icebox tiramisù

12 to 14    |   
Prep Time:
20 minutes + 6 hours chill time

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icebox tiramisu

Here was the scene in my apartment last week: 8 women, 6 bottles of wine, 9 men on television. We were celebrating a friend’s birthday, but the SF Giants were inching towards their National League Championship title and some of us couldn’t resist the orange-and-black glow of the tube, but the one thing that seemed to distract us (other than good gossip) was this dessert. I make it for parties all the time because it can be done ahead of time and nothing is baked (remember, I’m no pastry chef). It’s a cross between what my mom called “cookie cake” growing up and tiramisù. I cribbed it from Gourmet magazine a couple of years ago and have gradually adapted it so that I can put it together in minutes then leave it in the fridge to chill. Leaving me plenty of time to chill with the Giants – er, I mean my guests.


2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 lb mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (such as Medaglia D’oro)
1 box Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers (9oz)
cocoa powder


In a stand mixer or in a bowl with an electric beater, beat cream, sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks. Gradually beat in the mascarpone, a few large spoonfuls at a time. Beat in the espresso powder until mixture is thick and light coffee colored.

In a 9- to 10-inch pie plate, arrange one third (about 14) of the chocolate wafers in a slightly overlapping pattern to cover the bottom of the pan (don’t worry if the cookies are cracked or in pieces; it doesn’t show when the cake is finished). Dollop one third of the cream mixture over the cookies, then gently spread out in an even layer with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Layer another third of the cookies over the cream then add another third of the cream. Repeat with a final layer of cookies topped with a final layer of cream. Invert a dinner plate over the pie plate to act as a cover and place pan in the freezer for one hour, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 5 hours or up to overnight.

To serve, dust lightly with cocoa powder and cut into thin wedges with a pie server. Offer with coffee for caffeine addicts.

adpated from Gourmet