Ice Box Cakes were something I'd read about in American food magazines for years without really understanding what they were. Since you don't bake them — hello ice box! — they're hardly cakes at all. For those who aren't familiar, ice box cakes are just layers of either wafer cookies or graham crackers and some kind of cream. The time the cake spends in the fridge works to soften up the cookies and bind the whole thing into creamy deliciousness. They're almost like ice cream cakes except much, much lighter. You'll find everything out there from fancy, marscarpone numbers to low-rent versions made with Cool Whip. In a small gesture toward health — I know, it's a bit silly, but still! — I added some Greek yogurt to my whipped cream and just used straight up pureed berries rather than add extra sugar. Obviously this isn't health food but it's really simple and makes a great impression when you slice into it at the table. This would be a great way to top off a barbecue since you put it together the night before. Let me know if you try it!
Chocolate Raspberry Ice Box Cake
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 cups raspberries
1 small package of chocolate wafer cookies (I used Nabisco)
In a large bowl, whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer. When soft peaks begin to form, add the yogurt and keep whipping until it's quite stiff.
Puree your berries, either in a blender or an immersion blender and that tall measuring cup that always comes with immersion blender (what is that thing called anyway?).
And we're ready to make a cake. Get out a loaf pan and drape a generous amount of plastic wrap lengthwise and then another across the pan. It will hang over the edges and that's what you want.
Now, take a couple of big dessert spoonfuls of your whipped cream and spread it on the bottom of the loaf pan. Then cover that with two rows of the wafer cookies. You can break up a few cookies to fill in the gaps. Make another layer of whipped cream. Now gently spoon a layer of berry puree. Keep going! Alternate between whipped cream, puree and cookies until you're almost at the top of the pan. I think I made about five layers. Just be sure to end with a layer of the cream.
Gently fold over the cling film and get that baby in the fridge either over night or at least for four hours. When you take the ice box cake out of the fridge, gently unwrap the plastic wrap and place your serving plate on top of the loaf pan. Quickly invert the whole thing so that your plate is now under the cake — you with me? Now gently lift the loaf tin off of the cake. You'll probably need to smooth out some rough spots that removing the cake will create. I crushed up a couple more chocolate layer cookies and sprinkled them on top of my cake and added some raspberries, too. Serve immediately!
This is the coolest, creamiest dessert ever. It is far from sophisticated but it's hella good at the end of a hot day. My kids couldn't quite get their heads around what it was. Esme wasn't a fan of the tang of the yogurt in the cream but Julian devoured his. And so did his Mom…