Mocha Icebox Cake

Mocha Icebox Cake

Day 67

Stop the presses! This recipe is today’s top story, to be sure. And, it’s just in time for Easter if you’re searching for a quick, no-fail, no-bake dessert that looks like you spent hours slaving in the kitchen. 

I have to give complete credit to Ina Garten right away, as the Mocha Icebox Cake is all hers. I watched a re-run of Barefoot Contessa yesterday, and I had to try it. Honestly, I was a skeptic when I saw the ingredients and directions because it looked too easy to work, if that makes sense.

Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2014

I figured there was something I was missing and that mine wouldn’t look anything like hers. I don’t know if that frequently happens to you, but all too often, I see a recipe video and I attempt it, only to hit some major roadblock that must have been cut from the video. Thankfully, Ina Garten’s recipes are generally “easy gourmet”, designed to work for both the at-home cook and the advanced chef. 

The Mocha Icebox Cake is no exception; this recipe is the easiest I’ve ever made. What’s even better is that the presentation is reminiscent of desserts you’d see in the finest restaurants. Because there is no baking required, all you need is a good mixer. 

Ina recommends using the thin and crispy cookies from a company like Tate’s Bakeshop, which are delicious all by themselves.  I’ll also suggest that if you’re in Maryland and you like to support a local business, you should substitute Tate’s chocolate chip cookies for the Baltimore company, Otterbein’s, in this recipe. Whichever you use, you must find thin and crispy cookies; thicker cookies do not produce optimum results. 

I researched icebox cakes and learned that they fall in the same category as trifles and charlottes because they require overnight refrigeration to properly soften and blend. Their initial popularity

Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2014

grew during World War I when American housewives were looking for shortcut recipes to save resources. When you decide to make yours, don’t forget that it really does need overnight in the fridge before you try to serve it. 

I hope you’ll try this recipe over the holiday. Happy Easter to you and yours, and may you spend more time enjoying the company of loved ones than in the kitchen, but with even more impressive results. 

Mocha Icebox Cake

2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
½ cup sugar
¼ cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (7-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate’s Bake Shop
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.

To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.

Recipe from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa. See link to recipe and video here:

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