When I was in New York this week, I saw a troupe of elite modern dancers scoot around in nude body suits. They scooted under mylar “balloon-pillows” designed by Andy Warhol. They scooted to the sweet, freaky sound of Radiohead banging a ballet slipper against a drum.
In my experience, things get really weird, really fast when nude body suits are involved. This performance was no exception. There’s an 80% chance the dancers had this conversation backstage at intermission:
The balloon-pillows did not respond well to the escalating commotion. Some of them floated off into the audience, and one came to rest near my face.
The problem with batting a Warhol balloon-pillow out of your personal space is that it might pop and it’s a Warhol balloon-pillow. When the Brooklyn Academy of Music retires them, they will be sold at a charity auction for a million dollars. If I told Scott that I broke–and had to buy–a million dollar deflated balloon, he’d be so mad he’d donate me to the local ferret shelter.
So the balloon-pillow and I waited it out while a bunch of not-G-rated things happened onstage. And do you know what I thought about while I waited? I thought about how this problem doesn’t come up in Alabama.
I’m not saying we don’t have other issues.
For one thing, in Alabama there’s probably a law prohibiting 90% of what those dancers were doing. In any event, we just don’t do cutting-edge scooting down here.
We keep it simple. And when I was in New York, I actually missed that.
So this is a simple recipe that you probably know already. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth repeating. After all, we already knew that a ballet slipper can be banged against a drum, but nobody complains when Radiohead reiterates this from time to time.
All this ice box cake requires is a little cream, a package of chocolate wafers, anything you want to sprinkle on top (I used Valrhona chocolate pearls), and a refrigerator.
It’s the easiest, no-bake Christmas log ever. And for a cocktail party, you can cut it into rounds 1 1/2″ thick, cut the rounds into fourths, stick a toothpick in each, and serve as tiny layer cakes.
Ice Box Cake
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 package Nabisco famous chocolate wafers
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat cream with an electric mixer, on high, until stiff peaks form (about 2-3 minutes). Stir in vanilla.
Spread whipped cream about 1/8 ” thick onto a wafer. Do the same on another wafer and add the empty side of that wafer to the creamed side of the first wafer. Repeat, stacking them until it gets precarious. Lay the tower on its side and continue adding wafers as desired.
Using a butter knife, frost the top and sides of the log with whipped cream.
Refrigerate for about 4 hours, so that the cream softens the wafers. Cut in diagonal slices to serve.
1. This cake does not get better the more whipped cream you use. It will get soggy and not chocolatey if you put 1/2 inch of whipped cream in between each cookie.
2. Do not make this more than 4-5 hours in advance. It tastes fine the next day, but the brown chocolate color of the wafers will start to show through the white of the cream. And nobody likes that. It’s like being able to see everything under your nude body suit: awkward.