The frozen treat epiphany

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - Terry Bursey

Three years ago, I was in the wait­ing room of an eye clinic ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what is pos­si­bly my big­gest pet peeve.

Like most peo­ple, I hate wait­ing.

With noth­ing bet­ter to do, I day­dreamed about a sci- fi novel I read. The novel cen­tred par­tially around global warm­ing and how hot­ter tem­per­a­tures were melt­ing the arc­tic per­mafrost and re­leas­ing a cat­a­strophic amount of trapped meth­ane gas –much like that one fam­ily mem­ber would al­ways do at Thanks­giv­ing din­ner, only much more dis­as­trous for ev­ery­one on Earth.

I was very hun­gry at the time so as soon as my stom­ach growled and snapped me out of my trance, it oc­curred to me that “Per­mafrost” would be a great name for a frozen dessert.

I started with a bot­tom layer of frozen cho­co­late cake to rep­re­sent frozen soil, then en­vi­sioned spread­ing over a layer of cho­co­late soft- serve ice cream to be the frozen mud closer to the sur­face. Fi­nally, I imag­ined the whipped cream top­ping that rep­re­sented ice and snow at the sur­face, as well as chunks of cho­co­late cake, cho­co­late chips and driz­zled sauces that passed for rocks and de­bris.

Con­cep­tu­ally, Per­mafrost was born, and I was adamant to make it a re­al­ity.

With help from my friend Cur­tis Saun­ders, we came up with the fol­low­ing recipe.

Cho­co­late Per­mafrost

In­gre­di­ents:

1 box cho­co­late cake mix (plus re­quired cake in­gre­di­ents)

2 litres cho­co­late ice cream 2 cups milk

1 can­nis­ter Cool Whip or 1 pip­ing bag of whipped cream

4 cups cho­co­late chips

Di­rec­tions:

Pre­pare cake as in­di­cated in the di­rec­tions. Pour bat­ter evenly onto a 18x13 inch sheet pan and bake for roughly 10 min­utes or un­til evenly firm.

Let cake cool and level it by shav­ing away the risen cen­tre. Re­serve cake shav­ings to be used as cake- crumb top­ping. Place cake in freezer.

Let two litres of ice cream stand in re­frig­er­a­tor for 10 min­utes. Scoop ice cream into a large bowl and add 1 cup milk. Stir un­til smooth, thick and creamy.

Re­move hard­ened cake from freezer and pour cho­co­late ice cream mix­ture over top evenly, spread­ing to en­sure its level. Put cake topped with a layer of soft­ened ice cream back into the freezer for at least an hour to set.

To pre­pare cho­co­late sauce: In a medium saucepan, bring wa­ter to a boil. Re­duce to a sim­mer and place a metal bowl over top of saucepan. Add cho­co­late chips and 1 cup of milk to bowl and stir un­til mix­ture is melted and smooth. Hot fudge also works as an ex­cel­lent top­ping - for that, add a1 cup sugar to the mix along with a heap­ing ta­ble­spoon of but­ter.

Af­ter ice cream cake has set, re­move from freezer and cut into uni­form pieces of de­sired dessert size (saucer-sized por­tions rec­om­mended).

Re­move a piece and place it on plate for top­ping, re­turn re­main­ing ice cream cake to freezer. Top with whipped cream as de­sired, sprin­kling on re­served cake crumbs along with a few cho­co­late chips.

Driz­zle on cho­co­late sauce or hot fudge with a spoon and... VOILA! You’ve got your­self a de­li­cious and deca­dent chunk of frozen ter­rain to es­cape the sum­mer heat!

Cur­tis and I gorged on Per­mafrost that even­ing. Later that sum­mer we also ex­per­i­mented by build­ing elab­o­rate ed­i­ble sculp­tures out of ice cream sand­wiches and var­i­ous other dol­lar store de­lights as a fun and cre­ative way to beat the sum­mer heat with a cool treat.

We worked so well as a team in the kitchen that we thought about open­ing our own ice cream par­lour called Taste­Buds. (I know).

It wasn’t long be­fore I was mak­ing vanilla and peanut but­ter- cho­co­late ver­sions of Per­mafrost for other friends as well. I’ve made it in three restau­rants as a fea­tured dessert. Not only is this my sig­na­ture sum­mer dessert, but it’s also my desk­top wall­pa­per. That’s how good it is.

This treat also in­spired me to come up with a line of ter­rain-style dessert cheese­cakes - Blackcherry For­est, Blue­berry Field, Banana Beach, Desert Rain­storm, Mint Meadow, Caramel Cave and Rocky Moun­tain.

Happy Chill­ing!

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