Test Kitchen Takedown: S’mores Icebox Cake

This cake has inspired me to try a whole new series. The test kitchen takedown! Where I will try recipes completely unaltered and tell you how it turns out. Its sort of like a first impressions but with food.

My nieces are staying with me this summer and my younger niece likes to bake. So far she has made muffins (which were not awesome…) and cookies, which were pretty good.  While I was perusing online for more things for her to try I came across a recipe for an icebox cake. Say what! I honestly have never even heard of such thing, I asked my wife if she has ever tried one and she had never heard of it either.

Perhaps you are like me and are wondering what the hell is an icebox cake. Its a cake made out of cookies or crackers with layers of filling, usually whip cream, that you put in the fridge over night. The cookies absorb the liquid from the filling and soften creating a cake like texture. After a quick google search I decided to try the S’Mores Icebox Cake from Completely Delicious.

So now to the rules of the Test Kitchen Takedown. I made this recipe with no alterations. I linked to the recipe above and I will review how it went making it and changes I would make in the future.

Let me start this by saying this cake is delicious without any changes. Also, I apologize for the crappy pics. I made this at 10PM, under bad lighting.

To start you have to make chocolate pudding. I have never made pudding that didn’t come from a box. It supers easy and I will be making it from scratch from now on.  This needs to chill for one hour be sure to plan that in to your cook time. I completely forgot to take a picture of just the pudding but you can see it below.

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Next, you make the filling which is a marshmallow/whip cream combination. Then comes the fun part of assembling the cake. Basically its like make a chocolate-marshmallow lasagna. This is the only part of the recipe I would make changes. I would leave out the mini marshmallows and increase the marshmallow cream to about 2 cups. Everyone in my house agreed that mini mallows created sort of weird texture. Also be generous in your pudding application. I wasn’t and I was sad there wasn’t more the chocolatey flavor in the final product. That is probably completely a user error and not a recipe error. I had leftover pudding and I ate it on leftover graham crackers… don’t judge me.

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Finally after refrigerating all night, the cake is ready to my iced. All that needs to be done is a whip cream frosting. Let me just say that I love whip cream frosting. It’s so easy to make and so delicious that we never buy the store kind anymore.

DSC_0289 Overall, I loved this cake. It’s great for the summer since you don’t need to turn on the oven. I will definitely be making this again with a few changes.

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Recipe Love, Recipe Dreams and Breakfast Sandwiches

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I’m alive! My world is utter chaos right now. We are not only not unpacked but we finally just finished clearing out the old house. My nieces are staying with me for the summer. Peanut’s napping schedule has become totally random.

We have been eating whatever is quick and easy which unfortunately means kind of crappy. I really wanted to get back in this space and start blogging again. So i’m just going to ease back into this and basically give snap shot of what is going on right now.

Recipe Love:

Nom Nom Paleo Kalua Pig

We have made this recipe twice in the last three weeks. I wish I could of come up with this delicious genius but I am glad someone did. It takes a while to make but it goes in the crockpot so you don’t have babysit it. Make this pork, trust me.

Recipe Dreams:

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips – I have been craving both salty and sweet lately. My nieces and I melted some chocolate chips on potato chips. It was ok but I am going to work on taking it up a notch. I will update after we test some things out.

Currently Eating:

I haven’t had the chance to announce here that my wife is pregnant. We are super excited to be adding to our family and it was what spurred us to finally move after 12 years in the townhouse. I have been trying to make sure she eats enough eggs. I have been making these breakfast sandwiches. They take 10 minutes to make and are great to grab and go. You can freeze them and reheat in the microwave and they are not too shabby. Try making a couple on the weekend and reheat during the week.

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1. Toast english muffins

2. Place two pre-cooked sausage patties in the microwave for about 1 min

3. Melt butter in a pan and spread a little butter on the inside of the egg rings. (I like these)

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4. Crack eggs directly into the egg rings.

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5. Once the eggs become opaque, about 5-7 minutes, use a butter knife gently separate egg from the ring by sliding it around the inside. Flip eggs and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

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6. Assemble sandwich and find an adorable helper to eat them with you.

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Craveworthy: Tournesol Macarons

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This weekend I attended the Occoquan Craft Festival.  I swear that this was the best year yet.  I attended with some of my favorite people, and the weather was gorgeous.  I probably should have just handed over my wallet when they let me in.  There were so many great vendors this weekend.  I ended up leaving with a couple of pairs of earrings and some macarons. Oh…the macarons….

So you’ve probably figured out by now that I love all things girly.  So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the macaron tent caught my eye at the festival.  And this tent was adorable.  The logo was cute, and the tent was filled with young women all decked out in retro, pastel dresses.  Everything looked like a fun tea party that I definitely wanted to be a part of.

As I was paying for my rainbow-colored pastries, I happened to ask if they were local.  It turns out that Tournesol Macarons are only available online at this point.  You heard it here first–this is a brand new company (only two weeks old!), so I was really excited to give them a shout-out.

And let me tell you, the cookies are AMAZING! The raspberry-rose macaron tastes like heaven.  A very delicate, very very girly heaven. The caramel is even better.  The pastries are light, fluffy, and delicious.  It is seriously like biting into a cloud.  I’m selfishly hoping that anyone that reads this places an order so that the business grows and I can continue to get these. They are that yummy.

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Key Lime Pie

DSC_0064Do you ever have one of those days when you ask yourself “how did my life get to this point?” That was me, at 5:30 this morning, when I realized I was out of coffee. What is this life?

Anyways, I don’t know if its the beautiful weather or what but I have been craving Key Lime everything. My first thought was to make key lime ice cream sandwiches. I had this epiphany approximately 48 hours after I donated our ice cream maker because we never used it. When I told my wife about my plan, she gave me side eye so strong it would have made weaker men cry. Thankfully, I have become immune to it and I just pretend I don’t see it. I did realize that it would probably be a bad idea to buy another small appliance when we are in the middle of packing. Of course, by the middle, I mean we donated some stuff in preparation for packing.

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We are prepping to move. We have not moved in 12 years and we have accumulated a lot of crap in that time. Also I remembered how much I hate packing.

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Moving on, I decided to go with key lime pie. This actually worked out since the only things I needed to buy for it are the sweetened condensed milk and graham crackers. In complete honesty I did not use key limes. Those little buggers are expensive. Plus I already had regular limes in my refrigerator.

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The fastest way to make the crust is throw it in the food processor but because Peanut was sleeping, I just smashed the crackers with a meat tenderizer. Both ways work, just make sure it crush them up finely. I will say this recipe is supposed to chill for several hours, preferably overnight. I will also say, ours only chilled for about 3 hours because priorities. It was delicious anyways.

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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 10 Graham Crackers - crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Filling
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Grated Lime Zest
  • 2/3 Cup Lime Juice
  • 3 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Topping
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tables Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat Oven to 375 Degrees
  2. Crust
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to evenly combine
  4. Press the mixture in to a 9in lightly greased pie dish
  5. Place in oven for 10 minutes
  6. Leave the oven on
  7. Filling
  8. Combine Lime Zest and egg yolks in bowl
  9. Mix with an electric beater until thick
  10. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until thick again
  11. Add lime juice and mix with spoon until just combined
  12. Pour mixture in pie crust
  13. Bake for 10 minutes - you want it to set but not brown
  14. Place on wire rack to cool.
  15. Topping
  16. In mixer combine heavy whipping cream and sugar
  17. Mix until thickened and soft peaks form
  18. When the pie has completely cooled, pipe or spread the topping on top
  19. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
http://runningonlaughter.com/2015/04/23/key-lime-pie/