Hi, I'm Kyleen, from sixteenbeans. and I'm so excited to join this month's Have the Cake Challenge! It seems that I joined at a perfect time, since I've had my eye on this icebox cake for a while.
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Whipped cream is a saving grace. It can be used to make rich, creamy sauces, or replace a failed ganache, or to revive stale cake. In this month’s Have the Cake challenge, icebox cakes took center stage, with whipped cream as the star of the show. As much as I like cookies, whipped cream is definitely the best part of this Chocolate Coffee Icebox Cake.
Coffee and chocolate are such a natural combination that I had to add some coffee flavour in the chocolate cookies as well as the cream. The dark notes of coffee bring out the rich hues in chocolate, complimenting them oh so subtly. I used decaf instant coffee powder in this recipe, although in retrospect, I probably could have replaced some of the milk with coffee or espresso.
The cookies themselves are almost too delicious to be made into a cake. As soon as they came out of the oven, I was salivating. I picked one up while still hot and ate it. Someone has to do quality control, right? Well, it seems that the rest of my family agreed, because one by one, they trickled into the kitchen, following the alluring scent of chocolate and coffee. With my back turned, they grabbed the cookies and I tried to shoo them away. My icebox cake would have been two inches taller if not for the sneaky hands of my younger brother who has a penchant for cookies.
I didn’t bake my chocolate cookies to be quite as crisp as advised because I like that soft and chewy texture. So I figured that the cake would be suitable to eat a couple hours after I had assembled it. The cookie layers were sufficiently softened and the cake was deliciously moist and rich. The next day, I cut myself another slice and to my slight surprise, the cake had transformed completely into a rich, dense, almost fudgy brownie with thin layers of cream in between. The coffee cream was more subdued and the two components blended seamlessly. Obviously, this is one of those cakes that just get better and better with time.
Click below for the recipe.
Coffee Chocolate Icebox Cake
- 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder (see Note)
- ¼ cup instant coffee powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 7 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoons gelatine
For the cookies, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix thoroughly. Cut the butter into about 12 chunks and add them to the bowl. Pulse several times. Combine the milk and vanilla in a small cup. With the processor running, add the milk mixture and continue to process until the mixture clumps around the blade or the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large bowl or a cutting board and knead a few times to make sure it is evenly blended. You can also do this by hand in a large bowl.
Form the dough into a log about 14 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or until needed.
Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough into slices a scant 1/4-inch thick and place them one inch apart on the lined sheets (cookies will spread). Bake, rotating the baking sheet from top to bottom and back to front about halfway through baking, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will puff up and deflate; they are done about 1 1/2 minutes after they deflate. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on racks, or slide the parchment onto racks to cool completely.
To assemble, in a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, instant coffee, and vanilla until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, stir the water and gelatine together and microwave for 7 seconds or until dissolved. While the mixer is on, pour the gelatine in and continue to whip until medium peaks form. It is important to beat the cream vigorously as you add the gelatine to ensure that it doesn’t clump.
On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center. Spread a thin layer of cream on top and repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making as many layers as possible. I only managed to make five layers since my brothers ate so many of the cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or longer, until cookies are softened.