Cut off the crusts of the castella cake. The edges are not used, so eat them as snacks!
Slice the castella cake with the crust removed into 5mm thick slices.
Make about ping-pong ball sized balls of ice cream using a tablespoon or measuring spoon.
Place the ice cream balls on top of the castella cake slices.
Cover the tops and sides with castella cake slices too.
Form the castella cake into a round ball over the ice cream while cutting off the excess pieces.
Fill up any gaps with the cut off bits of cake, and form into round neat balls. Press well to completely cover the ice cream.
When all the gaps are filled up, press the balls firmly with your hands. Wrap the ball in aluminium foil.
Freeze the foil-wrapped balls for at least 2 to 3 hours. If you don't freeze them, the ice cream will melt and come running out when you fry them!
Take the ice cream balls out of the freezer, and press between your hands again. Coat thickly in the batter.
Deep fry in preheated 200°C oil for about 10 seconds while rolling each ball quickly to crisp up the batter. When the batter has become firm and lightly browned, it's done!
Story Behind this Recipe
The chef at the restaurant where I used to work part time when I was a student used to work at a 5-star restaurant in Italy. This is a recipe that that chef created as part of a summertime course, and was handed down to me.
Steps 1 through 9 are all prep work. If you make a lot of wrapped ice cream balls and freeze them, you can fry them any time you like. The main key is to wrap the ice cream completely in the castella cake in Step 7! It's also important to freeze the ice cream balls completely in Step 9!