Strawberry-Coconut Ice Cream Cake
This is an impressive dessert that’s not at all difficult to prepare and doesn’t require an ice cream maker. For the best flavor, use sweet, ripe farm stand berries: They should really smell like strawberries. The whipped cream and a touch of vodka help keep the mixture from forming ice crystals — up to a point. You’ll still want to make this cake the day before you plan to serve it, since its texture is best in the first 24 hours and it can take up to six hours to freeze.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2quarts/about 1 kilogram strawberries, preferably small, pretty ones
- ¾cup/150 grams granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for sauce
- 1cup/240 milliliters coconut milk
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- 1tablespoon vodka
- 1cup/240 milliliters heavy cream
- 1cup/85 grams toasted coconut flakes, for garnish (see Note)
- Basil or mint leaves, for garnish
Step 1Briefly rinse berries with cold water, then lay them out on a clean tea towel. Hull berries, except for a dozen or so pretty ones. Set those aside for garnish.
Step 2Put 1 pound hulled berries in a blender or food processor. Reserve the rest for sauce and garnish. Add 3/4 cup sugar, coconut milk, salt and vodka. Blend until smooth. You should have about 4 cups.
Step 3In a chilled bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff. With a rubber spatula, gradually fold strawberry purée into whipped cream, 1/2 cup at a time, until well incorporated. It’s OK if a few swirls remain.
Step 4Pour into an 8-inch springform pan about 3 inches deep or into a similar-size Pyrex pie pan or ceramic dish. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours, until quite firm. (Test with a skewer or paring knife, going all the way to the bottom of the pan. It should come out clean.)
Step 5Make the strawberry sauce: Put remaining berries in a blender with 3 tablespoons sugar. Purée and transfer to a pitcher or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Step 6If using springform pan, unmold frozen cake and transfer to a cake plate. (Serve directly from glass or ceramic pan.) Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes, and garnish with reserved berries dipped in a little of the sauce, and basil or mint leaves. Keep at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into wedges and drizzle with strawberry sauce.