Tuesday, June 19, 2012

French Strawberry Cake

T U E S D A Y S   W I T H   D O R I E
Special thanks to this week's hostesses:  
Sophia of Sophia's Sweets & 

Génoise. Genoese. Genovese.  Funny how our French cake is actually an Italian sponge cake, named after the city of Genoa. Feeling somewhat confused and desiring the need for more more clarification (along with a baker's quick how-to), I consulted my Julia DVD for some génoise cake-education. 
Strawberry Cake
This Baking with Julia recipe is courtesy of Flo Braker, contributing baker. What Flo refers to as a "French Strawberry Cake" reminds me of an American "strawberry shortcake" recipe, minus the shortcake. In true French fashion, this génoise cake is the star. Less rich than a butter cake, this version uses whole eggs and a smidgen of melted butter for its flavor and leavening. In between the génoise layers are sliced, macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream -  flavored with a touch of sour cream and vanilla. I brushed each layer with a simple syrup made with kirsch and some of the strawberry juice (a trick I picked up during my Julia consult). Light, summery and deliciously Italian (er . . . French).

Special thanks to Sophia and Allison for hosting this week's recipe - visit their blogs to get the recipe.

– mike

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Aunt Sabra King's Pudding Cups

Aunt Sabra King
More Jell-O. Two Jell-O recipes in a row? Thankfully not - thankfully not Instant Pudding . . thanks to Aunt Sabra. 
Today's BAKED creation is Aunt Sabra's recipe, a gin-drinking, card-playing, silver Cadillac-driving southern inspiration herself.

The base crust is made up of crushed graham crackers with butter and a touch of brown sugar. The pudding, though not instant, was quite a breeze to prepare - and hands down, better than any boxed pudding mix out there. Made from melted chocolate, egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar and cornstarch, it sets up nicely into a rich, thick pudding. The final touch is a couple tablespoons of whiskey (don't leave it out) - it deepens the chocolate flavor. Poured over the graham base, it is supposedly cut into bars - I put them into individual pudding cups.

Not sure if Aunt Sabra would approve, but they were a hit at the office at Friday's Social. A "new" busy-day dessert indeed.

To get the recipe for this retro dessert, venture over to BAKED SUNDAY MORNINGS.

 – mike

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Strawberry Jell-O Salad

Hell-O Jell-O. Say it ain't so. How could those super cool BAKED boys feature something so nightmarish as a Jell-O salad? If it were any other cookbook I would have gladly passed this one by.
Today's BAKED creation sits upon a base of crushed pretzels (pretzels?), which are mixed into a brown sugar and butter syrup and then baked. Atop this sits a creamy confection of whipping cream folded into a cream cheese and sugar mixture. If this isn't enough kitschy, prepared Jell-O with sliced strawberries is poured on top and then chilled.

Contrary to popular belief, not all "Jell-o salads" should be sneered at. This was remarkably refreshing - slightly strange, but refreshing none the less. Of all the celery-laced and grated carrot-filled salads I've had over the years, this one rises to the top of the list. But pimento-stuffed olives swimming in lime gelatin comes in a close second.

To get the recipe for this retro salad, venture over to BAKED SUNDAY MORNINGS.

 – mike