Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chocolate Ripple Cake/Log aka Chocolate Icebox Cake

Growing up this was one of my most favorite desserts. I remember eating this as a kid and begging my mother to make it. Last week when I was planning my Mothers Day dinner menu I remembered this dessert and wondered if there was any way I could make it here in the states (you will see why). Once I had in my head that I wanted to have this dessert for Mothers Day there was no stopping me.

In Australia this dessert is made with a cookie/biscuit called a chocolate ripple biscuit (hence the name). You can't get chocolate ripple biscuits here in the US and I had had no luck finding a substitute that would work at any of my local grocery stores. I couldn't even find a recipe to make the cookie from scratch to use in this dessert. I spent a good part of Thursday and Friday last week online trying to find a substitute for the cookie I needed. At last I had found it. Now if only I could find this cookie in the stores. I read countless stories from people online who could not find this particular cookie as Nabisco doesn't widely sell them anymore and MOST grocery stores don't keep them on the shelf. I thought this was an Australian/New Zealand dessert until I started my online research. It turns out that this cake actually originated in America. I was lucky enough to find this pricey cookie at an Albertsons in downtown Salt Lake City. When I did find them I almost cried. I was so excited to make this childhood favorite. It was everything we remembered it to be and my Mothers Day dessert was a success!

A little history: An icebox cake (American), zebra cake (British), or chocolate ripple log (Australian) is a dessert consisting of whipped cream and chocolate wafers. The back-of-the-box recipe on Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers indicates that the wafers are stacked to form a log with whipped cream cementing them together, and then the log is laid on its side. A second log is formed and the two are set side-by-side and more whipped cream covers the exterior. The cake is then left overnight in the refrigerator (or "icebox)." The wafers absorb moisture from the whipped cream and the whole can be served in slices. The dessert is usually served by cutting it into slices at a 45 degree angle, so bands of chocolate and cream are visible across each slice. The traditional wafers are the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, but they can be hard to find so other cookies are often substituted.

Chocolate Ripple Cake/Log aka Chocolate Icebox Cake


1 box of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers - pictured below
2 Cups of heavy whipping cream - whipped
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Method:
Add vanilla to cream and whip. Once cream is whipped use a knife or spatula and spread each wafer with a generous amount of cream. Stand the biscuits on edge on a tray, pressing them together to form a log.



Cover the whole lot with cream. I also crushed some oreos and sprinkled them on top.





Place in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight (overnight is best). You have to allow enough time for the cream to soften the cookies for a cake like consistency.
Cut on an angle to serve. This dessert is VERY rich so I chose to serve mine with some fresh strawberries.

This is the cookie that is used in this dessert in the US.


An image of the US version of the dessert- Chocolate Ice Box Cake. I love the shape and design of this cake. Though I think visually it is more appealing, I wonder about the consistency of the cake. I would think that if the cookie isn't completely covered in cream it wouldn't soften.

5 comments:

Melanie said...

I've always wanted to try this dessert since I saw it on Smittenkitchen.com (I think that is where your last picture is from, right?) Anyway, she just recently did a post on a recipe for the chocolate wafers since they are so hard to find around here. I am planning on making them and then trying the icebox cake. I actually just found the Nabisco wafers at my local grocery store (I shop at Maceys) and was so excited - but they are pretty expensive so I still think I'll try the homemade version. That is interesting that this cake is more popular other places besides the US - it looks like it needs to catch on because it sounds delicious.

By the way, from your comment, I had to tell you I've noticed how cute your little baby is from your sidebar picture. I have several friends trying to adopt right now and I am happy to know that you have been able to. What a cutie!

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Craft Cove said...

I'm not that big on chocolate biscuits, so I like to use butternut snaps, they're my favourite biscuit, and I love the way this turns out using them.

sharonne_arman said...

In Australia we actually have chocolate ripple biscuits, which I imagine will be very similar to what you have used. I have made this cake a few times now, although everytime it looks different.

Best one so far - try a combination of both chocolate ripple and butternut snap biscuits, forming a more traditional round donut cake shape, similar to the one you have shown here. If you let it sit overnight, the chocolate biscuits definitely still soften overnight, regardless of whether or not the cream is fully covering them, and I found that the buttnernut snap biscuits didnt go fully soft, but softened enough to still class it as a cake, but give a slight crunchy texture through the soft biscuits and cream, which tasted great!

Another version - some receipes state that you brush the biscuits with irish cream before coating in cream - this of course depends whether or not you want alcohol in your cake, but another option is to use chocolate mint baileys, which is choc mint flavoured irish cream, and then top the cake with crushed up choc peppermint bar, such as a peppermint crisp....is definitely with a try, haven't had any complaints yet! Who would have thought something so cheap and simple to make would taste so much better compared with some normal sponge cakes!

sharonne_arman said...

In Australia we actually have chocolate ripple biscuits, which I imagine will be very similar to what you have used. I have made this cake a few times now, although everytime it looks different.

Best one so far - try a combination of both chocolate ripple and butternut snap biscuits, forming a more traditional round donut cake shape, similar to the one you have shown here. If you let it sit overnight, the chocolate biscuits definitely still soften overnight, regardless of whether or not the cream is fully covering them, and I found that the buttnernut snap biscuits didnt go fully soft, but softened enough to still class it as a cake, but give a slight crunchy texture through the soft biscuits and cream, which tasted great!

Another version - some receipes state that you brush the biscuits with irish cream before coating in cream - this of course depends whether or not you want alcohol in your cake, but another option is to use chocolate mint baileys, which is choc mint flavoured irish cream, and then top the cake with crushed up choc peppermint bar, such as a peppermint crisp....is definitely with a try, haven't had any complaints yet! Who would have thought something so cheap and simple to make would taste so much better compared with some normal sponge cakes!