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Chocolate Icebox Cake

Use a large sharp knife to slice the cake. Wipe the knife clean with a paper towel after cutting each slice. Dipping the knife in a glass of warm water will also help to make neat, clean slices. Be sure to hold the blade away from you when wiping the knife.

To make whipped cream, in a large metal bowl, combine 1 cup well-chilled heavy cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cake (see related recipe at left), ends trimmed and cake cut into ten 3/4-inch slices
  • 2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream 
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1 tsp. water (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream for frosting (see note above)

Directions:

Line a pan with the cake
Cut a long piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, including a short overhang over each end. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with the cake slices, cutting to fit as necessary. You will not use the whole cake for this recipe.

Make the chocolate filling
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup of the cream, the unsweetened chocolate and semisweet chocolate and place over (but not touching) barely simmering water. Heat, stirring often, until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the cream. Refrigerate until cool, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, dissolved coffee and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the chocolate mixture.

In another large bowl, using the mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream on medium-high speed until firm peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Assemble the cake
Spread the filling in the cake-lined pan, smoothing the top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

To serve, invert a serving plate on top of the pan and invert the plate and pan together. Holding the ends of the parchment liner firmly on the plate, lift off the pan. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream, cut into slices and serve. Serves 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).