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Tag Archives: strawberry

Strawberry Icebox Cake (No Bake!)

10 Jun

I must have been hiding under a rock all these years, because I’ve only become familiar with icebox cakes this year.  I may be a late bloomer to this cool no-bake cake, but I’ve totally been making up for lost time.

Strawberry Icebox Cake 4

Yes, this yummy cake is absolutely bake-free.  The kitchen gets to stay cool for those warm summer days.  The time is ripe for sweet strawberries, and we are loving them right now.  We just had this delish Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and now this. This Strawberry Icebox Cake comes together beautifully, making for an impressive looking dessert for get-togethers.

Strawberry Icebox Cake

I love how easy this cake is to pull off!  Some assembly required.  Six ingredients.  That’s all it takes to wow your family and friends with this light, refreshing cake that has just the right amount of sweetness to it.  Not too sweet nor heavy.  Which means you can eat more of it.

Strawberry Icebox Cake 2

Yes.  You will totally eat more than just once slice.  This Strawberry Icebox Cake boasts two pounds of fresh strawberries, freshly whipped cream, and graham crackers that soften into an airy, cake-like texture as it rests overnight in the fridge.

Strawberry Icebox Cake 3

That’s another thing.  I’m the biggest fan of make-ahead food.  If I can make it ahead of time, it’s a done deal.  Less fuss on the day of the party is always, always a very good thing.  I’m already planning my next icebox cake flavor.

Enjoy this while fresh strawberries abound.

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STRAWBERRY ICEBOX CAKE (NO BAKE) 
Serves 8-12

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs fresh, sweet strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
20 oz graham crackers (about 24-28 whole crackers or 4 sleeves)

Simple ganache:
2 oz semi sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

In a large metal bowl, combine 3 cups heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.  Place entire bowl, plus beaters of electric mixer, into fridge for 10 minutes to chill.  On medium-high, beat heavy cream mixture until stiff peaks appear.

Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan.  Lay six graham crackers down evenly.  Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the graham crackers, followed by a single layer of closely-placed strawberries.  Repeat layers (graham crackers, whipped cream, strawberries) 3 more times.  You will have 4 layers total of graham crackers when finished.  Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of entire dessert, and add rest of strawberries for garnish.

Heat 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Once it bubbles, turn off the heat.  Add chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes.  Whisk mixture until it’s thick and glossy.  Let it cool to lukewarm and drizzle ganache over dessert (I use a plastic baggie with tiny bit of tip cut off.)

Cover loosely with tented foil and chill in fridge overnight, for crackers to soften.  Keep cold until ready to serve.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from theKitchn

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Very Berry Pie Bars

24 May

Memorial weekend signals the unofficial start of summer, and what better way to celebrate the sunshine than picnics, BBQ’s, and lots of ripe berries?

Very Berry Pie Bars 5

Can’t decide if you crave pies vs. dessert bars?  No problem.  We can go hybrid and do it BOGO style.  Two in one.  Bargain hunters, this one’s for you.

It’s a win-win combination.  Think of it:  a buttery and toothsome crust, plus crumbly topping with hints of zesty lemon strewn throughout.  Creamy, thick filling bursting with sweet, juicy berries.

Very Berry Pie Bars

These fresh berry pie bars are the best of both worlds, with tasty pie crust, crumble topping, and plummy filling.   Minus the fuss of actually making a pie.  This “pie” comes in the form of  an easygoing, happy-go-lucky pie bar that’s easily made ahead of time and even easier to dig into.

Very Berry Pie Bars 3

These berry pie bars can happily be made the night before, chilled in fridge, and sliced when ready to devour.  I sliced mine into smaller squares to feed a crowd, and there was plenty to go around.  For easy serving plus cute factor, just house the individual squares in pretty cupcake liners.  These are best served chilled, so keep ’em cold until dessert time.  They won’t sit around long once you bring them out.

Enjoy, and happy Memorial weekend!

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VERRY BERRY PIE BARS (makes one 9×13)

For the crust and topping:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
Zest of one large lemon
1 1/2 cups salted butter, cold

For the filling:
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup greek yogurt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
Juice of one large lemon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
30 oz any mixture of fresh blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F.  Generously grease a 9×13 pan along bottom and sides.  Set aside.

In bowl of a food processor, lightly pulse together the flour, sugar, and lemon zest just until blended.  Cut cold butter into slices and add to bowl.  With a few short pulses, cut the butter into flour mixture just until mixture is crumbly.  Small bits of butter remaining is fine.  (Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter if you don’t have a food processor.)

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the flour/butter mixture for the topping.  Pour the rest of the mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.  Press firmly for an even layer of crust on bottom of pan.  (It’s easy to press evenly with the flat bottom of a water glass or ramekin.)  Bake crust about 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove baked crust from oven, but keep oven on.

Combine eggs, sugar, Greek yogurt, flour, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Carefully fold in the berries with rubber spatula.  Gently spread filling over the baked crust.  Sprinkle reserved topping over the filling, to make an even layer of crumble topping.

Bake about 75 min to 90 min or until topping turns golden and bars are set.  Cool completely at room temp before putting in fridge to chill.  Chill several hours or overnight.  Cut and serve cold.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Annie’s Eats, via the Pastry Queen

Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

10 May

For Mother’s Day weekend, I knew immediately what I’d want to bake up.  A great strawberry cake.  Mommies and berries and pink.  They were all three meant to be.  My lovely Mom is almost clear across the country, but I dedicate this pretty pink cake to her.

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love that this cake is made with back-to-basics ingredients.  No artificial coloring and no boxes of Jello or pudding.  Just lots of strawberries.  I ended up changing much of the original recipe instructions.  For reasons still a mystery, the first bake attempt didn’t work.  The second time, it turned out beautifully.  The cake is light, fluffy, and tender.   It naturally won’t bake up as pink as artificially-colored cakes, but you’re welcome to add a drop or two of red food coloring if you really, really want to 🙂

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 2

This strawberry-cream cheese frosting is really what steals the show.  I’m not a huge buttercream frosting girl (gasp!), but I do adore cream cheese frostings.  Cream cheese takes treats over-the-top.  Have you met the cheesecake ?  This rich frosting has the decadent flavor of strawberry cheesecake, with a smooth and creamy texture that’s perfectly spreadable.

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 3

Frosting that’s a treat in itself.  Spoon-licking worthy.  Finger-licking yum.  You get the idea.  I am already brainstorming ways to incorporate this dreamy frosting into future desserts.

How would you use this frosting?

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FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE (about 8 servings)
*Fresh strawberries need to macerate overnight

For the Cake:

16 oz very, very ripe, red fresh strawberries (with not much white on them.  If a lot of white needs to be cut off, you’ll need more strawberries.  The riper the better.)
3 tsp sugar
12 Tb unsalted butter, room temp (lightly indents when tapped, not melty at all)
1 3/4 cup white sugar
4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated – room temp
1/4 cup whole milk, room temp
1 TB vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted after measuring
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

For the Frosting:

4 TB strawberry puree (use leftover puree from cake)
8 TB regular butter, firm
8 oz cream cheese, slightly cold
16 oz (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS

For the Cake:

Hull and slice fresh strawbrries.  Toss with 3 tsp sugar and cover.  Let sit in fridge overnight, until they become macerated and juicy.  Blend strawberries with short pulses, just until pureed.  Do not over blend.

Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle.  Line bottom of two 8 or 9 inch round pans with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the paper and sides of pans.

Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium high, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add milk, yolks, vanilla, and 3/4 cup of strawberry puree (save remaining puree for frosting, filling, or other use.)  Blend just until combined.

In separate bowl, whisk together:  sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Fold in the butter mixture with rubber spatula, just until wet/dry ingredients are fully incorporated.  Do not over mix.

In a clean bowl, using electric mixer, beat egg whites just until still peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites into the cake batter with rubber spatula, softly folding until combined.

Divide batter evenly among the two pans.  Give the pans a gentle shake to level out the tops.  Bake 20-25 minutes just until toothpick inserted in center has a few tender crumbs attached.  Watch carefully so it does not over bake and become dry.  Let cakes rest at room temp for 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks.  Let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In stand mixer using paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until it is light, pale yellow, and fluffy.  Add cream cheese and beat until combined.  Reduce speed to low and add confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined.  Add the strawberry puree and mix just until combined.  Place frosting in fridge about an hour before use.  Frosted dessert should be kept in fridge until ready to serve.  This frosting is best suited for spreading rather than piping, as it is smooth and creamy soft.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by foodiebride (cake only)

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