Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ms. Humble's First Cake



I was a big fan of playing chef as a young girl. I started out with some very artfully made mud pies and lawn clipping salads... that I forced my younger siblings to taste. Something they are still touchy about. Ms. Humble served us dirt! Ms. Humble told us grass was food! Ms. Humble made us eat cat kibble! Whine, whine, whine.

I'll never live any of it down.

Of course, if I had something like an Easy Bake oven, maybe I would have served brownies or cupcakes! Clearly the fault lies with Mother Humble, since she denied me the easy bake oven, citing some sort of 'fire hazard' nonsense.

Perhaps someday, with enough therapy, I'll get over the grudge I hold against her for denying me the delights of light bulb-baked goodies.

So being the grossly deprived child that I was, I had to make due.

My first cake--one that wasn't made from dirt--was a simple ice box cake. One that is actually good enough to warrant a mention on the blog. It utilizes chocolate whip cream and graham crackers, that's it. You simply layer the graham crackers with generous amounts of the whip cream and allow to chill. After several hours the crackers have absorbed the chocolate cream and have softened, creating a very simple multi layered cake. Kids love it, and this is one dish that they can create all on their own.

As for how it goes over with adults, I forced Mr. Humble to try it (I haven't changed) and though he was skeptical of the cake at first, he ended up eating most of it. Not the portion served, most of the cake. If that isn't a stamp of approval, I don't know what is.



Not So Humble Chocolate Graham Cracker Ice Box Cake:
serves 8
2 packages Graham Crackers
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons sifted cocoa
splash vanilla

Combine the whipping cream, cocoa, and sugar in a bowl. Chill this mixture for an hour, giving the cocoa time to dissolve.

When ready, add the vanilla and beat your cream to stiff peaks.

Using an offset spatula, spread a layer of cream onto the base of what ever platter you will be using and set two crackers onto it, side by side. Apply a generous dollop of cream and spread it evenly over the crackers, you're aiming for about 1/4". Top with two more crackers and repeat until you've used up all the graham crackers.

Now spread the remaining chocolate whip cream onto the top and sides of the cake. Thats it! So easy even my husband could do it.

Cover the cake in such a way that you don't disturb the cream and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to over night. This cake can absorb odors, so if you have a fridge full of onions and cabbage it's best to chill it in an air tight container.

When ready to serve, whip up an additional cup of cream with a tablespoon of sugar and pipe on the decoration. Hopefully you'll be able to pipe evenly, something I had trouble doing today as my daughter was pulling on my skirt, already angling for cake before it was ready.

28 comments:

  1. Aren't graham crackers wonderful?! The things they can do! :) I love the story, too :)

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  2. OK, I have to ask about your wonderful gray background. Is it a countertop? Or did you build a light box? I *must* know... ;)

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  3. I have a light box, but the background there is just a large slate cheese board.

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  4. Oh I was a HUUUUGE fan of playing chef as a kid!!! me and my then best ferind would always create our owb wicked recipes and bake the stuff... in teh real oven! haha Most of the time the goodies would be underbaked, or just plain nasty but we were always happy to do it with our own hands. We'd also pretend we're havign a TV show about cooking and would be speaking to our imaginary audience and cameras aw haha Damn, you just brought back some of nice memories, thanks :) I really wish me and the freind knew about this kind of no bake cakes back then though. Maybe then our cakes and pies would have beeen edible lol

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  5. I'm not sure, and don't want to tie myself down, but I *think* I prefer the American term for graham crackers. We call them digestive biscuits! It's less glamourous for sure.

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  6. Oh, I with you there on playing chef! I used to cut out circles and pretend they were donuts! :) And coloured the sprinkles in.

    Gorgeous cake!! As usual. MMMM.

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  7. Thanks Mr.P...I've been wondering what the hell graham crackers were.....digestives....nom!

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  8. ...Now I just need to figure out where I can buy a box of graham crackers in Belgium!!!

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  9. wow wow ms humble u chkd my blog,left a comment & you are following it im on cloud nine..cant even begin to tel you how encouraging that is...Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  10. hey mshumble i did something similar with digestive biscuits we get in india..just that i dipped the biscuits in coffee decoction for few seconds before slathering the whipped cream,sugar & cocoa mixture.

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  11. Ahh, childhood baking memories. When I was 8, I made my own apple pie with scraps and leftover filling from my mom's pie. Tried to bake it in the microwave in a plastic cup and melted it instead. After this I was permitted to use the oven, my mother deeming fires less annoying than cleaning melted plastic out of the microwave.

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  12. Ok, I'm glad to know what a digestive is. I have heard that term, but never knew which type cookie to connect it with. I adore graham crackers. I will have to let my little girl make this. She will love it!!

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  13. H took one look at this and demanded I make this cake. Thanks for continuing to share with us!

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  14. Ice box cakes are so neat. It's so simple to begin with and turns out so wonderfully. Yours looks delicious!

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  15. "Digestive Biscuits"

    Yes, that's what they are. Frightening name though! Always sounded suspiciously like a cookie based laxative.

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  16. This post made me smile :) your icebox cake looks so yummy

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  17. LOL Love your story. I had one of those Easy Bake Ovens and I hated it. Not because I didn't like to cook, I loved cooking even then, but because my grandma let me play in the real kitchen all I wanted and I thought the Easy Bake was boring.

    She let me help stir and mix whatever I wanted and she would give me a handful of bread dough, pie dough, or whatever and I had mini pans and a small rolling pin.

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  18. LOL.. What a lovely post! :))
    The icebox cake is such a fab idea.. I recently made a batch of graham crackers and I stare at them everyday wondering what to do! Now I know!!!! :)))

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  19. That cake looks so good! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. My mom used to make a cake just like this when I was a kid. Except it used very thin chocolate wafers and whipped cream (kinda holiday-y). Delicious! Perhaps I'll just have to make it on MY blog. hah. This looks tasty too!

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  21. I've never made a cake. I'm making this cake.

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  22. Oh cool! I've never heard of this type of cake! I could use my leftover, homemade graham cracker crumbs for this! YUM! Lovely photo.

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  23. I laughed aloud at this. My Mom was the same way! She would not buy me an Easy Bake oven because she, too, feared it would burn down the house. With a light bulb! I mean, how could we have lamps in the house safely then, right? Good grief.

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  24. Ms Humble, Mr. P.

    Hate to disagree, but graham crackers are not digestive biscuits. They're just a sweet flat cookieish thing usually (here in Canada anyway) reserved for the creation of Smores. Having been born and bred in Scotland, I am very familiar such items as disgestive biscuits, rich tea biscuits (ugh.. as a child I hated these) and lovelies such as Jaffa Cakes.

    Digestive biscuits, even without chocolate are much nicer than graham crackers.

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  25. Digestive biscuits are still the graham cracker's the closest approximation. As they share little resemblance in terms of taste and texture to a cookie or a cracker.

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  26. LOL this made me laugh :P You sound just like me! If *I* had an easy bake oven ....then *I* wouldnt have had to force my little brother to try eating my mud cake...hey at least it LOOKED LIKE CHOCOLATE!! :D

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  27. I'm in New Zealand and there aren't graham crackers here. I tried making this recipe, half of the pan with digestive biscuits and the other half with a different kind of biscuit... 16 hours later and neither side is really squishy enough to cut into. The digestives might soften up given another 8 hours, but I think the other kind probably won't. I had a bite and even though messy and crunchy, it was still good... but if you miss this from back home when your grandma used to make it, you can't really substitute the graham crackers.

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  28. Is there a way to may the filling cream cheese as opposed to chocolate ? The birthday girl for whom this will be made does not like choclate at all , Thank you for your input .

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