If you're looking for a Valentine's Day dessert, think red. Then think a little more. Consider a frozen dessert sweet enough to melt a heart or hearts, if the cook is generous and sociable.
A red raspberry ice cream cake with raspberry Amaretto sauce combines these seductive qualities. Beyond the visual and romantic, this is a practical little number, too.
A 9-inch heart-shaped springform pan will give you an appropriate shape, but if you don't have one you may substitute a 9-inch round springform pan.
Red Raspberry Ice Cream Cake With Raspberry Amaretto Sauce
For the cake:
6 cups red raspberries, frozen
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
About 2 dozen Italian-style ladyfingers (available at most large grocery stores)
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur (optional)
2/3 cup sugar
For the sauce:
4 cups frozen red raspberries
2 tablespoons Amaretto (substitute 1/2 teaspoon almond extract if you prefer a nonalcoholic sauce)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Prepare springform pan by spraying with cooking spray and lining with plastic wrap. Let plastic wrap hang over the sides of the pan.
Thaw 6 cups frozen raspberries. Remove ice cream from freezer and soften.
Cut ladyfingers in length to be flush with top edge of plastic-lined pan; stand them, with rounded edge at the top, along the sides of the pan. Place additional ladyfingers in the bottom of the pan, squeezing them in tightly to cover completely, cutting to fit in small areas if needed.
Sprinkle Amaretto over all ladyfingers, if desired (omit this step for nonalcoholic cake); set aside.
Puree thawed raspberries in a food processor with the sugar. Press through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Add softened ice cream to raspberry puree, and combine well. Pour ice cream mixture into prepared pan with ladyfingers. Freeze cake, covered with plastic wrap, until hard, about 6 hours or up to one week.
To serve, remove cake from freezer and let soften in refrigerator 30 minutes-45 minutes before serving time. Remove cake from pan, discarding plastic wrap.
For sauce, puree raspberries with sugar and Amaretto (or almond extract) in a food processor and force through a fine sieve into a bowl. Sauce may be made ahead, covered and chilled.
Whip heavy cream with sugar and almond extract until stiff peaks form. Garnish cake by piping cream along edge of cake with a large piping tip. Top cream with fresh or frozen whole raspberries.
Serve cake with sauce. Pass extra sauce at the table.
Makes 10 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 557 cal., 7 g pro., 86 g carbo., 21 g total fat (13 g saturated fat), 79 mg chol., 264 mg sodium.