One of my beloved co-workers MrrKrr left us last week to head back to the motherland and work for a big law firm. I'm so happy for this new opportunity for her but we were all sad to see her go. As a going away I wanted to make a few treats (naturally).
My Grandpa's favorite dessert is an icebox cake. Grandma always made it with Nilla wafers (my mom is not really sure why--if Grandpa liked vanilla better than chocolate or if they couldn't find the chocolate wafers--I'll ask G&G and get back to you guys!) I made it for one of our interns for her birthday in early July and MrrKrr said her mom used to make this cake too. It has one of those flavor profiles that is easy to remember (it tastes somewhat like an oreo with coconut.)
The history of the cake begins with the invention of the "ice box" in the late 1800's; by the 1930's GE's Electric Refrigerator became more widely available so desserts that used this new invention as part of the process for the recipe emerged.
My Grandpa was born in 1921 in Minnesota; his dad was a Post Master and they were one of the first families on their block to have a refrigerator, so this dessert makes sense to me in that respect.
When making desserts for the office I have to keep transportation in mind. I think this would be a great cake piled on a scalloped cake stand, but getting that to the office in rush hour traffic didn't seem like a good plan. I put it in a trifle dish (put some bubble wrap in a small cardboard box and sealed the thing up--put the box on the floor of the passenger seat in the mini).
MrrKrr loves souffle's; I have never attempted a souffle and I doubt it would travel well from my house to the office if I had so I decided to put hers in a souffle dish (because I'm a smart alec...I get this quality from my dad ;P)
Chocolate Ice Box Cake
2 packages of Chocolate Wafer Cookies (or Nilla wafers...teddy grahams or graham crackers)
3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3 Tbsps powdered sugar
1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
1) Whip the heavy cream (either in a mixer, with a hand mixer or by hand; I usually whip by hand--I put the cream in a medium sized stainless steel bowl over a larger ceramic bowl filled with ice--I feel like I'm getting an arm work-out while I make dessert.)
2) Add the powdered sugar and vanilla; I usually use more than 3 tablespoons--just taste it after you add the sugar and vanilla and add more to your taste. Be weary though that the cookies are sweet so you don't want the cream to be overly sweet.
3) Assemble; build it like you might a lasagna--cream on bottom, layer of cookies, layer of cream, etc. until you finish (finish with cream on top). I shaved some semi sweet chocolate and microplaned some milk chocolate on top of mine using blocks of Callebaut. To achieve a curl pop the brick in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften and then used a vegetable peeler along the edge to create a curl.