It seemed only fitting to close out National Ice Cream Month with an outrageous ice cream dessert.  Enter this banana split ice cream torte.  I believe I first laid eyes on this at the tail end of last summer, and have been waiting ever since for the right time to finally give it a try.  Both playful and impressive at the same time, this dessert would be a welcome addition to any summer gathering.  You start with a Oreo cookie crumb crust and layer with sliced bananas, strawberry ice cream, hot fudge, vanilla ice cream and strawberries.  Then garnish it as you would a regular sundae with freshly whipped cream and nuts, and serve with crushed pineapple on the side.

Now, you can make this dessert as easy or as involved as you wish.  You all know me well enough now to know I prefer to do things the “hard” (homemade) way, so I used homemade strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce (recipe to come), freshly whipped cream and fresh chopped pineapple.  Of course you can just buy these things pre-made from the store and save yourself some time.  Do whatever floats your boat.  It will be delicious either way.  I will point out that one advantage to using homemade ice cream is that if you use it straight out of the ice cream maker, it is the perfect consistency for spreading smoothly.  I made this in an 8-inch springform pan because I prefer a taller cake, but you can easily use a 9-inch pan…the layers will just be a bit thinner.  Whatever way you decide, definitely do make it.  And hey, if there is one upside to this smack-you-in-the-face heat we’ve been having, it’s that desserts like this just taste that much better.