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Jan 19, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

Baked: Leftover Cake Trifle

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016



I never like to throw anything away, so when I came across these unfrosted white chocolate-vanilla cupcakes taking up space in my freezer, I decided to put together quick individual trifles for a dinner party. After all, cake, custard, spring berries and freshly whipped cream is a winning combination.

I’ve actually shared part of this recipe with you before. The cupcakes are a simple, plain vanilla cake with white chocolate chunks stirred in. They’re moist, lovely and pair well with fresh fruit and cream. Serve it in glass cups, so people can see the layers and feel free to experiment with other cake flavors, flavored creams or different fruits. Enjoy and happy baking!


Leftover Cake Trifle
Adapted from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen 
8 to 12 servings

2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 batch White Chocolate-Vanilla Cupcakes (recipe here), cubed
1 cup sliced strawberries and raspberries

• Make a vanilla custard by heating the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until very warm but not boiling. Keep warm and set aside.
• In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and sugar it pales in color. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the warm milk, whisking until it comes together.
• Return the liquid to the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until it bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately add the vanilla and the butter and whisk until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
• To assemble the trifles, evenly divide the cake cubes between 8 to 12 glass cups. Evenly divide ½ cup strawberries and raspberries among the cups, then top each with a generous dollop of vanilla custard followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Top each with the remaining ½ cup strawberries and raspberries. Refrigerate until chilled; serve within 1 hour to prevent the cake from getting soggy.


Meatless Monday: Strawberry, Melon and Avocado Salad

Monday, May 2nd, 2016


The first sweet red strawberries have arrived at the farmers market, and we’re welcoming them with a vibrant salad. Sliced ripe strawberries, bright cantaloupe and creamy avocados are tossed with feta, peppery arugula and sweet, minty vinaigrette for a fresh bite and playful texture. Get the recipe here.

Baked: Summer Berry Cake

Thursday, June 11th, 2015




This irresistible berry cake is the epitome of summer desserts. I intended to write a blog post about it a few years ago, but it was devoured at a Fourth of July party before I could get a photo. When I found some wonderfully fresh berries at the farmers market last weekend, I was inspired to make it again.

The berry-studded cake can be served without frosting as a simple snack for an everyday treat. It works for any occasion, using in whatever fresh (or even frozen) fruit is available. For special occasions, I stack three of these beautiful cakes and seal them together with a smooth, brown sugar-cream cheese frosting. The cake is best eaten within a couple of days, but that’s never been a problem for us. Enjoy and happy baking!


Summer Berry Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup blueberries, plus more for garnish
Brown Sugar Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans and line each with parchment paper.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub the lemon zest and the sugar together to release the oils. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well until incorporated.
• Reduce the speed to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, then ½ cup buttermilk. Repeat until all the ingredients are just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans and smooth the tops. Scatter the strawberries evenly atop the first cake, the raspberries evenly atop the second cake, and the blueberries evenly atop the third cake.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes, then invert each cake onto a rack and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled.
• Place a 10-inch cardboard circle on a cake stand and place 1 chilled cake layer on the cardboard. Add a one-quarter of the frosting atop the cake and spread in an even layer with an offset spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat. Add the final cake layer, top with the remaining frosting and spread evenly across the top and down the sides of the cake. Decorate with remaining berries and serve.


Brown Sugar Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese
1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
Heavy pinch kosher salt
1¼ cup whipping cream

• Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy and there are no lumps remaining. With the mixer running, add the cream and beat until the mixture is firm and fluffy. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before frosting.



By the Book: Carla Kelly’s Strawberry Basil Scones

Saturday, May 30th, 2015



I used to be an avid baker, but things changed a few years ago after I started a small kitchen fire with an errant kitchen towel. Since that not so holly-jolly Christmas, I’ve taken an extended hiatus from baking, but after spying this recipe for summery strawberry basil scones, I decided my stomach would overpower my fear.

Carla Kelly’s book, Vegan Al Fresco, is a collection of vegan recipes meant to be consumed at picnics and on patios. They also seem simple to prepare and boast versatility; the strawberries in these scones, Kelly claimed, can be replaced with blueberries.




Strawberry and basil are a classic combo, and both are available in abundance at farmers markets right now. And while the recipe is techincally vegan, the only changes from a traditional scone recipe is soy milk in place of cow’s milk and canola oil in place of butter. All other ingredients are available in any baking aisle, so I didn’t have to hit three different specialty shops hunting down an obscure dairy substitute.




I began the recipe with high hopes and an empty stomach. First, I chopped the strawberries and basil, which smelled divine. Then I combined the soy milk and the apple cider vinegar, a vegan substitute for buttermilk. The soy milk immediately began to bubble, but don’t fret – it’s suppose to do that. The reaction is meant to create the tangy flavor notes buttermilk provides.




Whisking in the jam, sugar, oil and extract was pretty straightforward, and left a pink milky mixture with chunks of jam throughout. Don’t mix the batter too thoroughly; the chunks of strawberries and jam throughout the scones are the tastiest part.




Rather than shaping the dough and then slicing it into triangles, Kelly advocated scooping 1/3-cup portions onto the baking sheet, hence their more freeform shape. They required only 15 minutes in the oven – perfect, since I was hungry now.




The finished product was light and cakey, more like a strawberry bread than a denser, crumbly scone. They also lacked the berry and basil punch I expected, though I quickly remedied that with a thick smear of strawberry jam on top. Next time I make these summer treats, I’ll add more sugar and jam to up their sweetness – even if that loses my outdoor fete a few healthy points.


Strawberry & Basil Scones
10 scones

1 cup (250 ml.) plain soy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. strawberry jam
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. strawberry or vanilla extract
2 cups (500 m.) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 m.) whole wheat pastry flour
3½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (125 ml.) finely diced fresh strawberries, about 8 medium
2 heaping tsp. finely chopped fresh basil

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar. Let it thicken for 5 minutes. Stir in the jam, sugar, oil and extract and whisk to combine and eliminate large lumps of jam.
• Sift in the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to just combine. Gently fold in the strawberries and basil.
• Portion the dough into 10 scones with a 1/3 cup (80 ml.) measure. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
• Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to complete cooling, or serve warm.

Reprinted with permission from Arsenal Pump Press

What’s your favorite use for seasonal strawberries? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Vegan Al Fresco.



Meatless Monday: Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Monday, May 11th, 2015




Add a taste of spring to a childhood classic. Sliced strawberries and fresh mint brighten smooth, ultra-creamy Marcoot Quark cheese, and a drizzle of honey adds a touch of sweetness. Melt it all into gooey submission between two slices of Companion brioche, slice and serve. Get the recipe here.

-photo by Dee Ryan 

Just Five: Quick Strawberry Balsamic Shrub

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014



Alert: This will be the summer of the shrub. These fruit syrups preserved with vinegar are popping up in bars all over St. Louis, and they are simple to make at home, too. When it comes to spirit combinations, the sky is the limit. Choose your base flavor from stone fruit, berries, citrus or herbs, add a tart vinegar (cider, champagne, balsamic, red wine, etc.) and sugar. A true shrub is a day-long process akin to canning or preserving, but this recipe gets you from berry to beverage in less than 30 minutes.

I love the combination of berries and balsamic vinegar, and since strawberries are everywhere right now, this was an easy choice. I used it as the base in four cocktails, each with a different spirit: gin, bourbon, vodka or dark rum. The vodka drink tasted like regret; it reminded me that I just don’t like vodka. The bourbon was too strong for this variety, but it would be wonderful with a peach shrub. The dark rum was a bit too sweet for me, but I managed to drink it all – in the name of research. But the gin? Well, Baby Bear, the gin was just right. If you’re not a drinker, shrubs also make sweet-tart, refreshing sodas.

Quick Strawberry Balsamic Shrub
Makes 1½ cups shrub

1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered
½ cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Gin (optional)
Soda water (optional)

• Place the strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons water into a saucepan over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the berries with a spoon.
• Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the mixture, pressing the fruit with a spoon and scraping the bottom of the sieve to remove all the juice. Discard the solids. You should have about 1½ cups. Shrub will keep refrigerated 7 to 10 days.
• For a cocktail: Pour 1½ ounces of strawberry shrub into a tall glass with ice. Add 2 ounces gin and stir well.
• For a nonalcoholic beverage: Pour 1½ ounces of strawberry shrub into a tall glass with ice. Add ½ cup soda water and stir to combine.



Just Five: Soda-Pop Pork with Roasted Strawberries

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013


This recipe was inspired by an early summer meal at The Restaurant at The Cheshire: a thick-cut, bone-in, smoked pork chop with a delicious black pepper and strawberry sauce. It was pretty transcendent, but it also was simple enough to set off my “Five Ingredients” alarm.

Smoking the meat is the challenge. If you have a smoker or can turn a grill into one, I recommend it for many reasons (smoked nuts, smoked mozzarella, smoked trout). But for this dish, it’s just as easy to toss some wood chips onto a charcoal fire until they smoke. If you don’t have them, you can skip this step entirely, since the brine adds a lot of flavor. Brining the pork in salt and Dr. Pepper turns it into something like a nice ham steak. The additional black pepper gives it real snappiness, and the mellow, roasted strawberries add sweetness.

Pork steaks are so cheap and easy to find, and they cook up in a flash. This dish also would be great using other summer berries or stone fruit instead of roasted strawberries. Elevate your pork steaks, St. Louis!

Soda-Pop Pork with Roasted Strawberries
Adapted by Dee Ryan from a dish at The Restaurant at The Cheshire
Serves 2

¼ cup salt
3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 pork steaks or pork chops (bone-in), 1-inch thick
1 liter Dr. Pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. white sugar

Special equipment:
Apple or cherry wood chips (optional)

• In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and the Dr. Pepper until the salt is dissolved. Place the pork in a zip-close bag and add the liquid. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
• Prepare a charcoal grill. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Place the strawberries on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes.
• In a saucepan over medium head, add the roasted strawberries, the white balsamic vinegar and the sugar and cook 5 minutes, until the strawberries are soft. Remove them from the heat and mash into a sauce using an immersion blender or a fork. Set aside.
• Remove the pork from the brine and pat it dry. Drizzle a little olive oil on each piece and season with the remaining black pepper.
• When the grill is hot, toss the wood chips over the coals. Put the pork on the grill, cover and grill 5 to 6 minutes. Flip, then cover and cook 5 more minutes.
• Brush a layer of the strawberry sauce on the meat and cover for 1 minute. Remove the pork from heat and serve with the remaining sauce.



By the Book: Andrew Weil, Sam Fox and Michael Stebner’s Strawberry-Chile Salsa

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013


With strawberries finally in season and frequently on sale, I find myself buying in bulk every time I go to the store. Yet, as much as I love these juicy red berries, more often than not, I can’t get through them before I lose at least a handful to mold and bruising. The recipe for Strawberry-Chile Salsa in True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simply, Pure offers the perfect solution. The cookbook includes more than 125 recipes that are actually healthy. I use the word “actually” because unlike many cookbooks that tout health, there is no diet vibe, no dietary restrictions or pages of substitutions. Like almost all this book’s recipes, the recipe for this salsa is simple and uses only fresh ingredients.



There’s nothing worse than using a favorite ingredient and then barely being able to taste it because of everything else going on. With this recipe, which only uses five ingredients, in every bite the strawberries are what you smell and taste both first and last.



It was also nice that I already had all of the ingredients on hand − I’m much more prone to save strawberries from the compost pile if I don’t have to go grocery shopping in order to do so. Note: Weil mentions cilantro in his introduction to this recipe but doesn’t include it in his ingredient list. I didn’t use it, but next time I will because I love cilantro, and I think a bit more green flecks in the finished product will look nice.



My only misstep with this recipe (Yes, although it is as simple as humanly possible, I still managed a misstep!) was that I didn’t chop the ingredients but rather blended them. The salsa became a pretty unappetizing-looking purée.



Since the salsa was a bit too thin for my chip-dipping taste (I like to use chips as a shovel for salsa.), I tried it as a dip for a barbecue sandwich. The result was divine. The sweet from the berries and the kick from the serrano chile added just the right amount of pizazz to make leftover barbecue exciting again.

Next time I make this salsa, I’ll either be patient and dice, mince and chop as instructed, or I will blend a third of the ingredients and dice the rest. Either way, hopefully my salsa will look more like the photo in the cookbook and less like pink slime. Luckily, my pink slime still tasted great.



Strawberry-Chile Salsa

Makes 2 cups

I have a large strawberry patch at my summer place in British Columbia. I often find myself inundated with berries in June and challenged to find ways to use them. This is one of the best: a medium-hot, bright red salsa flecked with the green of cilantro and chile. Use more or fewer chiles depending on your taste. This is good on its own with chips or raw vegetables, and you can also serve it with grilled fish or chicken. If fresh raspberries are available, trying using them in place of strawberries.

1 pint strawberries, diced
1/4 cup minced onion
1 serrano chile, finely chopped, with seeds
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt to taste

• Combine all of the ingredients. Let stand for 15 minutes to blend the flavors before serving.

What’s your favorite way to use strawberries? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simply, Pure. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Marina, whose comment on last week’s  By the Book has won her a copy of Bouchon Bakery. Marina, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.


Baked: Strawberry cupcakes

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013


Strawberries are in season. Everyone is eating them fresh or putting them in salads. I’m putting them in desserts, as usual. These are so easy to whip up and perfectly capture the essence of strawberries — moist, light and sweet. The frosting is not too sweet but very fluffy, and both frosting and cake are packed with plenty of strawberry power. I’d love to try this again but paired with champagne or basil or mint. The possibilities are endless — just take advantage of all the fresh berries around you!

Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes about 24 regular-sized cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups chopped strawberries, divided

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Grease 24 muffin cups. Set aside.
• In a bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time until combined.
• Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
• Then add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined.
• Fold 1 cup of the strawberries directly into the batter.
• Pour batter into the prepared cups until they are three-quarters full.
• After pouring the batter into the cupcake pans, distribute the remaining strawberry pieces on top of the batter.
• Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until they spring back lightly when you press the tops (or when a cake tester comes out clean or with few crumbs attached).
• Let cool completely before frosting.


Strawberry Frosting

5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract*
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries

• In a saucepan, mix the flour with the milk until no lumps remain.
• Once the mixture has been stirred, put the pan on low heat and keep stirring until the mixture thickens and resembles mashed potatoes.
• Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
• Refrigerate until the mixture has completely cooled.
• Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
• Mash the chopped strawberries. (You can do this with a mortal and pestle or in a blender or food processor or chop very finely by hand.)
• Add the strawberries and the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
• Frost the cupcakes.

* You can try adding a different extract − such as champagne or mint − for a more interesting flavor.

Cupcakes can be served at room temperature or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.


Baked: Olive Oil Layer Cake with Champagne Frosting

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

I love this cake created by Bouchon Bakery‘s Thomas Keller. It’s spongy and perfectly designed to soak up simple syrup or liquor. Also, the olive oil flavor isn’t overpowering. It only adds a hint of something special.

I’ve been in love with Champagne frosting ever since I tried a cupcake featuring it at La Patisserie Chouquette. The frosting is light with a lovely flavor. I ended up finding champagne extract at Karen Ann’s Cake Supplies store. While I thought about using actual Champagne, the taste gets cooked off too easily. Champagne extract is perfect; although, be sure to add it in small increments, tasting as you go.

I baked the sponge cake in a large sheet pan and used a cookie cutter to stamp out little rounds. I added a teaspoonful of Chambord to each slice before layering it with frosting (Although I’d be interested in experimenting with a simple basil syrup or any other flavor component.). The combination is irresistible, and if you top it with chocolate-covered strawberries … well, good luck eating just one cake.

Olive Oil Cake with Champagne Frosting
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published in the cookbook Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller
Makes 6 to 8 mini layer cakes (depending on the number of layers and size of cutter)

Nonstick oil (if using parchment paper)
1 cup plus 1 tsp. (145g.) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. (3g.) baking powder
½ tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. (2g.) Kosher salt
3 Tbsp. (50g.) eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tsp. (158g.) sugar
¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. (113g.) whole milk
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. (79g.) extra-virgin olive oil

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Line an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Spray with nonstick oil if using parchment paper.
• Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
• Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer for about 1 minute. Increase to medium speed, and whip for 5 minutes, until the mix looks thick and pale yellow. Scrape the batter down the bowl and beat on high for another 5 minutes.
• Add the wet ingredients, and beat until combined.
• Slowly add in the flour mixture, and beat on low until combined.
• Pour the batter into the sheet pan, and use a spatula to spread in an even layer, making sure to reach the corners.
• Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cake is golden on top and springs back when lightly touched. Let cool completely.
• Invert the pan onto parchment, peel back layer of parchment paper if necessary.
• Freeze the cake before using a cutter to stamp out round shapes, or any shape you prefer.
• Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Champagne Frosting
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ tsp. champagne extract, or more to taste
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 to 8 tsp. Chambord
Handful whole strawberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

• Mix the flour and milk in a saucepan. Once stirred, put over medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it resembles mashed potatoes. It should look like a goopy, cohesive batter.
• Let the mixture cool, and then store in the refrigerator until completely cooled.
• Beat the extract, butter and sugar in a mixer on high until fluffy.
• Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until light and fluffy.
• Layer two cake rounds with frosting and top with a third cake round. Repeat with the remaining cake rounds to make 6 to 8 layered cakes, in total.
• Pour 1 teaspoon of Chambord over each layer cake. Top with a dab of icing.
• Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave for 10-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate has melted.
• Dip the whole strawberries into the chocolate and place one strawberry on top of each frosted cake.

Note: You may have frosting left over that you can freeze for later use or use as a dip for fresh fruit.

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