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chocolate-ricotta icebox cake

it’s hot, but that’s not going to stop me from making desserts! it’s only going to make me more creative about how to make ’em. my quest this week has been to help us get our sweets fix without turning on the oven. get excited about lots of icebox / no-bake recipes over the next few weeks!

i knew the first recipe i wanted to try was something with chocolate. after finding this recipe, i headed out to buy the ingredients + everything was going peachy until, wait? what the heck are chocolate wafers? like nilla wafers, but with chocolate? i searched the store high + low to no avail, so i got creative + substituted newman’s own chocolate alphabet cookies. strange, yes, but the texture + flavor were just perfect + no one was any the wiser that they were eating alphabet cookies. =)

after chilling overnight, the cake easily released from the springform pan, i garnished it with chocolate shavings (which looked beautiful) + it was ready to sample (yes, at 9 AM)! holy deliciousness. the chocolate-ricotta layers are mousse-like, with a light yet rich creaminess. the cookie layers provide a wonderful flavor, a nice change in texture, + they softened just enough (i worried that they’d be too crunchy). this far exceeded my expectations – it’s a gorgeous, delicious + no-oven-needed cake that is surprisingly easy to make. this is a must try, friends!

chocolate-ricotta icebox cake

makes 10 servings, adapted from martha stewart

ingredients

nonstick cooking spray
14 ounces semisweet chocolate (do not use chips)
2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers, lightly crushed, or lightly processed in a food processor (such as nabisco famous chocolate wafers, or newman’s own chocolate alphabet cookies)

directions

prepare pan: remove sides from a 9-inch round springform pan. place a sheet of waxed paper over bottom, leaving an overhang; lock sides onto bottom, securing paper. spray inside of pan with cooking spray; line sides with a strip of waxed paper 28 inches long + 4 inches wide.

make chocolate-ricotta mixture: break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. place in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water. cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 – 10 minutes.

in a food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl. add warm chocolate; blend until smooth. in a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. with a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.

assemble cake: arrange half the crushed cookies to cover bottom of pan. spoon half the chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, + smooth the top. cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours + up to 2 days.

before serving, release sides of pan + remove waxed paper from sides. using bottom piece of waxed paper, pull cake onto a platter; with a metal spatula, lift cake + remove waxed paper. using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake. with a knife dipped in hot water, cut cake into 10 slices (wipe off knife, + dip in hot water after each slice).