My mom first made this dessert at some time during my childhood. It was as awesome then as it is now, and it inspired a lifelong affection for raspberry sorbet topped with chocolate chips, aka watermelon seeds. It’s simple in that it only requires four ingredients, but it is a little complicated in terms of technique — you’re working with melty ice cream (often in the summer heat), and that can turn things sticky. Crazily enough, Phoebe and I made this in the makeshift condo kitchen on our spring break trip to Costa Rica a few years ago, somehow serving it to twenty friends before it melted.
I think it’s become harder to find green ice cream or sherbet recently. We used to buy a cheap, unbranded gallon of pastel green lime sherbet from the supermarket, but apparently health consciousness has done away with the availability of that. My mom’s friend Renee suggested using green tea ice cream, which she found at Walbaum’s. After spending a while at the freezer case, I wound up buying three cartons of Edy’s Spumani ice cream and fishing out the green pistachio from the strawberry and chocolate that shared the gallon. The pistachio tasted delicious, so it was all for the best. Worst case scenario, you can use vanilla — just dye it green with food coloring before using. And don’t criticize me for using fake green ice cream. This cake is worth it. Just imagine the delight of your sisters or guests when you slice into this big round green thing to find it looks just like a watermelon, and tastes even sweeter.
You can modify this recipe according to what you have. If your bowl is smaller, reduce the quantities; if larger, increase them. Just be sure to clear a space in the freezer for the bowl you choose, and make sure that space also fits whatever platter you serve the cake on. On the off chance that there are leftovers.