RED VELVET ICEBOX CAKE
Homemade red velvet wafers and cinnamon-flecked whipped cream make this red velvet recipe perfect for overachieving icebox cake-makers. Store-bought wafers will also work, according to “Icebox Cakes” co-author Jessie Sheehan.
Makes 12 to 15 servings For the red velvet wafers (makes about 60)
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon red food coloring For the cinnamon-cream cheese whipped cream (makes about 7 cups)
1 1/2 cups cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for decorating
To make the wafers, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the granulated sugar, butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla on medium-low speed until slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, corn syrup and food coloring to combine. Add the milk mixture to the butter-sugar mixture with the mixer on medium-low speed; beat until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula.
Add the flour mixture all at once to the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, beat until the dough just begins to pull away from the bottom of the bowl and forms a cohesive mass.
Scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate all the ingredients. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap the dough and form each half into a log about 2 inches wide.
Roll the logs along the counter, still wrapped in plastic wrap, in order to shape into perfect cylinders. Tighten the plastic wrap around the logs and freeze them for at least 2 hours, or overnight. If you have trouble forming the soft dough into logs, form the dough into a disk (or loose log shape), wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes, just until it is cold enough to shape into the necessary log. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Once frozen, unwrap one of the logs and use a sharp paring or chef’s knife to cut it into thin slices about [1/8]-inch thick; rotate the log as you slice, or the side sitting on the cutting surface will flatten. Arrange the slices about 1 inch apart on one of the prepared baking sheets and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Repeat with the second dough log and prepared baking sheet. If you need more room to fit all your dough slices, simply arrange them on additional sheets of parchment paper, layer the dough-covered papers one on top of the other on the second baking sheet in the freezer, and switch them out as you bake off each batch.
(You can also wrap the baking sheets in plastic wrap and freeze the rounds for up to 1 week.) Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place one baking sheet of the frozen dough rounds in the oven and bake until they appear dry, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. Using a stiff metal or plastic spatula, immediately press down lightly on each cookie to flatten it. Let the wafers cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. The wafers should be very crispy when cooled. If they are not, place them back in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat to bake the additional sheets of dough rounds.
Store the wafers in an airtight container as soon as they have cooled. They will remain crispy at room temperature, tightly sealed, for about 24 hours. Freezing the baked wafers in a resealable plastic bag also works well, for up to 1 month. There is no need to defrost the wafers before assembling your cake. To make the whipped cream, refrigerate the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment (or a medium metal bowl and beaters from a hand mixer) until quite cold, about 15 minutes. Once chilled, remove the bowl and whisk from the refrigerator, add the cream cheese, and whip it on medium speed until smooth. Add the cream and continue to whip on medium speed until the cream is incorporated. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and, on medium-high speed, whip the cream mixture until it holds stiff peaks that stand upright when the whisk is raised (the stiffer the cream, the more support it will provide the wafers in your cake). Use it immediately.
Line a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap that hangs slightly over the pan sides. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a generous layer of the whipped cream on the bottom of the lined pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of the wafers, filling any gaps with broken wafers. The pieces should touch. The goal is a solid layer of wafers. Continue layering whipped cream and wafers until you run out or reach the top of the pan, ending with whipped cream. Gently cover the cake with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 24 hours. Peel the plastic wrap from the cake, place the serving platter over the cake, and invert the cake onto the platter. Carefully remove the pan and plastic-wrap lining and lightly dust the cake with ground cinnamon. Using a knife, cut it into slices and serve. Per serving, based on 12: 618 calories (63 percent from fat), 44 g total fat (27 g saturated), 145 mg cholesterol, 52 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 203 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber.
ICEBOX CAKE TIPS
▪ Icebox cakes are best made a day in advance, but they don’t last long after you cut into them. Most should be eaten within two to three days, Jessie Sheehan says.
▪ Never layer a pudding-based icebox cake with cookies, Sheehan says, because the cookies will get mushy. “Cookies go with whipped cream,” she says, “and pudding goes with graham crackers or ladyfingers.”
▪ Decorate icebox cake right before serving or the toppings (banana slices, chocolate chunks, etc.) might sink into the soft top and make the dessert look droopy.
▪ While it’s possible to stabilize whipped cream and store it in the fridge, freshly whipped cream makes for the best icebox cakes, Sheehan says.
▪ To make individual icebox cakes, layer ingredients in a Mason jar, chill, then serve the jarred desserts in a bucket of ice at a party or picnic. ▪ For recipes that require a springform pan, remove the outer ring just before serving. Don’t use a springform pan to contain icebox cakes with runny pudding and caramel layers: The structure could collapse.
Read more here: Living Food and Recipes Source: “Icebox Cakes” (Chronicle Books; 2015) Shared At These Parties:
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