Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Here I sit, just 30 minutes left to a year, an age, I will miss. I’ve always been the nostalgic type, the type to appreciate the present and then miss it when it’s gone…sometimes even before it’s gone. It’s a good quality, but one that keeps me awake at moments like this, watching the minutes tick by on the clock. Only 24 left. Kenny Chesney’s “Back Where I Come From” floats out of the speakers as I type. This was a big year for me. I moved thousands of miles away from everything I hold dear to a place I knew nothing about, all in pursuit of a dream that I just can’t shake. I don’t have any regrets, but the sacrifice is steep, and times like these are when I'm most aware of what I've chosen to give up. I suppose it's no surprise that I just booked a flight home. In a perfect world, that's where I'd be right now, asleep in my bed, knowing the next day would bring kisses and hugs, celebration and cake.
Today is my 25th birthday.
Icebox cake is simple to make, but here are a few tips to help you turn out a cake that is both tasty and pretty: Use a rotating cake stand to assemble your cake. Mine is made by Ateco and is a little pricey at $75 (Thanks, Santa!), but Wilton makes a cheaper version. Also, when you are adding the layers of wafers, lean over the cake so you are looking directly down at it and can align your wafers correctly. This will keep your cake from looking like the leaning tower of Pisa when you are finished. Finally, keep your whipped cream in the fridge while you are assembling your cake (i.e., assemble near the fridge so you can just reach in and grab two scoops of cream for every layer). Sloppy cream = sloppy cake. Enjoy!
A recipe from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, via Smitten Kitchen
3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies
Unsweetened cocoa or chocolate shavings for garnish
In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
On a flat serving plate, arrange 6 cookies in a circle, and then place 1 additional cookie in the center of the circle. All the cookies should be touching, but not overlapping.
Spread 1/2 cup whipped cream on top of the cookie layer making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11-12 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (11 layers will leave you with a few cookies left over for garnish; 12 will not). Cover with a cake dome and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.
Labels: Cakes and Cupcakes