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Create a sweet end to a romantic dinner with this mocha-chocolate cake. — Photographed by Melina Hammer

Mocha-Chocolate Icebox Cake

Serves 8

  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 12 ounces mascarpone
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Kahlúa liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, like Pernigotti
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages thin, crisp chocolate-chip cookies
  • Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, Kahlúa, cocoa powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine, then slowly raise the speed until the mixture forms firm peaks.

2. To assemble the cake, arrange the chocolate-chip cookies flat in an 8-inch springform pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3. Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the shaved chocolate, cut the cake into wedges and serve cold.

Nutrients per serving: 950 calories, 9g protein, 81g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 65g fat (33g saturated fat), 146mg cholesterol, 276mg sodium

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SKIP THE CROWD: AARP food expert Pam Anderson suggests skipping crowded restaurants this Valentine's Day and enjoying romance and simplicity at home. Try her three-course menu of salmon rollups, crab and spinach crepes, and crepes with strawberries and cream.

 

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