growing up in the philadelphia area, and having a birthday that falls at the beginning of summer, icebox cake was a favorite dessert in the warmer months, and a frequent request of mine for a birthday cake.
both my mother and father grew up eating this easy to make treat, and thus i imagined that it was a staple in most households. as an adult, I have found this to be far from the truth. many, if not most of my fellow dessert-lovers have not even heard of this delicacy.
the traditional icebox is made with chocolate wafers and whipped cream. i found more or less traditional instructions here. (though i personally don’t add vanilla to my whipped cream, and certainly would never never include m&m’s.)
my father’s very new england side of the family were purists — simple heavy cream, whipped and then sandwiched between wafers. my mother’s slightly less traditional clan showed their brash new york ways by following the same traditional recipe as my father’s family…. and then smothering the final product with a healthy dose of chocolate sauce.
many a summer’s evening meal has ended with family debatiing the pros & cons of this condimental addition. personally, i am not a subscriber to the theory that “there’s no such thing as too much chocolate,” and will admit to falling on the side of my paternal ancestors on at least this issue. despite having made new york city my home, i retain this vestige of good old w.a.s.p.-y restraint.
today was a perfect day to revisit summer memories with a little easy assembly and looking forward to a delicious dessert after a great bbq dinner…
not finding the traditional nabisco famous chocolate wafers in the grocery store of my decidedly non-w.a.s.p.-y brooklyn neighborhood, i made an interesting discovery… ginger flavored wafer cookies!
i decided to take the plunge, and for the first time in my life, make a non-chocolate icebox cake.
my husband was skeptical. i wouldn’t dream of calling home to let my parents know what i was up to…
but in the end… I believe that i have started a new offshoot in the family icebox cake making tree. The ginger and cream combo is perfection, and take an already light dessert to a place that is hard to resist, no matter how many burgers have preceded it.
i don’t keep chocolate sauce in the house, so i can’t say for sure, but i am quite confident that in this case, the addition would be quite welcome. since it wouldn’t be an overdose of chocolate, i think the richness would be a great companion to the spiciness of the ginger. next time, we’ll know for sure.
so, there you go… innovation sometimes trumps tradition, and in so doing, may even solve a meal ending family debate.
and it couldn’t be easier… make one yourself! and let me know if there are any other new flavors on your horizon.
Thanks to our friend Jessica for Cream & Sugar’s very first guest blog post.
Please visit her blog, is it the first, for fun musings on fashion and style.