Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I was a big fan of playing chef as a young girl. I started out with some very artfully made mud pies and lawn clipping salads... that I forced my younger siblings to taste. Something they are still touchy about. Ms. Humble served us dirt! Ms. Humble told us grass was food! Ms. Humble made us eat cat kibble! Whine, whine, whine.
I'll never live any of it down.
Of course, if I had something like an Easy Bake oven, maybe I would have served brownies or cupcakes! Clearly the fault lies with Mother Humble, since she denied me the easy bake oven, citing some sort of 'fire hazard' nonsense.
Perhaps someday, with enough therapy, I'll get over the grudge I hold against her for denying me the delights of light bulb-baked goodies.
So being the grossly deprived child that I was, I had to make due.
My first cake--one that wasn't made from dirt--was a simple ice box cake. One that is actually good enough to warrant a mention on the blog. It utilizes chocolate whip cream and graham crackers, that's it. You simply layer the graham crackers with generous amounts of the whip cream and allow to chill. After several hours the crackers have absorbed the chocolate cream and have softened, creating a very simple multi layered cake. Kids love it, and this is one dish that they can create all on their own.
As for how it goes over with adults, I forced Mr. Humble to try it (I haven't changed) and though he was skeptical of the cake at first, he ended up eating most of it. Not the portion served, most of the cake. If that isn't a stamp of approval, I don't know what is.
Not So Humble Chocolate Graham Cracker Ice Box Cake:
2 packages Graham Crackers
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons sifted cocoa
Combine the whipping cream, cocoa, and sugar in a bowl. Chill this mixture for an hour, giving the cocoa time to dissolve.
When ready, add the vanilla and beat your cream to stiff peaks.
Using an offset spatula, spread a layer of cream onto the base of what ever platter you will be using and set two crackers onto it, side by side. Apply a generous dollop of cream and spread it evenly over the crackers, you're aiming for about 1/4". Top with two more crackers and repeat until you've used up all the graham crackers.
Now spread the remaining chocolate whip cream onto the top and sides of the cake. Thats it! So easy even my husband could do it.
Cover the cake in such a way that you don't disturb the cream and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to over night. This cake can absorb odors, so if you have a fridge full of onions and cabbage it's best to chill it in an air tight container.
When ready to serve, whip up an additional cup of cream with a tablespoon of sugar and pipe on the decoration. Hopefully you'll be able to pipe evenly, something I had trouble doing today as my daughter was pulling on my skirt, already angling for cake before it was ready.