Chocolate, caramel & being directionless: a lesson in productivity

It’s hard to believe, but my not-so-little Mifman turned earlier 15 this year… We hosted a small pool party to celebrate with a few of his friends and I had been wracking my brain trying to think of a cake suitable for a 15 year old.

When he was little, it was so much easier. There is so much more inspiration for little munchkin birthday cakes. That, and he used to let me know exactly what type of cake he wanted. He’d set me, a complete amateur, some awesome challenges :

“Spiderman”

“A plane”

“Something to do with golf Mummy”!?!

Now that he is a teenager he’s not so forthcoming. “Whatever… You always make great cakes”.

While his belief in me and his gratitude are awesome, it also left me directionless.

The problem with having no direction is that you can do what ever you want. Some people don’t know what they want to do. For me, its the opposite. It stimulated way too many ideas. I got lost in the world of possibilities… which I love, but isn’t very productive.

So, I set myself a direction – create something new that 15 year old boys would love.

I then created some boundaries – to use a combination of his favourite flavours and foods which include salted caramel, Maltesers, Nutella, ice-cream, chocolate.

I noted how hot it was going to be and narrowed down my options to an ice-cream cake and went from there.

As soon as I set myself a direction and created some boundaries the inspiration came and the result was awesome! A Nutella flavoured ice cream cake with Maltesers, served on a biscuit base and salted chocolate sauce. He and his mates loved the cake. We could tell by the blissful silence that came across the group when the cake was served.

The take away….

If you are feeling lost or are lacking in productivity set yourself a clear direction and create some boundaries.

And for all you fellow foodies out there, here is what I came up with:

Nutella flavoured ice-cream cake with Maltesers, served on a biscuit base and salted chocolate sauce

Ingredients

Biscuit base
24 chocolate chip cookies
2 tablespoons rich cocoa
60g unsalted butter, melted

Salted caramel sauce
75 grams unsalted butter
50 grams soft light brown sugar
50 grams caster sugar
50 grams golden syrup
125 mls thickened cream
1 teaspoon salt

Ice cream filling
2 Litre vanilla ice cream, softened
½ cup Maltesers, slightly crushed…
½ cup Nutella
Choc ice magic, to drizzle
Extra Maltesers for decoration

Instructions

Making the base

Place the choc chip cookies into a food processor and pulse until they turn to crumbs. Add the melted butter and cocoa, pulse to combine. Pour into a 20cm spring form pan. Press the mix around the bottom and up the sides to create the base.

Making the salted caramel sauce

Melt the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a small heavy based pan. Stir at a simmer for about 3 minutes.
Mix in the cream and half a teaspoon of salt. Being careful of the hot sauce, taste to see if it needs more salt… Be careful not to burn your tongue. Let cook for another minute on the stove.

Pour the sauce pour over the biscuit base and place in the fridge.

Making the ice cream filling

Mix the crushed Maltesers into the softened ice cream. When distrusted evenly add the Nutella and mix just until just combined. Spoon the ice cream mixture over the caramel sauce.

Decorate with the extra Maltesers and the ice-magic. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Wait at least 3-4 hours for the ice cream to harden before serving.

To serve, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan and place on a cake plate or cutting board to slice.

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