We went out for lunch since that is what Val wanted to do and she chose her dinner menu a couple of days ago. I shopped for all the ingredients and did some of the prep work before going over there today. Her dinner choices were Flat Iron Steak with Red Wine Sauce, grilled sweet onions, grilled zucchini and yellow squash, sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes. For the second year in a row she chose Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake for dessert which is seriously the easiest dessert to pull together. It is layers of chocolate chip cookies and mascarpone/whipped cream with chocolate in between. It is assembled in a springform pan, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight, hence the name "Icebox Cake".
Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake
Makes 8 servings
2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate's Bake Shop (or homemade cookies)
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish, if desired
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed until it forms firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa