This is inspired by thekitchn.com’s No-Bake Strawberry Icebox Cake.
I’ve never been much of a regular graham cracker fan, though, and I wanted to go in a chocolate direction, with a cheesecake twist. I also subbed honey for sugar in the whipped cream.
The flavor I ended up with reminds me a lot of one of my favorite childhood treats from the corner grocery store ice cream treat freezer: the ice cream sandwich. Vanilla ice cream sandwiched between chocolate . . . wafery something. Yes, there were nutty buddy’s (which always leaked) and orange sherbet push-ups (my second choice), but the ice cream sandwich always beckoned.
This cake isn’t frozen, and there’s no ice cream, just cream, cream, but that ice cream sandwich flavor is still there, along with fresh strawberries, which is never a bad thing.
Easy Chocolate Strawberry “Shortcake”
Makes one 9×13 “cake”
1 box chocolate graham crackers (you’ll have a few left over)
3 cups heavy whipping cream, 2 T. reserved for the chocolate ganache
1 lb. fresh strawberries
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 dollop honey, to taste
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add a gloop of honey, to taste, and the vanilla. Stir in.
In a separate bowl, stir the cream cheese to get it smooth and obedient. Add a dollop of the whipped cream and stir it in. Add another dollop and stir, and continue in this way until you think it will stir into the remaining whipped cream without lumping up too much. Do so.
Layer the bottom of a 9×13 in. pan with one layer of chocolate graham crackers. Spread one third of the whipped cream/cream cheese mixture over the crackers.
Wash, cap, and sort of dry the strawberries. Slice one third of the strawberries over the whipped cream layer, spreading the slices out evenly.
Top with a second layer of crackers and strawberries, then a third layer. You may want to arrange the top layer of berries in a neater fashion than the two under layers.
Melt the chocolate chips with the cream for a few seconds in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl, naturally), stopping to stir frequently. Quit when you’re ahead–you don’t want to cook the chocolate, just melt it.
Stir well until you have a smooth ganache.
Drizzle or pipe the ganache over the top of the cake.
Chill for a couple of hours or up to two days before serving.
How do you eat an ice cream sandwich? Do you just chomp away, or do you lick the ice cream all around the perimeter first?