- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Believe it or not, I don’t drink coffee in the morning, but I adore the aroma of coffee and I enjoy a sip of good coffee with dessert. I’m also a fan of coffee ice cream and all things mocha.

Years ago at my publisher’s office in New York, someone tweaked my melted ice cream cake from the “Cake Mix Doctor,” adding coffee ice cream and a bit of espresso powder. That cake had us all sitting up and paying attention.

You can find espresso powder at most supermarkets and in specialty markets.

If not, just grind instant coffee granules in a coffee grinder or food processor until smooth. Make sure you use superpremium ice cream in this recipe.

Not only do you want the pure and simple ingredients that it offers, but you will find that it melts true. That is, 2 cups of ice cream will melt into 2 cups liquid ice cream.

I have tested this recipe with other flavors of cake mix, but I don’t find the consistency as good as it is with a white cake mix.

Above all, make sure the mix doesn’t contain pudding. This is a heavy cake on its own and has been known to sink around the center as it is removed from the oven.

Five time-shaving ways to use coffee as a dessert flavoring:

Coffee is a fabulous flavoring in cooking, and it simply belongs with the dessert course.

• Spoon coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt over rum-soaked ladyfingers or pound cake.

• Fold a tablespoon of espresso powder into your favorite brownie recipe, then swab the top of the baked brownies with coffee liqueur.

• Flavor sweetened whipped cream with a little coffee liqueur, then alternate with chocolate wafers in a casserole dish and chill overnight. Spoon into small bowls to serve.

• Slice bananas lengthwise and sprinkle them with brown sugar. Place under the broiler until bubbly, then slice and serve with coffee ice cream and crushed chocolate-covered coffee beans.

• Prepare your favorite pecan pie, adding coffee liqueur instead of vanilla extract. Brush with more liqueur after baking.

Incredible mocha melted ice cream cake with chocolate marshmallow frosting

The preparation time is 7 minutes, the baking time is 40 to 45 minutes, and the assembly time is 5 minutes.

Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan

Flour for dusting the pan

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix

2 cups best-quality coffee ice cream, melted

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder or espresso powder

Chocolate marshmallow frosting (recipe follows)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, melted ice cream, eggs and coffee powder in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.

Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate marshmallow frosting. Slide the cake onto a serving platter, and pour the warm frosting over the cake. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve; makes 16 servings.

CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW FROSTING:

The preparation time is 10 minutes.

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup marshmallow creme

4 tablespoons (half stick) butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl aside.

Place the marshmallow creme, butter and milk in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the butter and marshmallow creme have melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sugar-cocoa mixture over the marshmallow mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until the frosting is smooth and satiny. Makes: 11/2 cups.

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