It's adapted from Ina Garten's Mocha Chocolate Ice Box Cake and we all know Ina's recipes are the best! I hope you give this one a try.
At the end of February and first few days of March, my husband and I joined a group of friends for a week-long getaway in Southern California. Toasty warm it was not, but we were able to do all of the activities we had hoped to do. One of which was a side trip to Joshua Tree National Park, which I have to say is spectacular!
These photos were taken while hiking the Hidden Valley trail, one of the easier hikes within the park. The towering rock formations were formed millions of years ago by the tremendous heat and energy from two of earth's plates colliding and thrusting molten rock up from below. Then, the forces of erosion brought them to the surface. They attract world-class rock climbers from all over the world. If you look carefully, you can see a lone climber in the center photo on the right side of the rock wall and in the far right photo, above, there are several climbers sitting atop the formation. Click image for a larger view.
Chocolate-Mocha Refrigerator CakePrintable Recipe
2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces Mascarpone cheese (found in tubs in the cheese section of the store)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur or Kahlua
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 teaspoon instant espresso, instant coffee powder or other coffee flavoring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies, such as Tate's Bake Shop *see note
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms stiff peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch spring-form pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread one-fourth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching (breaking some again to fit the spaces, followed by another fourth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 4 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top with a spatula, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan and place cake (along with bottom of spring-form pan) on a serving plate. Sprinkle the top with the shaved chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cut in wedges, and serve cold.
*Any flat, "crispy" cookie will work.
Bailey's Irish Cream instead of Kahlua with Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cookies
Amaretto Liqueur with Amaretti Cookies
Chambord Liqueur with Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cookies
Adapted from Ina's Garten's Mocha Chocolate Ice Box Cake