Tonight Show Cake – Chocolate cake, caramel cake, chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate cookie crumbs and whipped peanut butter frosting.
You know those moments when the most amazing idea hits you like a bolt of lightening? You’re not expecting it, and then, “BAM!,” the idea just pops in your head and you’re feeling like the smartest person in the world. Yup, that’s exactly how things went down a couple weeks ago when I had the brilliant idea for this cake. Of course, I can’t take all the credit. Ben & Jerry, along with Jimmy Fallon, come up with the ice cream flavor first. But, I was the one sitting in my kitchen late one night, eating The Tonight Dough ice cream straight from the carton (because there’s no other way to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream), starring at the description, when I realized it needed to become a cake.
If you haven’t heard of the The Tonight Dough ice cream or haven’t had the opportunity to try it, you are missing out and need to run to the nearest grocery store and start hunting it down. It’s a combination of caramel ice cream, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookie crumbs, chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. Mind. Blown. Right?
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For the cake, I wanted to incorporate all the flavors Jimmy, Ben and Jerry put in the ice cream without it being an ice cream cake (I’m not a huge fan of those). It was also important to me to get some different textures throughout the cake. I first decided on caramel and chocolate cake layers. The caramel cake layers are adapted from a Milk Bar recipe I love. They’re light and fluffy and full of caramel flavor. As a contrast to the fluffy, buttery caramel cake, I then added my rich, dark chocolate cake.
With those two cakes as my starting point, I decided to stay true to the ice cream creation and use chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate cookie crumbs to give the cake different textures. Then, I was left with the peanut butter cookie dough element, which I didn’t want to be another cookie dough layer in the cake. Instead, I went with a whipped peanut butter frosting that adds a light, creamy texture to the cake and still incorporates the peanut butter flavor. There’s also a good bit of kosher salt in the chocolate cake, the chocolate crumbs, and the peanut butter frosting that helps offset all the sweetness in the caramel cake and cookie dough.
And just a heads up, since I stacked this cake like a Milk Bar cake, you will have scraps of the cakes once you cut the layers out of the quarter sheet pan. Don’t throw those away! Create mini Tonight Show Cakes inside mason jars by stacking the scraps and left over filling just like you would the cake.