July 22, 2011

Mocha Icebox Cake

This is the easiest dessert you’ll ever make and everyone will love it. If you can whip cream and layer ingredients into a serving bowl, you can make this dessert.

Picture this: clouds of mocha-flavored whipped cream nestled in between chocolate wafers. The wafers soften overnight in the fridge, transforming from crisp cookies into soft, cake-like layers. The mocha cream tastes like tiramisu, but at a fraction of the time and effort.

You can even play around with this recipe to suit your tastes. For example, I love tiramisu but I almost never order it in restaurants because the coffee keeps me awake all night. In this dessert I used decaffeinated coffee powder instead of instant espresso. If mocha’s not your thing, leave out the coffee and substitute Godiva liqueur for the Kahlua. If you can’t find chocolate wafers, use Oreo cookie bottoms or chocolate chip cookies. Make this into a single, large cake. Or layer the ingredients into individual ramekins like I did.

To make the cake, gather your ingredients.

Place all of your ingredients except for the cookies into a mixing bowl.

Whisk the ingredients until the mixture forms firm peaks.

Place alternating layers of cookie and mocha cream in a ramekin or springform pan. Begin with a layer of cookie...

...and end with the mocha cream.

Refrigerate overnight to give the cookies a chance to soften.

Garnish with some cocoa powder and dig in!

Mocha Icebox Cake

2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder (I used decaffeinated instant coffee powder)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies (I used one package of Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies)
Shaved semisweet chocolate or cocoa powder, for garnish

1.      In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.
2.      To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. (Instead of creating one large cake, I layered the ingredients into individual ramekins. Each held three layers.) Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
3.      Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. If you make individual portions, serve these cakes right in the ramekins.
4.      Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.

Serves 8

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