Sometimes an ordinary cake will not do. You need other things like cookies, whipped cream, chocolate and coffee all mixed into one. It may not be a pretty cake, but it’s got a lot of flavor and personality.
An Ice Box Cake is supposed to have more pronounced layers but I got a little jittery while applying the whipped cream layers, worried I was going to run out. No matter- the cake still tasted like cookies and whipped cream should. Really really good.
Although extraordinary, you don’t need a celebration to make this cake, since at its base it’s really is just cookies and whipped cream. No frosting here, no actual cake. Somehow that might make you feel more inclined to make it today, as in now.
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 12 ounces cream cheese (can use light)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee or Kahlúa
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 24 ounces chocolate chip cookies, a crunchy, thin variety
- milk chocolate nonpareils for decoration (as in snowcaps, or you can find ones that are multicolored)
In a large bowl (you can use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk if you like), with a hand mixer on low start to whip the heavy cream, cream cheese, sugar, coffe or Kahlúa, cocoa powder, coffee crystals, and vanilla. Once it’s combined, begin to slowly increase the speed. You are looking for firm peaks, like fluffed snow on a mountain top..
For assembly of the cake, start by arranging a layer of chocolate chip cookies on the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. To fill in spaces, break some cookies and fit in-between whole cookies. Spread one-fifth (don’t be stingy) of the whipped cream over the cookies, using a rubber spatula to even. Add another layer of cookies atop the whipped cream, as close together as possible and inseting broken cookies to fill in gaps. Follow with another layer of whipped cream. Continue to layer until there are five of each, ending with a layer of whipped cream. Smooth over the top and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or if you are on a tight schedule place in freezer for several hours, then refirgerate for a little longer to make sure cookies soften.
Run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake. Carefully remove the sides of the pan. Add decorations – nonpareils or whatever you like around the edge of the cake. Cut into slices and serve cold.