Birthday Layer Cake with Ice Cream & Avocado-Chocolate Mousse

Yes, finally that golden day in October arrived! You know the day where everything is as you wish, friends and family come to visit laughter and presents are everywhere and you just look gooood, yeah you know what I am talking about; My Birthday!! I am one of those incredible annoying grown ups who still think that my birthday is the best day of the year (the same goes for christmas eve, sorry I am hopeless). I love celebrating my birthday, and in somehow the day always ends up being totally magical and I almost can’t wait till next year!  This year I was so lucky that it fell on a sunday, meaning I could have guest and indulge lovely food all day long! It started out with a brunch with all of the girls, the food theme being nordic, yum, and ended with a cozy family dinner.

When we talk about birthday the word  cake always seem to follow quite closely. And every year I always strive to produce some kind of dreamy and different cake that kind of sets the tone for the day, and maybe for the rest of the year (we are being a little philosophical here). This year I felt even more inspired, maybe due to the work with this blog and all of the inspiring things going on in the kitchen. I felt like incorporating layers, ice cream, chocolate, berries and a lot of healthy fat and calories.

Since I have a thing for cheese cake, I wanted to make a crust that was a little alike the classic crispy graham cracker version. I choose to make a roasted hazelnuts crust held together by soft, smooth date cream.  I really love roasted hazelnuts. The small raw tasty nuts are just upgraded big time after 10 minutes in the oven, and I use them on top of everything all the time.
The next layer just had to be some sort of ice cream, I use any excuse to use the ice cream maker! The choice fell on the seasonal blackberries in the company of some lovely chocolate flakes and a twist of a lemon. The ice cream ended up really, really tasty, and I have had a batch in the freezer ever since!!
To finish of the cake I made a chocolate mousse with avocado, coconut cream and dates. It is a lovely combination, where you get a lot of good nutrients and calories in a beautiful and tasty package. It is really easy to make, basically put everything in a blender and voila. You can freeze it or eat it straight away. I can only recommend this instead of any normal mousse, trust me it is better and taste better than a regular chocolate mousse, and you would never know that avocado was an ingredient here (I have tested it on several men, and it has been approved)
In the end the cake and the day was just everything I wished for; colorful, loving, different, beautiful, inspiring, and full of surprises.

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Ice cream cake with chocolate mousse & nutty crust

Serves 10-12

*You could prepare the cake some days ahead, Or just assemble it as you make it and serve it after 30 min-1 hour in the freezer.

1 3/4 cups/250 g roasted hazelnuts
15 medium sized soft dates (soak if necessary)
1 Tbsp oil or butter
1/2-1 Tsp fine sea salt

1. Heat oven to 350   °F/175   °C.  Roast hazelnuts in the oven on a baking sheet for 10 min, or until they look slightly golden and skin starts to crack. Let them cool. Remove skin by rubbing the nuts between your hands or a kitchen towel.
2. Place nuts in a blender and puls a few times until they are chunky/fine. Remove from blender.
3. Remove stone from dates, and place them in a food processor or a good blender along with oil and salt. Blend until at smooth cream appears. (I sometimes use my hand held blender for this).
4. In a bowl combine nuts, date cream and adjust taste with salt. The texture should be sticky and chunky. If it does not stick well together add more blended dates.
5. Use a 22 cm (8 inch) spring-form cake pan. Fasten a piece of parchment paper between the ring and then bottom of the spring form.  Use your hands to firmly press the crust out in the pan until it covers the whole bottom.    Place it in the freezer.

Blackberry ice cream
250 g/2 1/4 cup blackberries (You can use frozen, just let them thaw)
100 g/3/4 cup powdered sugar (substitute with honey or agave if you prefer)
150 ml/2/3 cup full fat cream
75 ml/1/3 cup semi skimmed milk
40 g/1,4 oz 70% chocolate, finely grated
Juice and zest from 1/2 organic lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a blender combine sugar and blackberries, blend until smooth and fine texture. Let the mix run through a fine strainer to avoid the seeds from the berries in order to get a smooth ice cream.
2. Add cream, milk, vanilla and lemon juice & zest and whisk together.
3. Add mixture to your ice cream maker and let in run for 5-10 min before adding the chocolate and let it finish until creamy ice cream appears.
4. Remove baking pan from freezer. Add the ice cream on top of  the crust layer. Spread it evenly across and place it back in the freezer.

Chocolate mousse with avocado & coconut cream
3 very ripe avocados
1 400 ml/14 oz can full fat coconut milk, chilled in fridge
10 soft dates (soaked if necessary)
5-6 Tbsp honey, agave or sweetener after your choice
4 Tbsp high quality cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

1. Scoop out all of avocado flesh.
2. Open the coconut can and scoop out only the top creamy layer app. 2/3 of the can and add in blender along with the avocado and blend. Tip: safe the remaining coconut water and use in a smoothie.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth creamy mousse appears. Adjust taste with sweetener, cocoa and salt.
4. Now you can choose to add the mousse to the two other layers in the cake and freeze all of it together. The cake can be stored up to a couple of weeks. When serving the cake you remove it from  the freezer 30-45 min ahead to let it soften up a bit before serving.
5. Or you can choose to assemble the cake, let it freeze for max 1 hour before serving it… and voila you’ve got an creamy ice cream cake with a slightly softer mousse layer on top. (I prefer this last version in order to get the most delicious and creamy texture from the two top layers)

Serve the cake with berries of your choice!