Easy All-Purpose Chocolate Cake;Perfect for Ice Cream Sandwiches

Easy All-Purpose Chocolate Cake...Perfect for Ice Cream Sandwiches. Some time ago, I stumbled upon the FineDinings website. Some of you may have noticed that I have it on my helpful links....some of you may have not noticed it at all:) I enjoy the site and have enjoyed making a couple of her recipes....there's a picture with every recipe, so that is always helpful. It takes a bit to manuever yourself through the site, dodging all the ads...but, there are some wonderful recipes. What I really like about the site, is that you can make some elegant restaurant dishes right in your own home. There are tips on how to make things ahead of time so that the meal can come together without so much stress. I was amazed with the author's creativity and most of all her story. You can read more information about how she started her website here...you will be absolutely amazed! This chocolate cake recipe is from her site and I will soon post another recipe that uses this same cake to make something marvelous! But for now, I will post the chocolate cake....which I used to make ice cream sandwiches! By the way, the chocolate cake is more like a devil's food cake ... soft, delicious, and not too sweet.
Some time ago, I made Giada's Hazelnut Gelato. Now, I like Giada's recipes, but this time around, I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong...it was edible and all. Actually, some really liked it! Maybe it was just me...but, I wasn't crazy about it. It was smooth... with a faint hazelnut chocolate taste. It had more of a "hot chocolate" taste.... I thought the gelato was a bit more sugary and not as creamy as I would have liked it. Anyway, I still had quite a lot of the gelato in my freezer, and I wanted to use it up. So, I made this chocolate cake and "hid" my gelato between the cake, making ice cream sandwiches. It worked...and my gelato was transformed! But, feel free to use store bought ice cream to make this simple dessert. I am sure kids(and adults) will love it...

Cake: adapted from FineDinings.com
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 TBS cocoa (I used extra dark)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk (I used 2% milk with about 3 tsps lemon juice)
1/2 tsp vanilla (I used a bit more... close to 1 1/2tsp)
~you can also add 2 tsps of instant coffee
Preheat oven to 350 deg. Line a 11 1/2 x 17 inch(or 10 x 15)baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper. The original recipe uses a 10x15 pan(the cake would be a bit thicker) and calls for un-greased pan.... I was glad I used a parchment paper. I found out that it would have been a mess trying to take out the cake if it had not been lined. I also halved the recipe another day and used my toaster oven baking sheet(10 x 8 1/2). It worked great!
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients, sugar, flour,baking soda and cocoa.

In a sauce pan, add butter, oil, and water. Bring to boil. Add it to the dry ingredients.
Add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
Blend thoroughly.
Pour batter in parchment lined baking sheet. You may have to spread it out evenly. 
Bake for about 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack.
For Ice Cream Sandwiches: you can use Giada's Hazelnut Gelato or ice cream of choice.
Cut cake in half. Spread softened ice cream on top of the cake. Make sure you have close to 1 inch thick of the ice cream.
Place second half of cake on top of the ice cream. Be careful, as the cake is quite soft and can break on you. You can always patch it...the ice cream will hold it in place. I like to use the parchment paper to help me lift it on top, and then peel the parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ice cream is hardened. Cut into rectangular shapes... 
Wrap each ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap and freeze for a later day. Or eat one then, as a snack:). You can also serve it as a dessert and embellish it with some chocolate sauce chopped nuts, whipped cream and a cherry on top. 
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