Dear Reader have I got a delicious and easy icebox cake for you this Valentines Day! This strawberry chocolate icebox cake takes all of 15 minutes to prepare where you don't need any special tins to achieve the perfect, spectacular cake! It uses lots of fresh strawberries and cream as well as chocolate cookies. This is a pushy recipe for something simple but beautiful for Valentines Day. I called her Rosie.
Icebox or refrigerator cakes are one of the easiest cakes that provide spectacular results for little effort. Best of all they're better made ahead of time so if you're busy on the day and Valentines Day is on a Monday so you may just be, all you have to do it slice and serve it on the day. This is based on the Magnolia Bakery's strawberry ice box cake.
Tips for Making This Strawberry Chocolate Icebox Cake
1 - Make the strawberry puree beforehand and make sure that it is completely chilled in the fridge.
2 - Chill the bowl and beaters well for at least 30 minutes beforehand. This helps the cream whip up stiffly and maintain its stiff texture. If it is a really hot day turn on the air conditioning.
3 - Chocolate Ripple biscuits in Australia work perfectly in this. In America chocolate wafers work (wafers are thin cookies in America and different from what we call wafers in Australia). Any plain chocolate biscuit will do - even digestives work well.
4 - Start with a cake disc. This helps to ensure that your cake maintains an even, round shape without the need for a tin.
5 - Spread out the strawberry cream almost to the edge leaving a tiny bit of chocolate cookie peeking out.
6 - Allow the cake to set for 4 hours or overnight for ideal results. As the cream absorbs into the biscuits it will soften them and become more cake-like.
Dear Reader as I am eating a slice of this cake I am writing to you from our new house! Mr NQN and I moved with just one tantrum which was something of a minor miracle. Moving is hell as everyone knows and packing is a total drag but during this move we discovered that we each had different packing tasks that we hated and liked. I really enjoy giving and throwing things away but hate packing up things because I am allergic to dust. Mr NQN isn't allergic to dust so he is just fine packing up things but he hates throwing things away. As an example he quite happily packed up our 300 bottle wine rack whereas the idea of packing all those bottles up was anathema to me.
I was always reminding him "Don't forget to label the box!" and he'd say "Yeah yeah" but of course over half a dozen huge boxes went unlabelled. Later at our new house I sort of lost it when I was searching for a prop to photograph. "Why can't you bloody label anything? How the ^&* am I supposed to find things?" I said stomping about trying to find a specific cake lifter for these photos. Not only were there no labels but there were mislabels. A box he labelled "Clothes, Alcohol, Kitchen" had not a single piece of kitchenware which I found out when I went searching in the cavernous box for said cake lifter.
Anyway I loved the idea of starting afresh and only bringing things that I really liked or treasured. However Mr NQN would have happily moved the entire apartment dust bunnies and all. There were times that he would pick something up that he hadn't touched in years and want to take it with him and I'd have to gently remind him that perhaps someone else might find some use in it and he would agree and off to the charity box it went.
We drove away from our apartment with one final look back at the happy years that we had in that cramped, tiny apartment. There were so many meals cooked, dinner parties, Halloween parties and great memories and in my tired and dusty state I was a bit emotional. I was carrying a bottle of coconut water and a dead dog (my baby Mochi taxidermied) who was the last to leave along with me as she would make the journey to our new house on my lap. We were dirty, we were tired but above most of all we were excited about this new chapter in our lives and the beautiful new home that we were moving into.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your packing style? Hoarder or thrower? What are you making for Valentines Day (if anything)? Do you celebrate it?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Strawberry Chocolate Icebox Cake
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 3 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Serves: 10-12 people
- 1 litre/1 quart pure or thickened cream
- 3 tablespoons caster or superfine sugar
- 375g/13ozs. chilled strawberry puree* see recipe below
- Strawberry flavouring
- 2.5 packets of Choc Ripple biscuits or 625g/22ozs. chocolate biscuits/cookies/wafers
- 200g/7ozs fresh strawberries to decorate
Strawberry Puree (make ahead, this makes a bit more than needed but it's great on yogurt or ice cream)
- 500g/1.1lbs fresh (or frozen) strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs. water
- 1/3 cup/75g/2.7ozs. sugar or to taste
Step 1 - First make the strawberry puree by placing the strawberries in a small saucepan and bringing to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then add water and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes until strawberries are softened. Place in a blender and puree. You can also sieve this if you don't like the pips but I don't mind them so left them. Cool completely and chill. This can keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Step 2 - Place the cream and sugar in a chilled mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment or Thermomix. Whip until firm peaks form. Thermomix settings: 30-45 seconds on speed #4 with butterfly whisk. I always take the cup out so that I can watch the cream beat so that it doesn't overbeat.
Step 3 -Scrape the whipped cream into a large bowl and fold in the strawberry puree and add a little strawberry flavouring to taste.
Step 4 -Take a cake disc and spread 1/2 heaped cup (really more like 2/3 cup) of the strawberry cream on the base. Place 7 cookies around the edge equidistant from each other and one in the centre. Spread with another 1/2 heaped cup of strawberry whipped cream. Place another layer of cookies between the space of the other ones. Spread with cream and repeat alternating the positions with each layer until all of the cookies and strawberry cream is used. Spread a layer of cream on top. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours. Add cut and whole strawberries to decorate and slice up and serve.