Allison's birthday is on Sunday, so I decided to celebrate on Wednesday, since I had a little extra time to cook the night before.
I followed the recipe from Shutterbean's blog exactly--but I was a little nervous when I compared the whipped cream recipe with the one in my Betty Crocker cookbook. Shutterbean's big batch of whipped cream called for 4 cups of heavy whipping cream, 3 TB of Sugar, and 1 TB of Vanilla. Betty called for only 2 cups of cream and the same proportions of everything else. The bottom of the Nabisco wafer box called for 3 cups of cream and the same proportions of everything else. It was too late to call any of my usual power bakers, so I decided to stick with Shutterbean.
I made a good decision, after whipping the cream, I found it to be delightfully vanilla-y, not too sweet and a perfect compliment to the chocolate cookies. I did learn one thing while whipping the cream though, if one wafer in a box is broken, and the box is sitting on the table with the vibrating mixer, all the cookies will break.
Broken cookies, lend to a not-so-perfect cake. With images of Shutterbean's and then Smitten Kitchen's perfect cakes dancing in my head, mine just didn't quite stack up (pun intended).
Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind when you make this dessert, and I say when because you will want to rush out and get those $4 wafer boxes immediately and make this cake.
- Do whip the cream enough for soft peaks
- Do refrigerate the cream, and possibly even the cake every once in a while if your kitchen is over 75 degrees
- Do select boxes of cookies that are not broken
- Do not leave cookies anywhere they could get damaged
- Do put a dollop of whipped cream under the first layer of cookies to hold them still
- Do not press down on the layers when you spread whipped cream--this will cause the cookies to push out and unbalance the cake
- In the event of broken cookies, do use them, but try to make a cookie layer as complete as possible
- Do turn the cake around 180 degrees halfway to avoid leaning
Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake
4 Cups heavy whipping cream
2 intact boxes of Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies
1T vanilla extract
Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form. (I wasn't sure what soft peaks were, but basically it becomes thick and spreadable with a surprising fluffy lightness)
Find a flat plate--flate is VERY important, I used my cake carrying case.
Put a dollup of cream on the bottom of seven cookies and arrange them in a circle with one in the middle.
Use a rubber scoop spatula to spread a scoopfull of whipped cream onto the layer of cookies
Continue layering cookies and whipped cream, be sure to end with whipped cream.
Crush leftover cookies between fingers (I rolled broken waffers between my hands and let the crumbs slip through my fingers to decorate the top
Chill for 4-6 hours until cookies are more cakey OR cover with plastic wrap or cake cover and freeze overnight, move to fridge at least 1 hour before serving.
I froze the cake overnight, drove it to work in 70 degree weather, and then popped it in the fridge for the rest of the day. This cake was so delicious. It was creamy and cakey. It was a HUGE hit in the office and the 12 people on my team devoured the cake before they had a chance to share with any of the other 70 people in our immediate area. If you are going somewhere with a crowd of big eaters, you may consider making two cakes.