Sometimes I just want to make a cake and have it ready in a pinch for some party, potluck, or just to satisfy my true gluttonous nature. Sometimes I don't want to have to wait for the butter to soften, or for the cake layers to cool, or the cake to set. Sometimes I need cake right at that moment. This is when an icebox cake is the answer to all my cake prayers. If an icebox cake had a second name, it would be called the lazy girl's cake. It is so incredible easy to make and can be whipped up in fifteen minutes or less. It is a great summer cake since it has to be served chilled. It has a the consistency of a light mousse and can be topped with whatever fruits are in season.
So why did I make an icebox cake? Which of the aforementioned reasons led me to create this overly easy but still decent looking cake? Well, none of the reasons above. I made it because...I had a whole big carton of whipping cream to use up before its expiring date. I feel like that is the driving force of many of my baking endeavours. Oh I have a lot of yeast to use up? Let's make bread for days. Oh the cream cheese is expiring soon? Cheesecake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I like to believe that I am a pretty responsible person and will not let stuff go to waste.
On a completely different note, I just want to talk about how happy I have so much more time to make cakes and work on my blog now. I am getting more comfortable using a self-time and tripod for my blog photos. I also found that my favourite time to take blog photos is sometime between 10am and noon. After 12pm the sun hits my bright yellow fence at some weird angle and reflects all the yellow light onto my cake and white wall. To be honest, I haven't been too happy with my photos from the last two posts. I keep going back to them and contemplating taking them off the blog or whatnot. You can expect Constellation Inspiration to be updated more regularly (I actually just finished writing up another post for after this one!!) but it will be a learning experience. You might have to suffer through some not-so-great photos until I can produce something really pin-worthy. Thank you for always being so supportive and I can't wait to share more cakes and goodies with you!
Chocolate Strawberry Icebox Cake
Yields: One eight-inch cake
Adapted from King Arthur Chocolate Icebox Pie
2 packs large lady fingers (~20-24 cookies)
1/2 cup cold coffee
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chunks, or disks
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Remove the lady fingers from the packing and cut off the rounded bottom of each cookie with a knife. You want the lady fingers to be roughly the height of your spring form pan.
Line an eight-inch spring form pan with lady fingers with the top side of the cookie pressed against the rim of the pan. Cover the bottom of the cake pan with more lady fingers. You might need to trim and cut some lady fingers so that they fit snuggly at the bottom of the pan. Brush the layer of lady fingers with coffee. You can omit this step but brushing some coffee on the lady fingers make these cookies softer. Set aside.
In a small pot on low-medium heat, mix together the water, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once the chocolate has melted, set aside this chocolate mixture so it cools off.
With a hand mixer or standing mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and salt until soft peaks form.
Using the same mixer, fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream until no white streaks remain. The chocolate cream mixture should have the consistency of mousse!
Carefully pour the chocolate cream into the cake pan lined with lady fingers. Smooth out the top with a spatula.
Cover the pan with saran wrap and chill the cake overnight. The cream with soften the lady fingers and create a cake-like base for the chocolate cream. Serve chilled.