When I was growing up, our small town had an AMAZING little restaurant called the Old Ice Cream Shoppe. It was in an old house that had been remodeled into a small-ish restaurant, with little wire tables and chairs, cute local decor on the walls and counter where you’d place your order for food or ice cream. It was located just about two blocks from the elementary school, and stayed open late during the summers which made it the perfect spot for a treat after a baseball game, an ice-cream cone on a hot day, or a teenage hangout once we were able to drive.
I can still picture the menu – it was one of those old slat boards with individual, pegged letters that spelled out each menu item. They had hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fried mushrooms, big, thick-cut french fries – chicken strips, onion rings…and it was some of the food that my childhood was made of.
They had a pretty-good sized ice cream counter with several choices – my favorites being bubble-gum, butter brickle, and mint chocolate chip. There are days that I would do just about anything for a mint-chocolate chip milkshake from the Old Ice Cream Shoppe, and it breaks my heart that they’ve gone out of business.
Now, I know you can go to pretty much any ice cream shop around and get a mint-chocolate chip shake, and heck, you can make them at home pretty easily, too. But there’s just something about those styrofoam cups and old-fashioned shake machines that just seemed to make them taste better.
I think that’s why I’ve been drawn to this recipe since the moment I saw it. The pale green color, flecks of chocolate and minty buttercream just speak to me. I know that mint-chocolate chip will always take me back to my childhood, so perhaps there’s just something comforting about these familiar flavors.
The cake recipe is from the amazing Ina Garten, and the buttercream is the result of several batches of trial and error. It couldn’t be too buttery, too minty or too dense – it had to be fluffy and light with tons of chocolate. It really does taste like ice cream.
Any chocolate cake recipe will do, so feel free to use your favorite. If you DO use this recipe, make sure you use deep cake pans – at least 2 inches deep because it will rise a lot. If you don’t have 2-inch deep pans, you can use 9-inch pans instead and it should be fine.
Thanks for coming by today! ♥erin