Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blackberry Icebox Cake

The first time I ever had an icebox cake was at a friend's house in South Carolina. It was cold and creamy and about the most delicious summer dessert you could ever eat. You can make it any flavor, its really a method, rather than a recipe, the premise is this: whipped cream soaks into crispy cookies or crackers and creates a soft and decadent "cake." You don't have to cook anything, you don't have to have master culinary or pastry skills so its perfect for me, I am a terrible baker! I chose to make a blackberry icebox cake because I picked an insane amount of wild blackberries recently that are sweet, plump and just incredible. These little summer jewels deserved an impressive entrance and when you bring this out to your summer table you will most certainly catch everyone's attention. The cake takes about 20 minutes to make and you have to let it sit overnight in the fridge, so make sure you plan ahead. Letting it sit a few hours will not give you desired results so I do not recommend it. I used simple graham crackers in mine because they are slightly salty and they go perfectly with the super sweet berries. Goat cheese, mascarpone and heavy cream create a sharp frosting that is reminiscent of cheesecake, and I layered all this with blackberry jam as well, ummmm seriously....divine!! The blackberries also give the cake an overall light purple color that is just gorgeous, purple is the color of royalty...coincidence? I think not!

This cake will serve up to 10 people easily.


2 Cups pasture raised heavy cream, very cold.

1 (8oz) container pasture raised mascarpone, I used Vermont Creamery.

4oz soft, plain, goat cheese, room temperature, I used Vermont Cremery.

1/3 Cup fair trade, organic, raw cane sugar

1/4 Cup blackberry brandy or other blackberry liquor

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

2 Tbsp blackberry jam, I used Bonne Maman.

1 Cup fresh blackberries, I used wild so they are small, if you are using big, cultivated berries then you will want about 2 cups.

Rest of the 13oz jar blackberry jam

1 box honey graham crackers, I used Erewhon.

2 Tbsp fair trade, organic, raw cane sugar, for finishing.


In a large bowl combine the goat cheese, mascarpone, sugar, blackberry liquor, vanilla and 2 Tbsp blackberry jam with an electric mixer on low. Mix for 2 minutes or until well combined and creamy. Add in the cold heavy cream and mix till stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold in 1/2 cup of the fresh blackberries, very gently so that you don't break them up and you don't deflate your whipped cream.

Microwave or heat your jam slightly, not hot but warm so that it spreads easily, about 1 minute in the microwave is plenty. Pour it into a bowl. Set aside.

Place a layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a springform pan* I break them up to overlap and fit, they don't have to be neat and they must cover the bottom completely. Next spread a thin layer of blackberry jam over the crackers, with a rubber spatula. Next put 1/5 of the whipped topping over the blackberry jam and spread evenly. Layer with another layer of graham crackers, covering the first layer completely and breaking them to fit snugly, again it doesn't have to be need, you won't see this. Next with the blackberry jam and then whipped topping again. Do this 5 times so that you have 5 layers and end with frosting. Top with the rest of the fresh blackberries, sprinkle with the raw cane sugar and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve: Remove the cake from the springform pan by running a butter knife around all the sides, popping off the side and placing the cake on a serving platter. Slice with a sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water.


*If you do not have a springform pan you can use a disposable aluminum pan, the 10' deep round one, you can buy these right at the grocery store. You will be able to cut the pan away from the cake when you are ready to serve, I just cut down the sides and fold it down to pop the cake out, its difficult to get the cake out of a regular pan. It might mess up the sides a little but don't worry, you can spread the frosting easily over the messed up areas making them perfect again. I just use a rubber spatula or frosting knife to smooth the sides again, its a very forgiving cake!

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