So, earlier in the week I let you in on how to make your own chocolate graham crackers. Because, if you live in the UK, you can’t get hold of a graham cracker for love nor money, especially not a chocolate one. And I promised you that I would be sharing with you a recipe that will make all that cracker making worthwhile. And today, I’m honouring my promise. Here’s my gorgeous Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Box Cake.
Hold up, what the hell even is an ice box cake?
I don’t even think ice box cakes have another name in the UK – we just don’t really make too many of them I guess. They are a really easy American no-bake dessert, usually made by sandwiching together wafers or biscuits with whipped cream or other dairy-based things. The idea is that the cream softens the biscuits overnight in the fridge (or ice box), and then when you cut into it the next day, it has magically formed a sort of cakey texture.
It’s just a very cold no bake cake really.
But today’s ice box cake is no ordinary ice box cake. We are talking some serious chocolate here – this is only for those with a serious sweet-tooth. Layers of chocolate cheesecake, chocolate whipped cream, and chocolate ganache, in between those chocolate graham crackers. It’s death by chocolate in an ice box.
If you want to de-chocolate this recipe down a little (how dare you) then you can always leave the chocolate out of the whipped cream. And make sure to use dark or bittersweet chocolate for the ganache, to help cut through the sweetness of the cheesecake and cookies.
No-bake recipes are always awesome, especially for summer when your kitchen can get pretty heated. And this recipe is pretty simple to put together. Once you’ve got your different components ready – all pretty easy and standard to make – then you’re going to need to layer them up in a 2lb loaf tin. Learn from my mistakes and line the tin with some clingfilm or plastic wrap, which will make getting the ice box cake out a lot easier.
You want to start with a very thin layer of the whipped cream, spread all over the base of the tin. This will stick the first layer of graham crackers down, and soften up the bottoms. It’s then a case of cookies, cheesecake, ganache, cream, repeat.
You want to end with a layer of graham crackers, and then a final generous layer of chocolate cream. And for a little bit of fancy, pipe lines of ganache on top of the cream and drag through with a toothpick or skewer to make the pattern below.
You need to refrigerate this chocolate cheesecake ice box cake for at least four hours, but it will be at its best if left overnight in the fridge. It will last for 2-3 days if kept in the fridge, and pretty much only gets better after another day of chilling.
And if you’re looking for some more no-bake recipes, then I’ve got ice pops, candy, and refreshing summer drinks waiting for you in the no-bake section of my blog, right here.
- 240ml (1 cup) double or heavy cream
- 25g (3½ tablespoons) cocoa powder
- 25g (3¼ tablespoons) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 150g (5.3 oz) dark or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 120ml (½ cup) double or heavy cream
- 100g (½ cup) caster sugar (US granulated)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 200g (almost 1 cup) cream cheese
- 200g (7 oz) milk (semisweet) chocolate or chocolate chips
- 120ml (½ cup) double or heavy cream
- 150g (5.3oz) chocolate graham crackers (approx.)
- Firstly, melt the chocolate for the chocolate cheesecake. To do this, place chunks of the 150g (5.3 oz) of dark or bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between each, until melted. Set aside to cool down whilst you make the chocolate ganache.
- To make the chocolate ganache, place 200g (7 oz) of milk (semisweet) chocolate or chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, and cover with 120ml (½ cup) of double or heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second intervals, giving the mixture a very gentle stir after each to make sure the chocolate on top doesn't burn. Once the mixture has been microwaved for a minute in total, set aside for five minutes, and then gently stir together until it forms a silky smooth ganache. If the mixture seizes up or separates, then heat 5 tablespoons of milk in the microwave until steaming, and then pour into the ganache and beat well. It should come back together into a smooth ganache. Pop the ganache in the fridge to cool whilst you make the rest of the components.
- Next, make the chocolate cream. In a medium sized bowl place the cream, cocoa powder, and icing sugar. Whisk using an electric whisk or stand mixer fitted with the balloon attachment, until stiff peaks form. Set aside for later.
- Next, make the chocolate cheesecake. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the cooled melted chocolate, and cocoa powder, and fold together until incorporated. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and caster sugar together. Fold the two mixtures together, until a nice smooth chocolatey colour. Set aside.
- You now have all the parts of your ice box cake, and you need to assemble it. Grab a 2lb loaf tin, and line with clingfilm or plastic wrap, leaving some excess to overhang at the edges. Place a very think layer of chocolate cream on the bottom of the tin, and then add a layer of chocolate graham crackers. If necessary, break the graham crackers so they aren't overlapping (see photo above). Add about half the chocolate cheesecake mixture on top of the graham crackers, and spread out evenly right to the edges using a knife or back of a spoon. Add about one third of the chocolate ganache to the top of this, and spread out. Add about one third of the remaining chocolate cream to the top, and spread out. Repeat the above process again, with another layer of graham crackers, then cheesecake, ganache, and then cream.
- Add one final layer of graham crackers, and the cover this with the remaining chocolate cream. Drizzle on the remaining ganache, or pipe if you want a more intricate design. I piped horizontal lines on mine, and then draw a toothpick through the ganache to make the pattern in the photos above.
- Place the ice box cake in the fridge to chill for at least six hours, but overnight is preferable. When ready to serve, gently remove from the tin using the clingfilm, and place on a plate to serve.
- The ice box cake will stay good for 2-3 days if stored in the fridge.