirardelli’s double chocolate brownie mix. It is so moist that it stays soft even after it is frozen. I never use cake mixes but this one works so well that I recommend it highly. Follow the package directions with one exception: Cook the batter in a 12” cake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and lined with parchment paper that has been sprayed as well. Let cool completely. Remove from cake pan and cut a circle using the springform pan bottom as a guide. Crumble up the left over brownie and place on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven on a very low heat (175) until crisp. Cool completely. Follow the instructions for the gelato cake.
For the Gelato
1½ Cup Toasted Pecans
1½ Cups Heavy Cream
2/3 Cup Whole Milk
3 Large Eggs Separated
2 Ounces Marzipan, Very Thinly Sliced (Marzipan is easily found at the grocery store in the baking aisle)
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Water
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, finely grind 3/4 cup of pecans. Coarsely chop the other 3/4 cup of pecans and set both aside.
In a double boiler mix together ½ cup cream, the milk and egg yolks. Cook, stirring until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the marzipan to egg mixture. Stir until incorporated. Set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan boil sugar and water until it reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. While the sugar is boiling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip, whip the egg whites at the slowest speed to break them up and gradually increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks. Put the mixer speed back down to the lowest and slowly drizzle the sugar mixture into whites. Once all of the sugar mixture is added turn the mixer on high and whip until completely cooled, about 15 minutes. Fold in the cooled custard. Whip remaining 1 cup of heavy cream to stiff pecks. Fold in custard/egg white mixture along with finely ground pecans. Line a 9” springform pan with plastic wrap – enough to hang over the side about 4 inches. Put brownie crust on bottom and pour the gelato mixture on top. Top with chopped pecans and the crumbled brownie and freeze for at least 8 hours. (After about two hours fold the extra plastic wrap on top of cake.)