Middle + School. One of the most terrifying word equations I can think of. Maybe you had the time of your life back then (seriously, anyone?), but me. Nah.
This was me in the 7th grade:
See that awesome perm? What I wanted/dreamed of/coveted/obsessed over was this:
And I had a MAJOR crush on a boy with surfer blonde hair who wore lavender (!) pants and did not know of my existence. This is a snapshot from my yearbook:
So, we have a bad perm, a one-sided crush, the yellow polo shirt/kacki pants/penny loafer thing that you can't see but was definitely happening, and the self-esteem of an average 12-year-old. Can't you just picture the good times!
Get to the cake Jess!
I clearly recall spending many a lunch hour that year with the school nurse (really) or hiding in the library, but one of my strongest memories is of these terribly hard, terribly delicious ice cream sandwiches I ate for lunch almost every day. I think they cost a quarter, maybe fifty cents, came wrapped in clear plastic that lent a satisfying sound upon opening, and, though I nearly broke a tooth once, provided sheer sugar pleasure in the form of two chocolate chip cookies cradling a massive lump of vanilla ice cream. That processed food-friend is what's inspired the newest Memory Cake: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake!
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake
Make one 6" cake
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease and parchment-line two 6" round cake pans
1 1/2 c (188 g) all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 c (85 g) chocolate chips
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c (210 g) light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c (120 g) whole milk, at room temperature
2 t vanilla extract
1 pint vanilla ice cream
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Toss in the chocolate chips to coat. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until much lighter in color and fluffy, about four minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium for one minute before adding the next. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract until blended in.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry (d/m/d/m/d). One the last bit of dry has started to incorporate, remove the bowl from the mixer and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 32-34 minutes until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Put pans on a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and let cool completely.
15 minutes before serving the cake, take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften up for about 10 minutes on the kitchen counter. Once it is soft enough to easily spread, transfer the whole damn pint between the cake layers.
Note: I baked the cake and did the ice cream bit, then put it in the freeze over night thinking I would have a perfect triple layered cake/ice cream/cake the next day. Not true. Almost all of the ice cream soaked into the cake! Not that that's a bad thing (and it still tasted as dreamy as my middle-school crush), but that's why I recommend above adding the ice cream layer just before serving.