This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Famous Chocolate Wafers

Nabisco brand Famous Chocolate Wafers have been around a long time, but during lunch today I noticed one of my students had a few of these wafers in her lunch. The memories that came flooding back! Let me tell you. . .

One of my family's favorite desserts was the Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake. I remember my mother sitting at the kitchen table meticulously frosting each wafer with Cool Whip before connecting it to another wafer. Then, like a bricklayer she frosted the next wafer and placed it in the line of wafers forming on the plate. And so it went until all the wafers were connected forming a log shape. Then she smothered the entire log with the rest of the Cool Whip. Into the fridge it went until after dinner. When she sliced through the layers of wafers which had softened just enough, and placed a thick slice on our plates. The moist, chocolatey dessert melted in our mouths.

I got to thinking about that dessert from long ago and did a little research on the Internet. Turns out the recipe is easy enough to find and there were some interesting design options to be discovered as well.

Alice Q. Foodie layered her cake vertically and left some of the wafers exposed. It looks like a chocolate cloud.
So I started thinking about how I could improve on this classic dessert. I couldn't find anyone who had done what I was thinking so here goes. A simple and easy to do modification on my mother's way of creating the Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake.

Chocolate Lovers Wafer Icebox Cake

2 packages of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
1-2 pints of real whipping cream (depends on how grand your design plan)
1 bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup
Chocolate shavings

Chill your mixing bowl and beaters. Pour whipping cream into chilled bowl and whip at high speed until it begins to peak. Slowly squirt the chocolate syrup into the bowl and continue beating until you have a soft peaks.

Use the chocolate whipped cream to create your icebox cake in the design of your choice, either the log shape usually found on the wafer box, Alice Q. Foods vertical design or one of your own creation.

Chill in the fridge overnight. Serve on chilled plates. Garnish with chocolate shavings, mint leaf, squirt a chocolate design over the serving with the chocolate syrup, maybe a strategically placed few fresh raspberries! Yum!

Options: Try adding some mint flavoring into the chocolate whipped cream to get a chocolate mint flavored whipped cream. Do some Internet research! There are a lots of variations that sound interesting.

I know, I know, it isn't exactly "good" for you. And it isn't exactly gourmet. Who said everything has to be made completely from scratch. Ah, the memories it will bring back for many and with my easy to do twists it will not only bring back those memories for your company, but it will also look much more gourmet than the way your mom probably served it. Bon appetit!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My New Toy!

I love my Canon Powershot G5 dig camera. I have thoroughly enjoyed the great photos it puts out. But I have recently gone through a creative growth spurt, wishing I could do more and had the device that allowed me to do it. So after a few weeks of searching, study, comparing, talking to photographers with nicer cameras, asking how-do-you-do-that kinds of questions, I finally realized it was going to take much more camera than I currently have.

Back to research, study, more questions, etc. I finally decided yesterday and ordered the camera. A brand new Nikon D80 digital SLR camera. Wow! I also ordered two lenses with it--an 18-55mm DX VR lens and a 55-200mm DX VR lens. What a match up. Oh I wanted more camera but at some point you have to weigh your budget with your level of sophistication. Will I see a big difference between the D90 and the D80 for an example?

So my D80 is a 10.2 megapixel machine with lots of cool bells and whistles. More than twice the megapixel megatonnage than my current camera. The Nikkor lenses will also far surpass the ability of my little Canon. The D80 also allows me to bracket shots easily, takes up to 3 frames per second in rapid fire, has a much brighter LCD screen for looking at taken photos and to make adjustments for a shot. But the what you see is what you get through the lens eyepiece is one thing I am really looking forward to. Just like my first 35mm SLR camera from back in the late 70's, only on steroids!

The two lenses cover just about anything I could imagine needing from upclose shots of bugs and flowers to distant objects and with the VR (vibration reduction) device built into the lenses the shaking on zoomed in objects should be greatly minimized.

The D80 isn't a pro model but it is a huge step up for me and should give me years of enjoyment, especially as I near retirement.