Tag Archives: strawberries

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitThese Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits are a simple, no heat dessert that is perfect for the hot summer months. Creamy and crunchy with fresh strawberries and chocolate, these parfaits can even be made the day ahead.

The glass in the picture originally belonged to Mike’s grandmother. I love the delicacy of the flute and the green stem. It seemed like they were waiting for these parfaits.

The chocolate crunch can be made using any nut you wish. I chose almonds, but have used hazelnuts in the past.  To avoid the oven, I put them in a dry skillet over medium heat.  It is best to watch them, turning them often so they don’t burn.  You will notice I said “best to watch….. .” Since I don’t always follow my own advice I have sometimes burned them using this method so I didn’t wander too far away this time. Continue reading

Toasted Angel Food Cake, Roasted Strawberries and Balsamic Whipped Cream

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Toasted Angel Food Cake with Roasted StrawberriesEvery once in a while, a recipe comes together and surpasses every expectation – Toasted Angel Food Cake, Roasted Strawberries and Balsamic Whipped Cream is that recipe.  Now I am the first to admit it is a different take on every component in the dessert.  But let’s take a look at those components.

What if I told you an Angel Food Cake can be made without the dreaded folding in of flour and sugar which can deflate the whites making a denser, less airy cake.  I love Angel Food Cake for its light, moist,melt in your mouth texture. It is snow white and has an ethereal quality to it, hence the name.  

The recipe I am giving you here is from my bakery.  It is the tallest, lightest, best angel food cake I have ever had.  I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t.  It came in a General Mills baking flyer they sent to bakeries many years ago. Continue reading

Chocolate Strawberry Ruffle Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Strawberry Ruffle CakeThis Chocolate Strawberry Ruffle Cake  came about when a friend of mine was gathering items to auction off to help someone.  She wanted a spectacular, showstopper of a cake  cake that would draw a high bid.  I was happy to donate the cake.  I had made the cake, filled it and frozen it a week earlier. The day came to finish it and the night before she was to pick it up,  we lost all power – for 19 hours.  I couldn’t open the freezer or fridge until the power came back on.  So this Chocolate Strawberry Ruffle Cake never came to fruition for the auction.

This is another example of a cake made from recipes already on the blog.  One of the reasons I love baking and pastry is that it is infinitely changeable.  The chocolate cake is one of my base cakes that I use over and over in different versions. Continue reading

Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Granita

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry GranitaUmmm, frozen strawberries on a hot summers day. What could be more comforting? How about a strawberry granita with a bit of black pepper and balsamic vinegar to add a bit of zip to it.

The use of white balsamic vinegar as opposed to the normal dark is to keep the strawberries a vibrant red. The main difference between the white and dark balsamic vinegars is the grapes used and the amount of aging. Italians have been making balsamic vinegar for a thousand years. Balsamic vinegar is sweeter than the more robust vinegars. Some dark balsamic vinegars are aged up to 100 years in different barrels for a complexity of taste. However these balsamics are very expensive, just like a fine wine and are used as a finishing vinegar and not as an ingredient. All dark balsamics are thicker and sweeter than the white balsamic which can be aged in barrels or stainless steel tanks for a shorter amount of time. The white is usually used when you don’t want to discolor the food with which it is being used as would dark balsamic vinegar.

Granita is an Italian specialty and is simply an ice that is scraped with a fork to fluff it up and make it melt in your mouth. Any fruit such as nectarines, pineapple or peaches can be substituted for the strawberries. Just make sure the fruit is good and ripe for the best taste.

The use of black pepper with strawberries has become a classic and enhances the taste of the strawberry.

Strawberry Balsamaic Black Pepper Granita
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar (130 grams or 4 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
4 cups sliced strawberries

Combine the water and sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and black pepper. Cool.

Place the sugar syrup and strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a 9×9 inch square pan, preferably glass. Freeze for several hours until it’s about 3/4 frozen. Scrape with a fork to fluff it up.

Store in the freezer.

Yield: 1 quart

Strawberry Verrines

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Verrine

A verrine is a layered dessert or appetizer that is served in a small glass.  The glass allows for a beautiful vertical presentation.  Verrines originally came to us from France, but as with all foods we make them ours by the ingredients used.

With strawberry season upon us, this strawberry verrine is the perfect example of an updated classic dessert.   Many of the original dessert versions featured Bavarian cream which is set with gelatin.  There are usually three layers and anything goes.

This version actually consists of two recipes already on the blog.  Each changed just slightly to achieve this verrine.  This can be made a day or two ahead without the decorative strawberries on top.  The mousse consists of the Dark Satin Ganache to which I add whipped cream when it has cooled.  The top is pastry cream without the gelatin so it is a softer cream. The strawberries should be diced very small, about 1/4 inch so each mouthful gets a goodly amount that will blend with the other ingredients. Continue reading