Icebox Cakes, by Lauren Chattman, is the third book in her “trilogy” of no-bake dessert cookbooks. I love them all! I find it so refreshing to see cookbooks full of new and innovative dishes. Ms. Chattman has used her pastry chef training and her imagination to create fun and delicious cakes, terrines, and cheesecakes that are beautiful as well as appetizing.
Most of us are busy and don‘t have time to put together intricate and time-consuming desserts. New convenience foods are constantly being introduced that are designed to help us save time; unfortunately, though, many are unhealthy and downright disgusting. Ms. Chattman does not use these vile convenience foods in her recipes; rather she uses real whipped cream instead of horrible frozen whipped topping, and makes most of the puddings and fillings from scratch, and from fresh ingredients. The convenience foods that she does use are frozen pound cake, candy bars, cookies, high quality chocolate, and ice cream. Most of us, even though we hate to admit it, still love the snack cakes that we ate as children. Ms. Chattman uses them in some of her desserts, such as Orange Bavarian Cake with Chocolate Polka Dots; the polka dots are Ring Dings (or Ding Dongs since Ring Dings aren’t available in my area), Twinkie Tiramisu, and whimsical Mini Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwiches. Some of these cakes look like something out of a childhood fantasy, others look like labor-intensive gourmet desserts, and some take me back to the 50’s where icebox desserts were the new rage.
Every recipe that I have made from this book has been quick and easy. In fact, even making them for the first time, I was able to make the desserts look like they were supposed to look, with no difficulty. There are good easy-to-understand instructions, and lots of beautiful pictures. In addition, the layout, table of contents, and index are excellent.
Even though I own shelves of dessert cookbooks, this summer I have been using the trilogy almost exclusively for cool and easy dessert ideas. Icebox Cakes is a great cookbook that I highly recommend for anyone who likes to make fun desserts that are fast and easy, and for anyone who prefers not to heat up the oven.
Purchase Icebox Cakes from Amazon.com