When I was growing up, going out to dinner was something we did only a few times a year. There was one Italian restaurant, one Mexican restaurant, and then of course the family style restaurant — Big Boy. The Italian and Mexican restaurants were visited usually for dinner to celebrate a grandparents birthday or perhaps an anniversary, but Big Boy was strictly a lunch place for us.
Twice a year my mother and I would head out to the local mall for school clothes shopping and then Christmas shopping and during each of these trips the highlight was always going to Big Boy for lunch. We would typically meet up with my grandparents and even my father on his lunch break and share a wonderful meal and then dessert.
The one dessert I always got when at Big Boy was their Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake. I looked forward to this all year-long and would have much rathered just eaten dessert than have to fill up on lunch first, but rules were rules — no dessert until you’ve cleaned your plate.
As a parent, I am far less strict on this “no dessert until you’ve cleaned your plate” rule. In fact, during the 24 days leading up til Christmas, I have many times given the kids ice cream sundaes for breakfast.
Now that the kids are older, I figured we should perhaps improve on our ice cream for breakfast tradition and make the meal just a bit more substantial, so I decided to see if I could duplicate the hot fudge ice cream cake. Of course I had to do a trial run prior to December. I wouldn’t want things not to turn out and perhaps end up having to give them candy or cookies instead, what kind of mother do you take me for. So a little bit ago I made my version of this.
Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake
1 package Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix – I prefer Duncan Hines, but any will do
1/2 gallon brick vanilla ice cream (you’d be surprised how hard it is to find ice cream in a brick anymore)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/4 Cups sugar
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 Cup butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Whipped cream and maraschino cherries for garnish
- Prepare cake mix according to package directions in a 13 x 9 x 2 pan. Cool completely.
- Remove cake from pan and cut in half horizontally. Place bottom layer back in pan. Cut ice cream into even slices and place evenly over bottom cake layer. You will use all of the ice cream. Place remaining cake layer over ice cream. Cover and freeze.
- Prepare Fudge Sauce: Combine evaporated milk and sugar in saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Beat over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and salt.
- To serve: Cut cake into serving squares. Spoon hot fudge sauce over cake and garnish with whipped cream and cherry.
This turned out perfect. Not only did it taste exactly as I remember the ice cream cake from Big Boy, but the hot fudge sauce was so good that Grace told me she never wants to buy store-bought chocolate sauce for ice cream again. Plus, you can use any flavor ice cream you want. You are limited only to what you can find in brick containers. I actually used chocolate chip for my first try.
As an adult, I go to restaurants infrequently. I’d have to say if we go out to dinner three times a year, that’s a lot. Being able to duplicate some of my favorite things prepared in restaurants, especially desserts, is a great way to bring the experience home. Sure I still have to prepare the food, serve it, and then do the clean up, but it’s all in the comfort of my own home and I know exactly what’s going into it, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.