Step 1: Tools and Ingredients
1 package puff pastry
~ 2 quarts strawberry ice cream
handful fresh strawberries
strawberry jam (optional)
waxed paper or parchment paper
rolling pin (optional)
oven-proof head-shaped base (I used a plaster cast of scoochmaroo's face, but you could also use wadded-up paper and/or foil balls, the underside of a face-shaped cake pan, or anything roughly oval (a squash, a bowl) with a nose-shape attached.)
Step 2: Prepare Head Form
I chose to pre-heat my plaster head form along with the oven, which worked out well.
Step 3: Cover Head in Puff Pastry
- Set the pastry atop the preheated head form, making sure it's properly centered, and smooth down into all the nooks and crannies.
- Use your fingers to open up the eyes. Push puff pastry back to create neatly-rounded openings with reinforced edges.
- Use a butter knife to make slits over the mouth. Protip: leaving a few 'threads" of connecting pastry at the middle of the slit keeps it from gaping open as the pastry cooks. Check my finished pictures for examples of with-and-without connecting thread examples.
- use a straw to make perfect little circles in the forehead region for that authentic hockey goalie mask look. You can also do this over the mouth, but I preferred the slits.
Step 4: Bake
Remove from oven when the head is just golden brown on top, and let it cool. If you've got a high thermal mass head form (like mine!) the pastry will continue cooking on the head form as it cools.
Once the puff pastry has cooled enough to be (somewhat) structurally sound, gently lift/peel it off the head form and set aside to finish cooling. You may want to support it with a clean, dry kitchen towel as it cools. Once it reaches room temperature, put it in the freezer for a few minutes so it's chilled and ready to be filled with ice cream.
Note that your mask will feel somewhat like a thick rubber mask, and will have about the same degree of floppiness. While not too fragile, it will need support and attentive handling.
Step 5: Bake Backing Layer
Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, then place in freezer to chill in preparation for ice cream.
Step 6: Assemble Cake
Place the base on a cutting board or other flat, knife-proof serving platter. Keep the mask right next to it for reference.
Scoop up balls of strawberry ice cream, and arrange them on the pastry base to fill the footprint of the mask. Stack additional ice cream balls on top of the first layer, periodically laying the mask over top of the ice cream to guide your scoop placement. (Note that it doesn't have to be a snug fit - weird gaps are creepy. But you want enough ice cream to support the mask.)
Once you've completed the ice cream base, cover with strawberry slices and strawberry jam. Be sure to place appropriately-sliced strawberries in the eye-holes, and use jam where you'd like a gross bloody effect. I chose to cover the entire ice cream are with fresh strawberries, and only used jam on the mouth area. I spooned a bit of extra jam in through the big mouth hole to get better placement and an extra-gross drip effect.
After the cake is assembled, use a knife to trim the base back to the edge of the mask. This is the cook's treat - slather it in leftover ice cream and eat. :)
Either serve immediately, or return your cake to the freezer to harden.
Step 7: Serve
I chose to start with a lobotomy, then chunk my way down the cake. This was quite effective, as the mouth was the grossest/scariest looking part, and it stayed in place until the very end.
Put any remaining cake back into the freezer as soon as possible, as just like any ice cream cake you're on borrowed time. Thankfully any messy melting will only make this cake look more convincing!