Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Icebox Cake

I've heard people talk about Icebox Cakes for many years. Nabisco Famous Cookies, you know, the thin, chocolate ones in the yellow carton, have a recipe right on the box. Still, I don't think that I've ever had one, or even made one for that matter.

Everyday Food September 2009 ran a recipe that I thought I should try. It just seemed so simple.

first mix 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, well chilled with 1/3 cup of confectioner's sugar till soft peaks form.

in another bowl, mix 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/3 cup peanut butter until it's smooth.

then fold peanut butter mixture into the soft cream.

place 7 chocolate wafer cookies (one centered, 6 surrounding) with a dab of the cream mixture to secure them in place. add 2/3 cream mixture to the wafer layer, repeat 5 more times. finish with cream mixture.

It was really that simple, and looks really good. It now has to sit for 8 hours, at least, to give it a cake like texture.

As you are probably noticing, our kitchen is closer and closer to being done. Thank goodness photos can be edited, just out side this shot is all sorts of projects in process. The closer it gets to do, the more I can cook!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I found it. Or at least, another one. Back on June of 2007 we sent out a request for Carrot Cake recipes. We compiled a few of them, and made all of them in October.

The Silver Palate Cookbook was our winning submission.I think that this carrot cake from Food & Wine, January 2009 (Recipe is at the end of the blog) could give it a run for it's money. I put it together in a pretty quick minute.

Mix all the dry, mix all the wet, beat eggs and sugar. Combine. Add carrots and pecans. Bake.

The cake is a moist, yet strangely light, not gummy and bursting with pecan and especially carrot flavor. How many times have you made a carrot cake to not taste the carrots, but only the spices? (Really, I like these spices, but if I wanted a spice cake.....) These worked really well together.

I wish I could remember that it's really easy to put these things together. What I did remember was to set out the butter to make it room temperature. It really does help.

My only complaint with this cake was how loose the frosting was. I kept wishing it was an Italian Meringue or something a bit firmer. When cooled in the fridge, however, it's a right good frosting.

In comparing it to the Silver Palate, they are essentially the same, there is less flour & sugar in the cake and less butter and powdered sugar in the frosting. (I may use the Silver Palate Frosting Recipe next time.)

One other difference in this baking experience, I remembered to take a photo! The thing I forgot - to charge the batteries. Gotta love the new iPhone's camera - at least in a pinch.


Classic Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

Food & Wine, January 2009



1 cup pecans (4 ounces)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar


Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 9-inch cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the paper and flour the pans.

Make the cake: Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Cool and finely chop the pecans.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, buttermilk and vanilla. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at high speed until pale, 5 minutes. Beat in the liquid ingredients. Beat in the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in the carrots and pecans. Divide the batter between the pans and bake the cakes for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until springy and golden. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then unmold the cakes and let cool completely.

Make the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese at high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the confectioners’ sugar; beat at low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Peel off the parchment paper and invert one cake layer onto a plate. Spread with a slightly rounded cup of the frosting. Top with the second cake layer, right side up. Spread the top and sides with the remaining frosting and refrigerate the cake until chilled, about 1 hour. Slice and serve.