Chocolate-orange mini icebox cakes.
Chocolate Orange Mini Icebox Cake
We owe some straw spun into gold to Ken-the-air-conditioner-man. That master of cooling systems was actually able to save our elderly air conditioner and get us through another summer. We cheered. There was ticker tape. We even paraded him around on our shoulders.
Well, really I’m celebrating by making something with whipped cream. If you’ve been around a while, you know nothing creamy has been working out for me in our overheated kitchen. But that was before. It’s a new day. We’re spending the evening with friends we haven’t seen in 6 months, and that seems like an occasion to make a dessert, don’t you think?
I’ve been bookmarking icebox cakes for a while now and thought I’d give it a go. The recipe I found couldn’t have been any easier – 3 ingredients, that’s it. Store-bought wafers, heavy cream, and orange juice concentrate. No problem.
Well. Turns out there isn’t a store in this one-horse town that sells chocolate wafer cookies. I have a feeling that might happen to a lot of people because when I started looking for a recipe to make them myself, I discovered that Deb from Smitten Kitchen made her own wafers too. She always has amazing recipes, so I knew these would be perfect for my icebox cakes.
The cookie dough came together in a snap right in the food processor, so that couldn’t be any easier. And the wafers are awesome. I made individual cakes for each of us. I think the presentation was great but it was way too heavy on the orange flavor. The orange and dark chocolate is a good combination, but I think it’d be a lot better with a lot less of the orange juice concentrate. (I also wasn’t crazy about the tint of color the o.j. gave the cream – I wanted it to be stark white. That’s just a visual thing. And it’s just a me thing, but there ya go.) Not that it stopped any of us from eating the cakes, but when I do it again I’ll just add vanilla to the whipping cream and leave it at that. Or maybe mint. Hmm. I like that idea too.
Recipe: Chocolate Orange Mini Icebox Cakes
(from Bon Appetit)
1 c. chilled heavy whipping cream
2/3 c. partially thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
40 chocolate wafer cookies (You can make your own with the recipe that follows.)
grated orange peel
Using electric mixer, beat cream and orange juice concentrate in medium bowl until stiff peaks form.
Place 8 cookies on rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart. Spoon about 1 level tablespoon whipped orange cream atop each cookie, then top each with second cookie and another tablespoon cream. Repeat 2 more times with cookies and cream, creating 8 stacks of 4 cookies with 4 layers of orange cream. Top each stack with fifth cookie. Transfer remaining orange cream to small bowl; cover and chill cream. Cover and chill stacks at least 6 hours or overnight (cookies will soften).
Carefully transfer 1 stack to each of 8 plates. Rewhisk reserved orange cream, if necessary, until stiff peaks form. Spoon dollop of orange cream atop each stack, sprinkle with grated orange peel, and serve.
Recipe: Chocolate Wafer Cookies
(thanks to Deb from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark because that’s what I had, but Deb recommends using the best cocoa powder you can afford.)
1 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 Tbsp. whole milk (I didn’t have any, so I used half and half.)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
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.
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. (My cookies didn’t make it past the 10 minute mark. It just depends how thinly you slice them, I think.)
Cool the cookies on the baking sheets on racks, or slide the parchment onto racks to cool completely. These cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks or be frozen for up to two months.