Tag Archives: black pepper

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

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

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry Balsamic Jam

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

Cream Biscuits with Strawberry JamIn my years of baking and teaching, I have found that people are leery of making piecrust and biscuits.  The one thing both of these usually have in common is cutting in the butter.  How about a recipe for the best biscuits ever with no butter – period.

This has to be the easiest biscuit recipe ever with only 4 ingredients.  Cake flour is used to insure tenderness.  The cream takes the place of butter. When you think of butter, it is only cream that is whipped to a solid state with the liquid being spun out.  So the use of all cream makes perfect sense.

The dough will be a bit wet and that it as it should be.  I learned the traditional way of making biscuits from Shirley Corriher, a biochemist who wrote, Cookwise and Bakewise.  With Shirley being from the south, I can’t imagine a better teacher.  She stressed the importance of the dough being very wet so the steam created in a hot oven would cause the biscuits to expand to great heights. Continue reading