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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

No-bake strawberry ice-box cake

No-bake strawberry ice-box cake

 I’ve been thawing since spring came.  Literally.  The layers are slowly coming off one by one and I’m emerging from a long and cold winter hiatus. I can’t believe September is almost over and the month just whooshed by.   I realised just today, after looking at my wardrobe and staring for what seemed like forever, searching for something to wear that I prefer winter when it comes to clothes.  Layering doesn’t seem all that bad especially when you don’t need to have your tops ironed or no one can actually see you’re wearing an old worn out  top underneath that sweater.  Put on a singlet, a warm shirt, then a sweater, a scarf and a coat and you’re off for the day.  Yeah.  Winter is all about hiding all that skin.  And spring is the start of taking off those layers one day at a time.  As its getting warmer, the girls have started wearing shorts and the stockings underneath their winter tunic school uniform have gone into hiding.  Its that time to start stocking up on mozzie sprays and buy more bandage strips and antiseptics. 

It is the start of the 2-week school holidays in NSW and I'm just giddy with excitement like a 3yo, with all the stuff in my head that I've planned to do with the girls - mostly a lot of  baking and some DIY art stuff.  I also have a grand plan to do some spring cleaning and get a stall at the the Kirribilli Markets  and sell all those unused/unwanted stuff we've accumulated over the years.  Stuff we've held on for too long, hoping against hope that somehow, someday, somewhere we'd find a use for them, but never really got to - clothes, bags, kitchen stuff, shoes, etc. etc.  Tsk, tsk, and here I am talking about having nothing more to wear.

Aaah, spring!  What’s in season in OZ in spring?  Strawberries are cheap and a-plenty!  Apples also abound, and mangoes are almost in season, although still too much for $3.98 a piece.   I found this sweet inspiring photo through Pinterest which led to the recipe at the kitchn.  We're taking advantage of the abundance of strawberries which a $1.50 per punnet at the local grocery and made these to share with family and friends for a lunch dessert and afternoon tea.

3 punnets strawberries (can be more or less, depends on how big the berries are)
3 and 1/4 cup thickened cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
30 pcs graham crackers
60g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Hull and slice the strawberries thinly.

Whip the 3 cups cream with the icing sugar using a whisk by hand or a hand-held mixer or stand mixer and whip until soft peaks are formed.  Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.   

Spread a few spoonfuls on the base of a 9x13 inch glass or baking dish.

Layer the graham crackers on the cream, top with strawberries then spread some cream on top (about 2-3 scoops or heaping tablespoons full).  Repeat layering with graham crackers, strawberries and cream until you've got the third layer of graham crackers.

Spread some cream on the last layer and then top with stawberries.

To make the ganache, heat the 1/4 cup cream in a small sauce pan until just about scalding point (almost boiling).  Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate and stir with spatula until chocolate has melted.

Drizzle over the cake.  Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hour (or overnight) until the crackers have softened. 

When serving on a plate, drizzle with the extra ganache and some extra strawberries on the side.

We had extra graham crackers and cream, so we made a portion-sized serving.

*Graham crackers originally are American-made biscuits made of graham flour. For this cake, we used a Philippine brand which are available at Filipino shops and some Asian grocers.  Digestive biscuits are the closest substitute to graham crackers as far as the taste is concerned, although digestive biscuits are somewhat too thick.  Ladyfinger or savoiardi  may also be used as substitute but will limit the layers of the cake and lessen the chilling time as these sponge biscuits will soften faster.

My San Graham Crackers
PS - I've made this simple cake for Inay - my maternal grandmother who would have turned 101yo today  She passed on 2006.    Remembering you today, Inay.  

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