With Our Powers Combined

This graduation season was a big deal for my family because my older brother graduated Law School.  Exactly what my family needs, another lawyer…  But seriously, he definitely took the road less traveled during law school, not necessarily by choice, but because he had tremendous obstacles, and that made all the difference.  We are all very proud of his perseverance, and are crossing our fingers that the Bar goes smoothly and employment in the field of law is on the horizon.

Graduation = Celebration


Celebration = Special Dessert

I asked my brother for his flavor profile of choice for his special dessert and his answer was: chocolate.  Typical.  I decided to combine a couple recipes that I found recently: mocha shortbread, and mocha icebox cake.  I used the mocha icebox cake recipe, but nixed the coffee, so it was just chocolate.  And rather than using chocolate ship cookies, I made a couple batches of mocha shortbread to layer with the mascarpone mixture.  Then to add even more texture, I introduced some mini chocolate chips.

Chocolate Mascarpone Icebox Cake with Mocha Shortbread

adapted from Ina and Martha

Ingredients for Mocha Shortbread (you will make 3 batches of this total)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbs instant coffee granuals
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt

Ingredients for filling

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 10 oz bag of mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Start with one batch of mocha shortbread baked in the bottom of a 9 in spring form pan to act as the bottom crust of the cake.  Cream together room temp butter and  sugar.  Add the rest of the shortbread ingredients.  Mix until clumpy, then press dough into the bottom of the spring form pan.
  3. Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool completely.
  4. Make a double batch of the mocha shortbread on a cookie sheet to break up and use as layers in the cake.  Allow to cool completely before layering in cake.

    The extra shortbread for layering
  5. Prepare the filling by mixing together all ingredients except for the chocolate chips.  Mix until it is the consistency of a heavy whipped cream.  Remove a third of the mixture to a different bowl, and add a cup of mini chocolate chips to the third for the middle layer of filling.
  6. Use the shortbread in the bottom of spring form pan as the bottom crust and add half of the filling from the “plain” bowl without chocolate chips.  Spread it out evenly and break up pieces of the shortbread from the cookie sheet to layer on top of the filling.
  7. Add the portion of the filling with chocolate chips on top of the shortbread.  Then repeat another layer of shortbread.  Finish off with the rest of filling as the top layer.
  8. Garnish the top of the cake with a handful of chocolate chips, and place in the freezer or fridge to allow to set.  If you freeze it, allow at least a half hour for it to soften up before serving, or move it to the fridge a couple hours before serving.

    Look at those layers of goodness.

2 thoughts on “With Our Powers Combined

    • That cake is fabulous, I highly recommend Ina’s recipe. Also, I find such excitement in the use of the spring form pan. The reveal is so much more suspenseful.

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