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Classic/Classic Update: Lemon Icebox Cake

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The Classic: Lemon Icebox Cake

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In this corner, the classic light-as-air summer cake, and in that corner, a pastry chef’s inspired reinvention. Which will you choose?

The classic
New York City cookbook author and baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum shares her recipe for this homemade angel food cake layered with a luscious lemon mousse. Icebox cakes date back to the early 1900s (before refrigerators), when the icebox was cutting-edge technology. Nabisco printed their version of the Famous Wafer icebox cake recipe on its chocolate wafer cookie box in 1929. It soon became the most recognized version of the icebox cake. Early icebox cakes were festive chilled desserts made in molds with layers of cake (be it angel food, sponge cake, or lady fingers) and custard or cream. Here, layers of angel food cake and lemon mousse are molded together in the cake pan.
Lemon Icebox Cake
The Classic: Lemon Icebox Cake
     

The update
Denver pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom turns the classic into an impressive individual frozen dessert that boasts a graham cracker crust, layers of lemon curd, lemon cream, and toasted meringue, with a luscious caramel sauce and fresh berries. Like the original, these “cakes” are layered, but they’re shaped in individual metal ring molds instead of in a cake pan. Leaving cake to the classic, this version defies tradition with a base made from homemade graham crackers. These creamy treats are frozen—not refrigerated—and have the texture of ice cream. Fluffy meringue is spooned atop the frozen dessert and toasted with a small kitchen torch just before serving.

  Frozen Lemon Cream Cakes with Toasted Meringue and Caramel Sauce
The Update: Frozen Lemon Cream Cakes with Toasted Meringue and Caramel Sauce
   

 

Recipes by Rose Levy Beranbaum and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom
from Fine Cooking #105, pp. 66-71

Photos: Scott Phillips

 

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