Cut off the bottom of the Lady Fingers and line the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Cut off the top and bottom of the Lady Fingers and line the bottom of the springform pan. Use the extra end pieces to press into the areas not covered. Set aside.
Fill the bottom part of a double boiler with hot water. Place the semi-sweet chocolate in the top part of a double boiler. Place over a medium heat, stirring until chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and transfer the melted chocolate into the small bowl of an electric mixer. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
In a separate small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee with the 1/2 cup boiling water; set aside.
On the lowest speed of your mixer, slowly beat in the prepared coffee into the cooled chocolate. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Using a rubber spatula scrape the sides and mixture to keep smooth. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt at a high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the sugar until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Do not beat the egg whites until ready to fold into the cake or over beat as the air will fall.
Very gently, lightly fold one (1) heaping spoonful of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Repeat in small batches until half of the egg whites have been lightly folded into the chocolate. Be careful as to not completely mix or the egg whites will break. Now reverse the process and fold the remaining chocolate mixture into the other half of the remaining egg whites, gently folding until no egg whites can be seen.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, at a high speed whip the cream until it holds a soft shape. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
Pour the prepared chocolate filling into the Lady Finger-lined springform pan. Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of five (5) hours. If you wish to prepare a day in advance, leave in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to serve, prepared the Cake Topping (see below).
To serve, remove from the refrigerator and remove sides of the springform pan. Place a large dessert platter over the Chocolate Icebox Cake. Slowly and carefully invert (flip) the cake onto the dessert platter. Remove the bottom of the pan from the cake. A flat, metal spatula may be used to gently dislodge the pan from the cake.
Spread the prepared whipped cream over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with Chocolate Shavings.
Makes 1 large Chocolate Icebox Cake.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the cream at high speed until it holds a soft shape.
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Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions (RED WAGON PRESS), a lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included The Waldorf=Astoria and Plaza Hotels. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.
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