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Eat, Drink + Think

Sprinkletastic strawberry ice cream cake for Shabbat Nachamu I #TweetYourShabbat

#tweetyourshabbat is a global movement founded by Carly Pildis, celebrating the struggle and joy of getting Shabbat on the table every week. This is a place for real dinners and real conversations about Jewish life. Join us at Forward in sharing what you’ll be eating and how your feeling this week at #TweetYourShabbat

Today is Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of comfort after mourning and fasting on Tisha B’av. I have always loved Shabbat Nachamu, but this year it is hard to find comfort. Over 153,000 Americans have died. Over 2 million are sick. We still cannot reclaim our normal lives and routines. This period of mourning and isolation often feels unending.

This is why on Shabbat Nachamu we must respond to grief by insisting on great joy. The world is broken and dark and full of grief, and insisting on joy is my survival method. I demand to find joy and in finding joy I find my dignity and my strength.

That’s why I created this ridiculous cake. It’s Sprinkletastic Strawberry Ice Cream Cake. This cake is absurd, layer upon layer of rich pink ice cream at a huge height, coated in mascarpone whipped cream, and an entire bottle of sprinkles.

It has multiple pints of ice cream inside. It demands you laugh and forget all of the pain and suffering, at least for a few minutes. This cake is a party. This cake demands you to feel happy. This cake is a declaration that we are going to be okay.

This cake was inspired by the joy of my life, my three-year-old daughter who loves to be in the kitchen with me. This morning she woke me up by jumping on my bed. She had found an old plastic pink wand. She was dancing and jumping, singing at the top of her lungs: I AM MAGIC. I AM A FAIRY. I AM A PRINCESS. I AM HAPPY. I was weary. I was anxious. I was not thrilled to be jumped on. But I looked at her and I laughed. Then she laughed and twirled in a pink dress she had put on backwards. These days laughter is rare. I have often felt despair and deep fear for the future. That is why it is more important than ever to insist on radical joy and overwhelming, enveloping love. It is the only chance we have at survival.

These are terrible times and we have a lot of bad days, that being said I am deeply committed to making as many joyful moments as possible. We must insist on finding joy, at least for a few minutes every day. Because I have learned what our ancestors taught us, that committing to joy makes us stronger. Joy is what Shabbat is all about. So this Shabbat Nachamu, demand over the top, ridiculous, ecstatic joy. And sprinkles.

How was your week? How are you spending Shabbat? Let us know at #tweetyourshabbat! Everyone is welcome at this table! Come hungry.

Sprinkletastic Strawberry Ice Cream Cake with Marscapone Whipped Cream

This cake is joyful and fun and ridiculous. It is also stately and beautiful, and if you wanted a more sophisticated take, you could omit the sprinkles and top with fresh strawberries and basil. This is a perfect recipe to do with kids because it isn’t very fussy and is lots of fun. When I told my daughter we were making this cake she made the goofiest face and yelled THAT’S AMAZING. AN ICE CREAM CAKE! I hope this cake makes you that ecstatically happy.

4 pints of high quality* strawberry ice cream ( Seriously. This recipe will use about 64 ounces of ice cream)
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
8 ounces of mascarpone
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar.
¼ cup regular sugar
1 Tablespoon of vanilla
1 large container of nonpareil sprinkles

Grab a springform pan. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom. Put it in the freezer. It needs to be flat. Leave for ten minutes

Time to make the crust. This is a great job for little kids who desperately want to help in the kitchen. Dump graham crackers crumbs, melted butter, and ¼ cup of regular sugar. Mix together until wet and smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour evenly across the bottom of your cold pan. Pat down to make flat and even – this is a great small child job. Then distract them so you can make sure its actually even and fully flat and patted into the springform. Put in the freezer for 20 minutes.

While you are in the freezer grab that ice cream and set it on the counter to come to room temperature. Have a dance party while you wait for the ice cream to warm and the crust to freeze. After about ten minutes carefully dump the ice cream into a large glass or ceramic bowl. When it is easily spreadable, put it in the fridge. You want it spreadable not liquid.

Add the ice cream to the pan, a little bit at a time, swirling with a wooden spoon so it is evenly distributed and neat. Set aside a spoonful for little helpers – or yourself. Make sure it is even and smooth. Place flat back in the freezer for an hour.

In the meantime, whip the mascarpone, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream together. With an electric mixture, whip until stiff peaks form. Remove the cake and spread heavy cream gently and evenly over the top. Gently and evenly coat completely with sprinkles. This is easiest to do with clean dry hands.

Return to the freezer overnight or for at least 5 hours. To unmold the cake, remove from the freezer and run a hot wet paper towel around the perimeter of the springform pan before unlatching. Remove carefully. Don’t fret, it’s easier than it seems because the ice cream is frozen solid.

Share with those you love.

*A note on the quality of the ice cream, since ice cream is the majority of this dish, it will not taste good if you use low-quality ice cream. Sorry friends, this one is non-negotiable – the cake will only be as good as the ice cream is. That said, high-quality grocery store ice cream is good, gourmet ice cream from a specialty shop is NOT necessary.

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