so clearly, i’m a huge fan of desserts. i don’t think that information surprises or shocks anyone… when i go out to eat, i’m more likely to order dessert than a drink (or in special cases, drink my dessert). that being cleared up there are some desserts that are in my all time top five faves… what are they you ask?
1. bread pudding – i used to think i wasn’t a fan but then i found out i was wrong. so very, very wrong.
2. pecan pie – i mean is there anything better than pecans, sugar and butter combined into perfect deliciousnes? if you answered yes to that, you’d be wrong.
3. brownies – and yes i mean brownies and not chocolate cake. the two are so similar, especially if you’re a fan of “cake-like” brownies but then my friend you’d be wrong again. see… it’s the fudgy, gooey brownies that are the best.
4. wedding cake – when i say wedding cake i don’t mean just any pretty cake that a happy couple probably paid way too much for since it’s going to get destroyed in about 2.5 seconds. i mean traditional white, almond flavored cake with a traditional buttercream. there’s absolutely no better cake out there. no joke. (p.s. best flavor of snowball? wedding cake.)
5. tiramisu – there are a lot of good things that the italians are known for but this is probably one of my favorites, if it’s not the best thing ever.
that leads me to this (since i know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the second thanksgiving dessert)….
a tiramisu tie in is what initially made me choose to try this dessert (plus it was pretty much a cinch to make)… you see there’s mascarpone cheese in it. those of you not familiar with mascarpone are probably asking yourself what the heck is a cheese doing in a dessert? i would answer that with i’m sure you’re one of the people in the world that likes cheesecake right? but mascarpone cheese is so much better than cream cheese (which i don’t eat because it’s gross). it gives food a creaminess with a very mild tanginess. it’s just that little something yummy. in fact, i’m usually drawn to a recipe just because it has mascarpone in it.
plus this dessert has booze in it.
this icebox cake was everything i could have ever wanted out of it plus some. i was expecting it to be good because hey it’s an ina garten recipe. but did i expect to take hold of me like it did? not really. i don’t really know what i was expecting but when i took a taste of the leftover whipped cream/mascarpone mixture, i knew this was going to be trouble for my hips. and it was. but it was worth every calorie.
mocha icebox cake
- 2 c cold heavy cream
- 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c kahlua – i have seen this recipe made using bailey’s instead which i think would be delish. i also think amaretto would also be lovely.
- 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 24 ounces crispy chocolate chip cookies – ina recommends using 3 (8oz) packages of tate’s bake shop cookies and i did because i happen to know i can buy them at fresh market
- shaved semisweet chocolate
- in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, kahlua, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks
- to assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (ina breaks some cookies to fill in the spaces and so did i.) spread 1/5 of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another 1/5 of the cream. continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream (i don’t think i actually had 5 layers of each. i just did it until i was at the top of the springform and i was out of cookies/cream). smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.
during the thanksgiving meal, my mom asked what my favorite part was…. i initially had to go with the green bean casserole. but that was before dessert. this icebox cake was hands down the.best.thing.ever. pure awesomeness.
you need to run (and i do mean run) to the store and buy you a springform pan, mascarpone cheese, and all the other ingredients and make this tonight.
recipe from: ina garten’s how easy is that? cookbook