It’s been awhile since I made something decadent with lots of whipped cream. As I’m a sucker for mocha I thought a coffee and hazelnut icebox cake inspired by Ina Garten would be a delicious finish to a meal.
You won’t need to turn on the oven, but the cake is best when it sits for a few hours in the fridge so plan ahead. The cookies will absorb liquid from the whipped cream and soften into a delicious cake like layer. If you can’t find rectangular wafers, don’t worry about it. You can always break the cookies and fill in the spaces.
No one needs to know how easy it is to make an icebox cake. It’s no more difficult than whipping some cream and layering it between rows of cookies. You can easily make substitutions based on your eating preferences and what you have on hand. For example, Ina’s recipe (available here) uses chocolate chip cookies. I used chocolate Maria cookies and flavored the whipping cream with coffee and cocoa. She also adds some coffee liqueur, but I didn’t have any. I don’t feel the recipe suffered from leaving it out.
Ina stacked her layers in a springform pan, I chose to line a loaf pan with foil so I could slice pieces off the loaf. You could also make individual cakes if you have a large enough muffin pan.
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 12 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese), softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 sleeves chocolate Maria cookies
- 1 handful hazelnuts plus more for garnish
- Whip the mascarpone, sugar, cocoa, coffee and vanilla together. Add the cream and continue to whip until firm peaks form. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking.
- To make a loaf, line a standard loaf pan with foil or plastic wrap. Let the ends drape over the sides.
- Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom and top with a layer of cookies. Repeat the layers. Use broken cookies to fill in any spaces.
- Cover and place in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
- To serve, unwrap the foil and move it out of the way so you can invert the loaf onto a plate. Remove the foil completely. Smooth the sides with a spatula if the wrinkles bother you.
- Process 10 or so Maria cookies and a handful of hazelnuts in a food processor to make crumbs. Arrange the crumbs around the plate and on top of the cake. Garnish with whole hazelnuts.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the icebox cake into slices.
The bloggers of I Heart Cooking Clubs have chosen the theme, How Easy Is That? which is also the name of one of Ina’s Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Be sure to drop by and see what other easy and delicious Ina Garten recipes have been created this week.