When we first created our barrel-aged and infused maple syrups, we knew they went well with ice cream but we needed to whittle down the choices so we could give our customers some guidance. To start, we went to the supermarket and bought every type of ice cream and sorbet we thought might have a mate in one of our syrups. One afternoon when most of the crew was at the sugarhouse, we put the ice cream out with our syrups, a stack of bowls and spoons, and asked them all for feedback. (The woods crew work really hard but there are a few perks).
The big surprise of the afternoon was the Hibiscus Infused over strawberry ice cream; it was among everyone’s favorite combinations of the whole trial. The tangy, floral notes from the hibiscus were the perfect compliment to sweet strawberry cream and the tub of strawberry ice cream and the bottle of Hibiscus Infused were the first to disappear.
To make a fabulous combination even better, I added vanilla cake. This is an easy ice cream cake to make but the addition of Hibiscus Infused Maple makes it a very original dessert. Some very basic instructions for assembly are listed below but feel free to play around with it and make multiple layers. You can also cut it into any shape you like; I chose hearts for Valentines but squares for any occasion also work.
Ice Cream Cake with Strawberry Ice Cream and Hibiscus Infused Maple
- 1 cup butter,softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a rimmed sheet pan and line it with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together with a standing mixer, beater, or spoon. Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate well. Add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Stir to combine.
Pour the batter in the sheet pan and spread it evenly. Put the pan in the oven to bake for approximately 20 – 30 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Take the strawberry ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften a little. Cut the cake in half lengthwise. Gently spread some ice cream over on half of the cake so it is a few inches thick. Take the other half of the cake and place it on top, pressing down just enough so the ice cream adheres to the cake. Wrap the cake in waxed paper or more parchment so it doesn’t dry out and put it in the freezer.
When ready to serve, cut the cake into squares or use a large heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Serve on a dessert plate with Runamok Hibiscus Infused Maple and a dollop of whipped cream.