Mangia…..Tuesday??…….Pre-New Year Resolution Desserts!

Hello there – how was your Christmas??  I hope you had a great time with family and friends.

Welcome to Mangia Mondays, or in this case, Mangia Tuesday!

Mangia Mondays is a weekly blog hop I co-host with sweet and sassy Kristin of Delightfully Dowling – a place to link up recipes, restaurant reviews, fun kitchen gadget discoveries, yada yada yada!  Please join the fun!

Before you start 2012 with healthy resolutions, here are a couple more sweets for end-of-the-year revelry!  These rich and satisfying chocolate desserts would be fabulous for New Year’s Eve – and then you can wake up and have a healthy vegetable smoothie on January One.

First up……Ice Box Cake!

Note:  this cake needs to be refrigerated for about 12 hours. 
I discovered this recipe on the first food blog I started reading on a regular basis,  Smitten Kitchen.  The recipe is so simple, really – all you need is TIME as the cake needs to be chilled overnight or from morning until night.  It almost feels like cheating – the recipe calls for making whipped cream and then layering it with store-bought chocolate wafers.  The whipped cream magically turns those wafers into soft layers of whispy chocolate cake overnight.   You can customize it with candy toppings if you’d like to jazz it up for a special occasion, but I think the beauty of this dessert is it’s simplicity.  This is the basic recipe and you can do what you wish with toppings {chocolate shavings?  a dusting of cocoa?  chopped candy bars??  a few Lipitor perhaps??   :)

3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectionary (powdered) sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 9-oz. packages chocolate wafers (I like Famous Chocolate Wafers in the yellow box)

forgive me for the lack of photos, they are lost on my computer somewhere.

Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Lay seven chocolate wafers on a flat cake plate (six side-by-side in a cirle and one in the center.  The center wafer will not be touching the others but that’s okay.)

Spread about half a cup of whipped cream on and between the wafers.  This is a messy and cumbersome process but oh so worth the whipped cream all over you!  Continue in this manner with layers of wafers and whipped cream, ending with whipped cream.

{The Smitten Kitchen recipe calls for 11 layers but I always seem to have broken wafers that my husband and children use to “test” the whipped cream with.  This time around we only made it to seven layers and it was just fine!}

Cover and refrigerate for as long as possible, preferably overnight.


If that’s not enough chocolate for you, how about this one?
{Please note, my lame purple point-and-shoot photos do NOT do this dessert justice.  Trust me, it’s good stuff!}

This is a recipe that I’ve adapted from Bon Appetit – an oldie but goody in my recipe files.  It’s a crowd pleaser for sure!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups half and half
1/3 cup brandy (can be omitted)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 loaf country white bread
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Grease 8×8″ baking dish with butter and set aside.

Simmer half & half and brandy in heavy saucepan for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 cup chocolate chips.

Let stand one minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Whisk in brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Let stand until cool, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice crust off loaf of bread and cut into 1″ cubes to yield about 6 cups.

Whisk in eggs, vanilla and salt.  Stir in bread and let stand for a half hour.

Spread half of bread and chocolate mixture in prepared dish.  Sprinkle with 1 cup chocolate chips.

Cover with remaining bread/chocolate mixture.    {Can be made 1 day ahead – cover and chill.}

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake uncovered until puffed and firm in center, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven; let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon until soft peaks form.  Spoon pudding into bowls and top with whipped cream.


Alright my friends, do you have any recipes to share or are you too wiped out from holiday festivies??  If you’re so inclined, link up below or share in comments!!

Wishing you a wonderful last week of 2011!