Chocolate~Mocha Icebox Layered Cake

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“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.”  Ernestine Ulmer

A layered cake is always a crowd pleaser at a party and looks like you went through a great deal of effort to make it.  This dessert comes together in minutes, is chilled overnight and is perfect for easy entertaining.  Because of its coffee flavoring, I served it recently at a summer brunch.  With Kahlua, espresso, chocolate and mascarpone, the filling ressembles tiramisu in texture and taste.  The fun secret ingredient is actually layers of chocolate chip cookies!  This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I adapted.  The original had 5 layers in an 8 inch springform pan but was hard to slice.  I made mine in a 9 inch pan with only 3 layers.  This yielded 12 servings instead of 8 and with a cake this rich, that was perfect. Continue reading

Red White and Blue Tiramisu

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“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Nelson Mandela

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There are many tiramisu recipes out there but my favorite is my Italian friend Lynne’s.  Her recipe originates from a friend of hers in Rome.  It is luscious with just the right balance of espresso flavoring in the cream filling without being too sweet.  It is a very simple recipe and can be made ahead.   I was surprised to learn that it freezes well.  Lynne generously shared one of her delicious desserts with us and I only take credit for adding the patriotic berries on top.  A tribute to the great melting pot of cultures that make up this great country! Continue reading