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Chocolate Banana Icebox Cake
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
My friend Jesse talks about a lot of different kinds of food. One lazy evening, he brought up his ex-girlfriend's mom's icebox cake. He worked himself up so much, I figured, whatever, I'll make it. After consulting him on ingredients and my boyfriend got a little grilling, I think I had a handle on it. Some cookies, some pudding, some bananas, more pudding, some crumb topping. Of course, that's way too simple. Where was the upscale factor, particularly for a dinner party?

I'll make my own homemade pudding! And so I went. And here is the first of many icebox cakes that I will make. I already have ideas on how to play with it. Orange and cream icebox cake. Berry icebox cake. Double chocolate icebox cake. Oh, I'm going to have some fun.

Chocolate Banana Icebox Cake
Graham crackers
Chocolate wafer cookies
Vanilla pudding (about 2 cups) recipe follows
Chocolate pudding (about 4 cups) recipe follows
Sliced bananas (about 3 bananas-worth)

1. Spray a 13x9 pan, lay down the graham crackers in a single layer.

2. Spread warm chocolate pudding.

3. Layer the banana slices.

4. Layer the chocolate wafer cookies.

5. Spread in warm vanilla pudding.

6. Put about 5 chocolate wafer cookies and 2 graham crackers in a plastic zip storage bag. Bang on it with a rolling pin until crumbs. Press a layer of crumbs into the vanilla pudding.

7. Refrigerate at least one day. Add whipped cream if you'd like!

Vanilla Pudding
adapted from Homemade Vanilla Pudding at
(I added egg yolks--pudding needs egg yolk)

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

1. In a heat safe bowl, mix 1/2 cup milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks. Beat until smooth.

2. In a medium saucepan rinsed with cold water then shaken (this keeps milk from scalding, apparently), heat the remaining milk until just bubbling at the edges.

3. Pour a little milk into the milk and sugar mixture, whisking enthusiastically. Slowly at the rest of the milk as the mixture tempers.

4. Once smooth, return the mixture to the saucepan (now rinsed of milk skin bits) on a medium low flame. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.

5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter until combined.

6. Serve warm, put in icebox cake or refrigerate. If you don't like pudding skin, cover with plastic wrap and press the wrap into the pudding surface, then refrigerate.

Chocolate Pudding
recipe slightly adapted from Joy of Baking's Chocolate Pudding Recipe, but it's mostly hers

3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour)
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (the original recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate, so feel free to use that, but the bittersweet really adds a gourmet twist)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into small pieces)

1. In a large stainless steel (heatproof) bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Then whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk until you have a thick paste. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisking to blend into the cocoa paste mixture. Set aside while you heat the milk and cream.

2. First, rinse a medium-sized heavy saucepan with cold water and then shake out the excess water. Doing this step prevents the milk from scorching. Then pour in the remaining 2 cups milk with the cream.

3. Gradually pour the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the pudding mixture to a clean large, heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise (about 3 - 5 minutes). At this point, in the original recipe, it asks that you strain the pudding to remove lumps. I found that whisking the crap out of the pudding while it cooks keeps it from lumping, but if you get lumps, strain the pudding after removing it from heat.

3. Add the finely chopped chocolate, vanilla extract, and butter, stirring gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth.

4. Serve warm, put in icebox cake or refrigerate. If you don't like pudding skin, cover with plastic wrap and press the wrap into the pudding surface, then refrigerate.
posted by Rose @ 7:03 AM  
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