Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafer Ice Box Cake

This recipe falls under the categories of nostalgic desserts, quick-n-easy, and pretty food.

My mom wasn’t a baker. Every once in a while she made a dessert we loved, like Jell-o, or Junket Rennet Custard (in chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry – does anyone remember that?), or sliced bananas with milk and sugar. Most cakes in our home were sliced right out of a Freihofer's box (and we loved them). A mother of seven, she didn’t love cooking or baking, and always said her favorite thing to make was reservations! Still, she made dinner every night and we always enjoyed her meals. To this day, I've never had a better tuna casserole than the one my mom made. Putting out a dinner every night for a family of nine was no easy task, and baking was not part of her repertoire. When my sisters and I decided to try our hands at baking, our mother and the rest of the family were thrilled! One recipe she did encourage me to try was the Nabisco Ice Box cake, a simple 1-2-3 step assemblage of a dessert that wowed our family. Its elegant presentation belied the fact that it was just about the easiest thing to put together. Made with just two ingredients, Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers, and whipped cream, this dessert was just what the doctor ordered on warm summer evenings. It is cake and whipped cream and cold and refreshing all in one. Plus, it’s beautiful.

These wafers can be hard to come by. You may have to search the higher shelves of grocery stores to find them, or ask to have them ordered since they’re not the biggest sellers. Once you do get a hold of them, stock up. These wafers are a precious commodity! If you can’t find them, you can make variations of this recipe. I’ve seen versions with graham cracker squares instead of chocolate wafers, with coffee-tinted whipped cream, all dusted in cocoa powder, resulting in a tiramisu-like concoction. Then there’s a lemon version with lady fingers. But for my tastes (which always run toward chocolate), this classic can not be beat!

Nabisco Ice Box Cake

1 package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
2 pints of heavy or whipping Cream, beaten with 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla extract to taste (Make sure you have a large, chilled bowl and chilled beaters. You might have to make it in two batches.)

Spread each wafer with enough whipped cream to generously coat one side, and assemble frosted layers together to form a log on a large serving platter. Once they’re all stacked together on their side, spread the entire log of lusciousness with whipped cream. Let sit for four hours or overnight to allow the wafers soften up to a cake-like consistency. Slice on the diagonal to reveal a beautiful, striped dessert. This definitely qualifies as pretty food.

Tomorrow's post: Beet, gorgonzola, and toasted walnut salad.

Photo credit: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.kraftfoods.com/images/recipe_images/FAMOUS_Chocolate_Refrigerator_Roll.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/recipex/msg1017034317865.html&usg=__bxpU63B-b_XqblxSJsqVGkql-GY=&h=204&w=307&sz=18&hl=en&start=4&tbnid=C_5ldBrC7TSYfM:&tbnh=78&tbnw=117&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dnabisco%2Bice%2Bbox%2Bcake%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

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