mini icebox cakes.
i have a new post over at sarah hearts today, check it out!
we need to talk for a minute about icebox cakes.
what’s an icebox cake? it’s charming. simple to create. old-fashioned. not fussy. homey. adorable.
did i mention that it’s simple?
it’s basic construction traditionally consists of store-bought thin chocolate wafer cookies, which are nostalgic and delicious in their own right. they’re layered on top of one another, and light, fluffy whipped cream is spread atop, and the process is repeated to create a lovely, retro confection that’s a certified crowd-pleaser.
the icebox cake rests for a day, maybe even two days in the fridge before serving. the whipped cream causes the cookies to break down a bit, yielding their tough exterior and becoming soft.
seriously. that’s it. easiest cake ever, right?
but i wanted to up the ante a bit. because i can never leave well enough alone, i swapped out the whipped cream for irish cream liqueur-infused chocolate mousse. oh, dear. this was probably one of the best decisions i’ve ever made.
also, instead of making one large cake, i decided to make individual tiny cakes, because let’s face it, everyone likes getting their own mini dessert. everyone.
so this dessert is pretty much perfect for st. patrick’s day. you can make the irish cream liqueur one day, the mousse another day, let that sit in the fridge for between one and three days, make the little cakes, let them sit overnight, and serve them the following day. minimal effort, maximum wow factor. that’s definitely my kind of dessert.
oh, and let me just warn you that you will sneak many, many spoonfuls of this mousse straight from the fridge. it’s going to happen. there’s just no way around that. trust me.
mini icebox cakes
Yield: 16 mini cakes
mousse recipe adapted from bon appetit
4 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
1/3 cup Irish cream liqueur
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 packages chocolate wafer cookies (available at grocery stores and online retailers)
for the mousse
whisk eggs and sugar in large metal bowl.
place bowl over saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
whisk continually until the sugar is dissolved and the egg mixture registers 160 degrees F. the egg mixture will be slightly thickened and pale in color.
pass egg mixture through a sieve into the bowl of a stand mixer, or a clean bowl if using an electric mixer. beat mixture until thick, voluminous, and cool, about 10 minutes. set aside.
in a separate metal bowl, melt chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. stir until completely melted and smooth. remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
in a separate bowl, combine heavy cream, irish liqueur and vanilla extract. using an electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
pour cooled melted chocolate over egg mixture, fold together.
fold in cream mixture until incorporated.
press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the mousse, making sure to cover completely.
chill in the fridge until set, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
mousse can be made up to three days in advance.
assembling the cakes
place five cookies in a zip-top plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin to form cookie crumbs. set aside.
spread a teaspoon of mousse on top of one cookie, and sandwich with another cookie on top.
repeat until there are four cookie layers. top with another teaspoon of mousse, and sprinkle with cookie crumbs.
once all of the cakes are assembled, store in the fridge at least overnight, or up to two days.