We celebrated my mom's birthday earlier this week. This is the first birthday in a long time that I was able to be with her in person, so I was particularly excited to honor her. You can read here about why my mom is so super.
For her birthday, I made her strawberry icebox cake. While I made the cake, Aaron walked around the house and practiced singing Happy Birthday. Later that night, as we finished singing to my mom and she blew out the single candle, Aaron asked her earnestly, "Popo (Chinese for grandmother), are you one now?" That kid! Anyhow, we had a great time digging into the cake.
An icebox cake is the lazy dessert-lover's dream. Simply cookies layered with whipped cream or custard, the cake is left in the refrigerator overnight. As the cookies absorb the moisture of the filling, the layers meld into a cold, creamy treat.
This icebox cake is beautiful in its simplicity - layers of graham crackers, juicy strawberries, and fresh whipped cream, with a drizzle of chocolate ganache. Everyone took home some leftover cake, and I swear it was even better the next day.
No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake (from the Kitchn)
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2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed
3 1/4 cups whipping cream, divided
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 sleeves (24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
Take out a few of the best-looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and slice each berry into thin slices. With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and whip to combine. Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries. To make the ganache, heat the cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle this over the layered dessert with a spoon, or transfer to a squeeze bottle and use that to drizzle. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.