Bailey’s Espresso Icebox Cake

The other day, it was a real scorcher – one of those days that was 30-ish degrees but the humidity made it feel like 40. I wanted to prepare a dessert for my friends’ party the next day, but I was NOT going to turn that oven on! I had a look around the internet and found a couple recipes for icebox cakes – which are apparently a no-bake American childhood favourite. I got inspiration from a couple recipes (from Yumsugar and Barefoot Contessa) but as usual, I couldn’t help but tweak it a bit!

Ingredients:
1 tbsp espresso powder
2 cups whipping cream
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp/2 shots Bailey’s (plus a splash more!)
8 oz cream cheese (1 standard block)
1 package of chocolate wafer cookies

Method:
To begin, I lined a loaf pan with saran wrap – this will help you get the chilled cake out without problems!

In a small bowl, cover the espresso powder with 2 tbsp boiling water. Let this steep for a couple minutes, then move it to the fridge or freezer to cool the coffee.

Add the cold whipping cream to your mixer bowl. Start whipping the cream on medium, adding the sugar, Bailey’s, and the cooled coffee (being careful to pour off the liquid but leaving the grounds) as you mix.

Once the whipped cream mixture forms soft peaks, add the cream cheese a couple tablespoons at a time, and mix well until fully incorporated. To be honest, mine never seemed to fully incorporate, I just settled for very small lumps of cream cheese!

Ladle some of the whipped cream mixture into the lined loaf pan. Use a spatula to spread it into a layer about 1cm thick in the base of your pan. Lay the chocolate wafers over the mixture in a single layer. Fill any big holes with some broken cookies, but there’s no need to be exact.

Continue layering until you’ve used all the cookies and all the whipped cream mixture. Cover the pan with saran wrap, making sure the plastic touches the cream to ensure a good seal. Place in the fridge overnight, so that the cream mixture firms up and the wafers have a chance to soak up some moisture.

If it doesn’t look solid enough the next day, pop it into the freezer for an hour before serving. Remove the plastic wrap and invert the cake onto a platter.

Slice and enjoy!

As always, I tweaked this one to have flavours I liked, instead of a plain chocolate or vanilla version. Adding any type of liquor can switch this up to have a whole different flavour – what about a cherry liqueur for a black-forest type cake? Or creme de menthe for an After Eight cake? When the cake is no-bake, there are so many more options because you don’t have to worry about adjusting the chemistry of the batter. One thing I would change, though, is to add more sugar – I think I overestimated how sweet the Bailey’s is – I’d up the sugar to at least 6 tbsp next time or simply use a sweeter liqueur. This easy cake is for sure a new part of my arsenal… you’ll probably see another incarnation of it on the blog within a year!

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