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Icebox cake and mystery ingredient

I don't think I've ever eaten an icebox cake but I want to make one to have ready when friends visiting from out of town get in from the airport. I was planning on making the simple version with Nabisco chocolate wafers and homemade whipped cream. I keep seeing dissenting views on whether the thing needs to actually be frozen. For example, on Food52, their recipe says to just refrigerate it. Isn't the point that it's sort of like ice cream cake?
I also started thinking it might be fun to put something in for texture in some of the whipped cream layers. I recently got a pastry from a local spot in Minneapolis (Patisserie 46 - wonderful place) with little round chocolate balls that seemed slightly malty in flavor. They were really quite small though, maybe a quarter of the size of a frozen pea. Does anyone know what these are and whether they'd work in an icebox cake? Or should I just go with something simple like cacao nibs?

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  1. It doesn't have to be frozen though I would like to try it frozen. I don't know what your mystery ingredient might be. Could you call the shop and ask them? You might try chopping malt balls.

    1. I've never heard of folks freezing it. The point is for the whipped cream to soak into the cookies and soften them so that the whole thing kind of comes together so it's not just wafers layered with cream; it actually becomes an homogenous whole.

      Freezing would inhibit that, although I suppose you could keep it around for a few hours in the refrigerator, then freeze it. It might be worth trying.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcsheridan

        Okay, this makes sense then. Not sure where I got the idea that it's meant to be frozen. Thanks!

      2. Ice box means refrigerator (in modern terms) not freezer. It is not a frozen item.

        If I was going to add something, it would probably be rum or something of that kind, but obviously that's just me!

        1 Reply
        1. re: coll

          Hmmmm...Rum. Never a bad idea. :)

        2. I go fridge.

          It's also really good with graham crackers instead of the chocolate wafers.

          Pretty sure you could do some kind of pudding/whipped cream mix instead of the plain whipped cream.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jbsiegel

            Graham crackers, pudding & whipped cream reminded me of this icebox cake from Cook's illustrated: http://www.food.com/recipe/a-better-c...

            This is in my "got to make/got to try this" file. I have never made it, but it sure does look good!

             
              1. re: mcsheridan

                Another good one we do is graham crackers with a filling of vanilla pudding with "some" creamy peanut butter mixed in. Yum!

              2. Slivers of chocolate chunks would be good and you could doctor those up. For something simple, you could add chocolate heath bits. Or, layer peanut butter on the cookies and add chopped bananas for an Elvis type cake.

                1 Reply