Chocolate Icebox Cake
The first time I had this cake was while having dinner at my husbands grandparents place. When granny brought it out I saw my husbands (boyfriend at the time) eyes light up in a way that I had never before seen. She knew it too. With her coy smile and flashy eyes she remarked about not forgetting that it was his favourite. In fact it was and is a favourite amongst all the grandchildren, present company included!
My husband has very fond memories of spending weekends at his granny’s with his other cousins in the pool or enjoying quiet afternoons there colouring and doing word puzzles and searches in granny’s famous puzzle books. She would often make this and serve it out as a special treat for the little guys. They called it the magical dessert in the big glass bowl. Always trying to figure out what it was. Was it ice cream? Was it cake? Was it ice cream cake? Oh to be 8 again!!!!
The mystery ended when we were given the recipe a couple years later. We always intended to make it but it kind of got lost in a card box. I recently found it when I was organising and purging and had to make it! Well I was so glad I found it because it turned out fantastic and was literally the best thing ever to watch my husband throughly enjoy it with a big old grin and eyes beaming knowing behind them were memories of a happy curious 8 year old enjoying a sweet treat.
Let’s break this recipe down now. It’s basically a mousse layered cake. Simple but so so good. If you are a mousse lover like I am you will fall in love with this. It’s similar to a tiramisu but not as heavy. This is much more airy. It’s no bake and low fuss as far as cakes go. A few things I did differently from the original recipe was I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup because the ladyfingers had a dusting of sugar on them and it turned out perfect. Just enough sweetness. I decided to use milk as the base for soaking the lady fingers because I thought that straight coffee and liqueur would take away from the chocolate mousse which really is the star of the show. The coffee and liqueur really just complement it. Feel free to add more if you like the flavour to be more intense though.
It was literally the best thing ever to watch my husband throughly enjoy it with a big old grin
The raw egg dilemma… ok yes you will be using a raw egg just like you would in many mousse recipes and tiramisu recipes. The key is to be sure to use fresh eggs and if you can try to use organic or free range and even pasteurised. I read that you can pasteurise your own eggs by placing them in water that is 60•C or 140•F for 4 minutes. This is hot enough to kill bacteria but not hot enough to cook the egg. I haven’t tried it but let me know if you have or if you know of any other tips for using raw eggs in recipes. Would love to hear of any suggestions.
All in all this recipe is a total win!! I have had several requests for this and my husband can’t wait to take it to work! Simple, chocolatey, mouse heaven in a dish. There is no wonder why this long love affair started. And we have granny to thank for it!!
* I made this in a round 2.3Litre/ 2.5qt Corning ware dish but can use a glass bowl or a flatter dish — make sure to double or half recipe according to the size of your dish
- 24 lady fingers
- 1 can of nestle cream (approx 300 grams) or 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 lb. butter or 2 sticks
- 2 tsp of coffee - I used instant granules but you can use brewed as well
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)- optional or you can use brandy instead
- 1 egg separated
- 4 tbsp of cocoa powder plus a little extra for dusting after
- 1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
- 1/4-1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts- optional
In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until light fluffy and almost double the size
Beat in the yolk and mix well until fully incorporated
In a small bowl mix and dissolve 1 tsp of coffee (if using instant) with 1 tsp Frangelico and mix into the large bowl also adding the vanilla and cocoa powder- otherwise just add the brewed coffee and liqueur as is
In a separate bowl beat the egg white until frothy and also doubled in size
Gently fold in the egg white with the chocolate mixture until fully combined and set a side for a few minute
In a separate bowl mix the milk remaining coffee and Frangelico and use as your dipping bowl to soak the lady fingers in prior to placing them in a serving dish
To layer start with lady fingers at the bottom of bowl/dish then pour out and spread 1/3 of the chocolate mousse. Repeat two more times with a total of three layer and ending with the chocolate mousse on the top
Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes remove and top with chopped roasted hazelnuts and then keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Serve dusted with cocoa powder