A no-bake, chocolate matzo icebox cake, layered with whipped cream and chocolate is the Passover-friendly, no-bake dessert I should have thought up years ago. I am mean seriously, with all the many things I have made with matzo over the years, how the heck did I not think of this sooner?
This matzo icebox cake is a modern play on a classic retro dessert I have come to love over the years. I have been making a chocolate version for years and just last winter introduced a new Biscoff mascarpone icebox cake I’m still smitten with. All three of these cakes require no-baking, just whipping, melting and stacking, so anyone, even those non-bakers out there, can easily make these cakes.
Serving Icebox Cakes:
Although icebox cakes are typically a go-to for warm weather, I’d like to change that. These “cakes” are actually great year-round, especially during holidays when time is limited. Prep-ahead icebox cakes, like this chocolate matzo icebox cake, can truly be a life-saver, as icebox cake needs to be prepped and assembled the day before.
In its simplest form, an icebox cake is merely a layered dessert of some type of crispy cookies and sweetened whipped cream. But it is one that transforms into something wonderful and complex when placed in the refrigerator to firm up. Cookies absorb the whipped cream, softening into caky deliciousness. And an icebox’s cake infinite adaptability makes it an ideal dessert go-to to me.
Icebox Cake Elements:
- The Cream Layers: The cake-like element provide the icebox cake with its signature “creaminess.” Whipped cream, pudding, and pastry cream can all work in an icebox cake as well.
- The Caky Layers: These give an icebox cake structure and texture. But this element can actually take many forms; thin or crispy cookies, graham crackers or ladyfingers are the great options.
- The Add-Ins: These are optional elements to enhance the icebox cake, if desired. Lemon curd, caramel sauce, ganache, fresh fruit, melted marshmallow, peanut butter, jam, you name it.
- Shape: The options are endless. Keeping in mind that cakes with pudding, caramel or ganache, tend to do best in pans/dishes to help with spillage. I recommend lining your vessel with parchment paper in some occasions, especially if you are going to finish the cake before serving, as is the case I they recipe.
- Assembly: Always begin with the creamy element, this prevents movement. The cookie or “cake” layer should follow. The add-ins would come next. And just like a crepe cake, icebox cake layers should be thin. This formula gets repeated for as high as you wish the cake to be. But just remember to always finish an icebox cake with something creamy on top.
This Passover, if you find yourself scrambling to think of an easy dessert everyone will actually want to eat, look no further, this chocolate matzo icebox cake is worthy, so-much-so, even those who aren’t Jewish, may start eating matzo because of it.
Chocolate Matzo Icebox Cake
- For the Ganache:
- 3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- dash of cinnamon
- For the Whipped Cream:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the Cake:
- 1 box matzo
- one( 3-ounce) block of chocolate or chocolate bar for chocolate shavings
- Step 1 For the Ganache: Place chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl. In a small saucepan add the heavy cream, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, turn off the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 10 minutes, then whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate chips have melted. Set aside.
- Step 2 For the whipped cream: In the bowl of a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the heavy cream. Secure with a splatter guard or a kitchen bowl on top to prevent splatter, beat on high until soft peaks begin to form. Reduce the speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, followed by the vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Remove the bowl from he mixer and place near your work station.
- Step 3 To assemble the icebox cake: Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper with plenty of overhang. The best way to to do this is place one sheet across and a second sheet overlapping vertically. Spoon come whipped cream on the Botton of the prepared pan and smooth to coat evenly. Place one matzo cracker on the whipped cream layer. Spread the ganache on top of matzo followed by a layer of whipped cream over the ganache. Top with another matzo, and repeat the process until you’ve used up all the matzos and ending with a layer of whipped cream on top. You should have 8-9 layers. Tightly wrap the icebox cake in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Step 4 To serve: Remove the cake front the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap and run knife gently alone the edges of the cake pan to loosen. Use the parchment paper to pick the cake up out of the baking pan and transfer the icebox cake by to a serving plate. Next, use an off-set spatula to smooth out the chocolate sides (this does not need to look perfect). Use a vegetable peeler to peel chocolate shavings. Evenly sprinkle the shaving on top of the cake. Note: Use a serrated bread knife to cut the cake.
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