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Aug 22, 2006 06:04 AM

Sketch Ice Cream Cake! (with pics)

This may be the best cake I have ever eaten; it was certainly the most beautiful. I learned how to post pics on Chowhound for this because I feel that mere words will not do it justice.

Sketch lets you customize your cake but I decided to make mine "chef's choice." I figured I'm not a pastry chef so who am I to try and come up with a suitable combination of flavors? Eric and Ruthie both know my tastes because I eat there every week so I had complete faith in them. It was the right call; what they made was better than anything I could dream of.

Lets start with the first pick, unsliced:

The frosting is meringue (more on that later). I believe they used a blowtorch to brown the tips and the edges. Don't ask me how they made those waves. Yes, those are FROSTED OLALLIEBERRIES on top.

Now lets take a side view of the cut cake:

The bottom layer is olallieberry ice cream. The top layer is vanilla ice cream folded with Strauss yogurt ice cream with cocoa nibs sprinkled in. The ratio of ice creams was perfect. The layers of cake are vanilla.

These pictures only begin to convey what a work of art this dessert was. But appearance is only worth so much, so how did it taste? Incredible.

The balance of flavors was spot on. The ollaliberry was a lovely tart with just a hint of fruit sweetness. The yogurt/vanilla blend balanced out the powerful berry without being cloying. The cocoa nibs added just the faintest hint of chocolate without dominating the flavors. The vanilla cake was simple, but too good to be ignored.

But the frosting! All my life, I associated meringue frosting with these awful Marie Callendars pies. Foamy and sweet and basically flavorless. But this was meringue, this was the real thing. The texture was light and sticky, almost like a melted marshmallow but less dense and less sweet and it kept it's form at freezing temperature. It had such a unique, wonderful mouthfeel. It was one of those mysterious marvels of pastry and it brought this cake to the next level.

The structural integrity of the cake is uncanny! Each 5 layer piece stood up until the last bite. Yet it's nothing like the too hard, icy cardboard you normally associate with ice cream cake. They strike the perfect balance firm and soft. The cake was moist, the frosting dreamy, the ice cream melted in my mouth and the nibs give my tongue a little something extra to feel. Everything came together to make perfect bite after perfect bite until it was all gone and I had to go beg Mrs. Mousse for a few bites of hers.

This near perfect cake, this delicious work of art that probably could have fed nine people put happily overfed six was $45.

After our last Sketch cake (chocolate cake with mint ice cream and a chocolate glaze), the whole table agreed that it was the best cake ever. This time, the mostly same group agreed that they had outdone themselves. I just can't wait to see what they come up with for Mrs. Mousse's birthday in October.

Here's one last picture to drool over:

Sketch is located on 4th st in Berkeley

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  1. O!! Ooooooooooo! OOOOOOOOOO! This is sooooo exciting!

    My favourite cake when I was little was the grasshopper cake by Baskin Robbins. But of course this sounds much better. No one ever wants to make my birthday cake. But now I have another place to send them! Thank you!

    1. ohmyGOD this looks incredible!! Sketch is awesome for paying attention to the texture of the cake as as the flavor and form, this cake looks so dreamy!

      btw, is this cake on the regular menu or is it seasonal? now I know what I want for my birthday in 3 weeks!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Trill

        Cakes are available year round, you just need to give them two days notice because they're made to order. Some of the ice cream flavors, such as the olallieberries, are seasonal. Part of the reason I optd for chef's choice was because I figured that way they could take full advantage of whatever produce looked best at the market.

        You get to choose between vanilla, chocolate and mocha cake; meringue frosting, chocolate glaze and whipped cream; and either one or two flavors of ice cream. Cakes are sized small, medium and large.

        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          Well, belated Happy Birthday, Morton.

          The cake sounded wonderful. What size did you get?

      2. I know where I'm getting my birthday cake : )

        1. Wow! That looks amazing and sounds delicious. It's been ages since I've had an ice cream cake, but now it looks like that will be high on the list of "must haves" to celebrate the next occasion such as the upcoming "Taste Treat Thursday" (which I just made up) Felicitations on your recent annual!

          a sante,

          P.S. Don't forget about the earlier suggested ice cream tasting tour/challenge that you proposed awhile back. I'm still game :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Curtis

            When I first learned Sketch made ice cream cakes my immediate reaction was that my birthday was much too far away and I needed one NOW! So I organized a party with the sole intention of eating an ice cream cake.

            I'm holding off the crawl until Ici opens...