Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake
Is it okay to have cake for breakfast? Because I really can’t sit here and look at all this drizzly chocolate and finish this post without eating some … it’s just TOO tempting.
This all started when Justine at Full Belly Sisters shared her recipe for Cannoli Ice Cream. It looked SO good! A few of my foodie friends also made it and they ALL raved about it. I was totally intrigued by the idea of using ricotta in ice cream … and so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try it too.
I tasted the mixture before it went in the ice cream maker …oooooh yummmm! It tasted SO wonderful! … and when it came out, it was perfectly frozen and I couldn’t wait to dig in.
I discovered something about myself that day. I have a texture issue with ricotta cheese. At least in ice cream. I want my ice cream super smooth and creamy. Crunch from nuts or chewy brownie bits and things like that are ok. But any grainy texture at all … nope. I just can’t to it. Don’t get me wrong: the cannoli ice cream is fabulous, and maybe I screwed up and just didn’t puree it long enough in my blender. I do highly recommend trying the ice cream. Every single one of my friends that tried it totally RAVED about it. But I just couldn’t eat it. And since my kids will not touch anything with nuts in it, they would not eat it either. I put it in my freezer and forgot about it … until I was cleaning out my freezer the other day. I almost threw it out, then I had second thoughts. I stuck it in the fridge instead and started thinking: what could I do with this wonderful mixture? I toyed with the idea of a dessert lasagna, but that sounded like a lot of work.
I don’t know what made me think of it, but somehow I thought of doing an icebox cake. I’ve never ever made one before, but I’ve often marveled at the simplicity and beauty of them. And so began my first icebox cake. I was so incredibly excited to see the beautifully layered result and I cannot believe that chocolate graham crackers and ricotta cheese could transform into such a beautiful, decadent dessert! The crackers become delightfully cakey and they create such a GORGEOUS layered effect … I can’t wait to make my next icebox cake! I already have visions of other flavors dancing around in my head …
Chocolate Pistachio Cannoli Icebox Cake
Inspired by Full Belly Sisters Cannoli Ice Cream. I didn’t have the full amount of ricotta mixture shown here because I had eaten SOME of the ice cream, but really it doesn’t matter. Just keep layering till it’s gone! This makes enough for 2-4 desserts, depending on how big your servings are. If you’re making it for a crowd, you’ll probably want to at least double the recipe.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- small pinch of salt
- 1 3/4 cups good-quality ricotta (I used lowfat)
- 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped roughly
- about 2 ounces dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, chopped
- Chocolate graham crackers (or cookies) — I used 4 full-size crackers, but you may need more.
- additional chopped pistachios and chocolate syrup, for garnish (optional)
- Put the sugar, vanilla, salt and milk in your blender and blend until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ricotta and puree until smooth.
- Pour the ricotta mixture into a bowl and stir in the chopped pistachios & dark chocolate.
- Spray a small bowl or tray that fits your cracker size/shape, and set a cracker on the bottom. (I used two small square bowls that each fit half a cracker nicely.) Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on top, then add another cracker, then another layer of ricotta. Repeat until the ricotta mixture is gone, ending with the ricotta mixture on top. Cover your bowl (or tray or whatever you’re using) with a plate that fits tightly (or if you must, use plastic wrap) and refrigerate overnight.
- To serve, cut wedges of the “cake” and use a spatula to place them on your plate, drizzle with chocolate syrup and serve. I would highly recommend garnishing this beautiful cake with some roasted, salted chopped pistachios, but alas, I was all out … at least I had chocolate syrup!
This recipe was shared at Kitchen Fun Friday, Weekend Potluck, Friday Favorites, All my Bloggy Friends, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Wonderful Food Wednesday and Scrumptious Sunday.