For the cake
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 125g/4½oz caster sugar
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
- 100g/3½oz plain flour, sifted
For the ice cream
- 600ml/20fl oz double cream
- 170g/6oz condensed milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 200g/7oz blueberries
- 1 orange, zest only
- 3 tbsp icing sugar, sifted (optional)
For the biscuit crumbs
- 50g/1¾oz chocolate digestives
- 2 tsp whole fennel seeds
Start by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a deep 20cm/8in loose bottom tin (it needs to be about 8cm/3¼in deep).
Add the eggs and the sugar into a mixing bowl. Beat using an electric whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, and when the whisk is lifted the mixture should leave a visible trail – this can take about 8 minutes. Now add the melted butter around the edge of the egg mixture and whisk for a few seconds to incorporate. Add the sieved flour and fold through until there are no floury lumps. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes until golden on top and slightly shrunk around the edges.
Once the cake is baked, leave in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Peel off the paper.
Wash the cake tin ready to assemble the ice cream cake. Grease the base and sides of the tin and line with greased baking paper (the side pieces particularly need to be generously greased so the crushed biscuits will stick to them later). Grease a piece of baking paper for the top too.
Add the fennel seeds to a small pan and toast very gently until golden brown and the oils are released from the seeds. Take off the heat. Crumble the biscuits and the fennel seeds to a fine crumb in a food processor or in a pestle and mortar.
To make the ice cream, add the cream, condensed milk and vanilla to a bowl and whip until just thickening, this will take 5–10 minutes. Fold in the blueberries and orange zest.
Cut the cake in half horizontally to make two rounds. Lay the first layer of cake in the bottom of the prepared tin. Take your biscuit and fennel mixture and gently press into the edges, all around the inside edge of the tin, until you have used it all up. Add the cream mixture on top of the cake. Add the second layer of cake, cover the top with greased baking paper to prevent freezer burn and leave in the freezer overnight or for at least 6 hours. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before you plan to serve so that it will easily slice. Best eaten as soon as possible. Enjoy! I know I will!