Chocolate-Cranberry Icebox CakePhoto Credit : Liz Neily | Styled by Liz Neily
Cranberry and chocolate are a wonderful combination. Here, a jammy, vanilla-scented compote is folded into stiffly whipped cream and layered with crispy chocolate wafer cookies. After an overnight in the refrigerator, the cookies turn downright cakey, and the compote infuses the cream with a wonderful tangy flavor and pink hue. A dusting of dark Dutch-process cocoa powder is a lovely finishing touch. (Note: The cake is also delicious when frozen overnight.)
From “Tart Nouveau,” Sep/Oct 2021
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
40 2-inch crispy chocolate wafer cookies, such as Nabisco’s
Dutch-process cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
Cook the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the cranberries have burst and the liquid has reduced, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, add 1 tablespoon vanilla and stir to combine. Let cool to room temperature before using. To speed up the cooling, transfer the compote to a small bowl and refrigerate.
Line a 9-by-3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap so that it hangs slightly over the sides of the pan.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the cooled compote into the cream.
Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the bottom of the lined pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of wafers, filling any gaps with broken wafers.
Continue layering whipped cream and wafers until you run out or reach the top of the pan, ending with a layer of wafers. Gently cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate
(or freeze) for at least 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator prior to serving and peel off the plastic wrap. Place a serving plate over the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Carefully remove the pan and plastic wrap lining.
Lightly dust with cocoa powder, if using. Cut the cake into slices with a long serrated knife and serve. The cake will keep, lightly wrapped with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.