That Was So Easy! [mocha chocolate icebox cake]

The other day, The (Not So) New Girl and I spent the entire day together, walking the ‘hood, hanging out, and sharing food. She brought me a giant slice of The Barefoot Contessa’s mocha chocolate icebox cake* and I told her I really didn’t need to eat more than half of it. Then I paused for a half second, and proceeded to eat, um, all of it.

I love a good riff on an icebox cake.

Ina’s feels fancy and extra rich because it uses mascarpone in the whipped cream mixture and in place of boring, plain chocolate wafers, she uses chocolate chips. Ah, the genius of Ina!

A huge part of that genius, though, is in her calling for Tate’s chocolate chip cookies, which are thin and crisp (and widely available at the grocery store-look for them by Pepperidge Farm cookies). Because the cream softens the cookies over time, you don’t want to use a soft batch cookie here or things would be a crumbly mess.

Because she always asked for cakes with mocha frosting, I decided right away that this would be Wooden Nickels’ birthday cake this year. I will not be waiting till next year to make it again.

To make an 8 inch cake, you will need:

  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 12 ounces italian mascarpone cheese
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 14 cup kahlua liqueur (I left this out, but I wish I hadn’t)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies (Tate’s Bakeshop recommended)
  • shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
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.

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. 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.

*Isn’t mocha chocolate redundant?  I’ve been wondering that.  Isn’t mocha, coffee that’s flavored with chocolate?  Because this cake is so good, we’ll let it slide.

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