Holy Stink City, Batman*! Did we ever really have a spring in NYC? I mean, it went from monsoon season to one big bikram yoga room. And it smells like a bikram session about half an hour in. Come on New Yorkers...I know you're well aware of that, um, aroma, that envelops the city come summer. I started whiffing it weeks ago. At first I thought it was just me, but I smell like friendship and butterflies all the time. So there's no way it's me. Anyway, because it's hot as the Devil's playground outside, it is EVEN HOTTER inside of my apartment. I've basically been living in my bedroom-- the only room with an air conditioner-- and enduring the stifling heat of the rest of my crib only when absolutely necessary. Know what's not necessary? An oven. So I've been trying to avoid using mine as much as possible. That means lots of made-up stir-fry dishes featuring special guests from my pantry. It also means I need to figure out a new way to get my sweet tooth on.
Enter icebox cakes. Icebox cakes! How awesomely brilliant are these? Well, let me tell you how awesome. They involve your freezer, a bunch of yummy ingredients, and, typically, very little prep time. This cake in particular only calls for four ingredients. Four!
Basically, I was having a weeknight dinner party and needed a dessert that would be easy, delicious and would not require the use of my oven, which I obviously have a beef with right now (A beef. There's no beef in it, though. I don't even eat beef. Why am I telling you this?). Enter Martha Stewart (not really, since she wasn't invited to the party) and the Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake. Behold, fellow lazies!
Chocolate Ricotta Icebox Cake
- 14 oz of semisweet baking chocolate
- 30 oz of part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- Pretty much an entire box of Chocolate Teddy Grahams
Ok, so, the Teddy Graham situation. Basically, I couldn't find chocolate wafers anywhere. Admittedly, I didn't really scour every market in the whole world (read: Queens) for them, but you'd think they'd be easier to find. I used Teddy Grahams instead, which proved pretty painstaking, but ultimately delicious. Use the wafers if you're cool enough to find them.
Start with a 9-inch springform pan. Remove the sides and lay a sheet of parchment paper over the bottom. Then lock the sides back in. It'll look like your pan has a cape. Hehe. Spray the pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
On to the good stuff: the chocolate and ricotta! Melt 12 ounces of the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl at 30-second increments, stirring after each nuke, until it's smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the ricotta until it's fluffy and smooth, then stir into the melted chocolate. In another bowl (yes, lots of bowls, I know, still no oven though!), beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the chocolate-ricotta mixture until fully combined.
And now, my favorite part (sarcasm): the crust. Arrange the Teddy Grahams/wafers in the bottom of the pan so that they overlap. If you're using Teddy Grahams, you now know why you'll need the whole box. Congratulations and best wishes to you.
Once the bottom's swimming in Teddies, pour half of the ricotta mixture into the pan, smoothing the top. Lay even more chocolate wafers/Grahams over this mixture until it's completely covered, then finish with the remaining chocolate-ricotta goodness. Smooth the top, and shove this into your freezer for at least 6 hours, and preferably overnight.
Before you serve it, remove the sides of the pan. Then, using a vegetable peeler or a grater, shave the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate that you kept and most certainly did not eat because you thought Shibow had messed up the measurements on this over the top of the cake. When slicing, try to keep a bowl of hot water nearby. Dip your knife into the water after each slice. I did not do this, and because I had also had a heaping glass of chocolate-infused wine, some of my cake ended up on the floor and on my sister's foot. She said it "felt mighty nice" though. It tasted even better. Oh, also, I don't have a picture of the finished cake because I was busy drinking wine and dropping pieces of it on the floor. Feel free to check out Martha's obviously perfect picture though by clicking over to her site.
*I will never stop finding "Holy _____ Batman" phrases entertaining. Sorry, folks.