The year was 1996; I was in eighth grade, and my hair, tragically, looked like this. Just out of my JNCO jeans phase, I did everything in my (non-existent) financial power to look like the entire deLiA’s catalog, which Buzzfeed recently brought back to mind…to my tears and laughter of shame.
Some days, you could find me (sneakily) wearing this tank top…much to the chagrin of my mother who (rightfully) insisted: “That tank top leaves no room for the imagination.”
You’d better believe I will be using that very same line on my own daughter some day. You’d better also believe that thanks to some lasting stretch marks, I will never again even consider wearing anything that falls above my hips.
Most days, I was confidently sporting several chunky rings (including one for each thumb). And while I never had the pleasure of owning a deLiA’s compass ring…
…I fondly remember my chunkiest ring of all: a mood ring that I happily (and sometimes sadly) wore on my index finger.
Come summer, you know I was rocking a swimsuit skirt, because, really, even then, the menacing clouds of thunder thighs were rolling in.
Except, mine was with a tasteful tankini because, well, as you know, that left slightly more room for the imagination.
And I’m pretty sure I sported some of those classic platform sandals to my eighth grade graduation, donning them only after spending over an hour getting ready while listening to Strawberry Wine on repeat (off the hit album Did I Shave My Legs For This? by Deanna Carter. #classy).
Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if in twenty years, I’ll look back on my current style – you know, the one where I exclusively wear monochromatic earthy tones and skirts from Savers- and wonder why no one tried to stop me.
And sometimes I wonder what I’ll do when my kid comes home from middle school and asks for something called Blood Jeans. (You know that’s where we’re headed in this distressed-jeans epidemic. We’re at the “I-got-mauled-by-a-tiger” look already.)
What do fashion faux pas and this ice cream cake have to do with one another? Both were staples throughout my childhood (curled bangs forever) and even throughout my tumultuous headscarf-wearing teenage years.
Whatever you wore in middle school or whatever your middle-aged child is currently doing to destroy any semblance of his/her fashion dignity, this cake is for one and all. One hyperbol-ic friend described this cake as “one of the best ice cream experience of his life,” and it takes FIVE MINUTES to put together. I’m not even joking.
You just need to make a simple fudge sauce by melting butter and chocolate together and then adding powdered sugar, eggs, and walnuts. After that, it’s just a matter of layering graham cracker crumbs, that chocolate sauce, and mint ice cream. A short 24-hour stay in your freezer, and you’re in business. Trust me when I tell you that the end of your summer needs this cake just like I needed this hat way back when.
(recipe by Carpé Season)
(yields one 8x8" square pan)
This simple ice cream cake is a summer classic. It takes only 5 minutes to make and assemble and makes a great summer dessert with its rich fudge-sauce. Warning: it does contain raw eggs, so if you're squeamish about that sort of thing, be aware.
1/2 c. butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
2 1/2 to 3 qts. mint chocolate chip ice cream
app. 1 to 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Turn off the heat; add the powdered sugar, eggs, and walnuts. Stir until combined and smooth.
Sprinkle about 1 c. of graham cracker crumbs (a generous layer) in the bottom of your 8x8" square pan. Pour half the chocolate sauce over the top, doing your best to spread it out. It will not look perfect; don't go crazy trying to get it into every corner.
Then, scoop in the ice cream, pressing down to compact as you go, filling the pan to about a 1/2-inch from the top. A flattish-metal serving spoon works great for this.
Pour the remaining chocolate sauce over the top. Sprinkle a thin layer of graham cracker crumbs over the sauce.
Cover and freeze for about 24 hours before serving.
(P.S. The chocolate sauce is a pretty excellent addition to any bowl of ice cream you might be treating yourself too and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. Just sayin'.)