Monday, July 21, 2014

Mini Chocolate Icebox Cake

I made this super simple but decadent treat as a welcome home celebration dessert for myself when I got back from North Dakota a couple of weekends ago. Does anyone else like to treat themselves to welcome home sweets? No? Just me? Ah well, next time you're away for an extended period of time - sleepover at a friend's or gone on holiday - get yourself a little something yum when you return home. It makes home just that much more exciting and happy and fun.

I'm not really sharing anything wonderfully novel or creative because icebox cakes have been around forever and it's the best this-is-homemade-but-I'm-cheating recipe ever. It's not even really a recipe. It's just an assembly. But, it's delicious and awesome for summertime because it requires zero interaction with stovetop and/or oven and it's supposed to be served cold. It's like revenge. However, I'm still sharing this recipe assembly because it's fun! I posted a photo of this to my Facebook and my friend J was like, "I have never heard of this cake until today," so maybe this will be new to some of you, in which case, yay! Plus, the cool thing about my version though is that it's in miniature so it's super cute.
Ingredients [yields one mini 6-inch icebox cake; triple the recipe for a normal 9-inch cake]:
9 oz. package of chocolate wafers
1 pint whipping cream
1½ tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
+ crushed wafers, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, and/or any other decoration you like

If you're not keen on whipping your own cream and/or you're allergic to the calories, you can certainly grab a tub of Cool Whip from the freezer aisle. But, I prefer the freshly whipped stuff because I like to control the amount of sugar; I don't like overly sweet whipped cream, especially when it's being paired with another sweet element.

If you're going the homemade route, just pour your cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla into a bowl and whip it until you have fluffy peaks that are thick and spreadable. Be certain not to over whip because you'll end up with butter. Butter is great, but it's not what we're going for here.
I decided to just build my icebox cake directly on this cute little mini cakestand (from H&M). If you don't have a mini cakestand, just use a small plate. I layered three wafers on the bottom, spread them with a generous amount of whipped cream, and then stacked three more wafers on top, offsetting them. Then, I spread on more whipped cream and continued until I used up all of my whipped cream and wafers. Make sure that each wafer has a generous slathering because the moisture from the whipped cream is going to soak into the wafers and make them soft and cake-like. If there isn't enough cream, you'll end up with some crunchy bits of wafer.
Finish off the cake with a thick layer of whipped cream on top. If you're so inclined, you could also spread lots of whipped cream around the sides of the cake to fill in the gaps but I happen to like the look of the offset wafers. I think it's gorgeous.
Pop the cake into the fridge for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. You'll know the cake is ready when you can stick a knife in the center with no resistance.
I like to wait to decorate the top of the cake after it's chilled so that I can test it with the knife and then cover up the test "wound." I used chocolate shavings this time but if I were making this for someone's birthday, I might use rainbow sprinkles.
Slice the cake into cute mini-sized servings and dig in!
The best part is seeing the exposed layers and how the wafers have absorbed moisture from the cream.
The cake will be soft and creamy and delicious and perfect for a warm summer afternoon (iced) tea party.
Here's the recipe page:

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