Monday, July 25, 2011

chocolate-berry ice cream cake

the goods:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blackberries (5 ounces)
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 pint raspberry sorbet, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Lightly coat an 8-inch springform cake pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in egg yolk, buttermilk, 1/4 cup warm water, oil, and vanilla. Pour batter into pan and bake until cake pulls away from sides and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack, 1 and 1/2 hours.
Cut one or two pieces parchment paper 1 inch taller than pan side and place between cake and inside of pan, overlapping if necessary (parchment should fit snugly around entire circumference of cake).
Place blackberries in a medium bowl and lightly mash with a fork. Stir in vanilla ice cream. Working quickly, spread ice cream mixture in an even layer over cooled cake. Freeze until ice cream is very firm, 2 hours. In a small bowl, stir sorbet until spreadable. Spread in an even layer over ice cream and freeze until set, 1 hour.
To serve, unmold cake and peel away parchment.

Monday, July 18, 2011

strawberry-pistachio tart

the goods:

all-purpose flour, for rolling
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons sugar
5 cups thinly sliced strawberries
1/4 cup apricot jam, warmed 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and trim to make a neat rectangle. Freeze until firm, 10 minutes. With a fork, prick pastry all over. To prevent pastry from rising, top with a sheet of parchment paper and stack another rimmed baking sheet on top. Bake until light golden, 13 minutes.

Meanwhile in a food processor, combine 1/4 cup pistachios and sugar and process until pistachios are finely ground. Sprinkle mixture on pastry, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Bake until pastry is deep golden and pistachio mixture begins to turn golden, 10 minutes.

Roughly chop remaining 1/4 pistachios. Remove sheet from oven; arrange strawberries on pistachio mixture, overlapping slices. Brush berries with jam and sprinkle chopped pistachios on border.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, July 11, 2011

citrus-glazed pound cake

the goods:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a loaf pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until very light and fluffy, 7 minutes. Scrape down bowl and beat 1 minute more. Add vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, and orange juice. Then gradually add eggs, beating well and scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add salt, then gradually add flour, beating well to combine and scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer batter to pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 1 hour. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on rack before glazing.

Make glaze by whisking together confectioners' sugar with lemon juice and orange juice. Pour over cooled cake. Slice to serve.

Monday, July 4, 2011

easy strawberry icebox pie

the goods:

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, a couple of small strawberries reserved for garnish
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
prebaked graham cracker crust (store-bought - that's the "easy" part)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, and salt. Gently mash strawberries and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in remaining sliced strawberries and pour into crust. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until set, 6 to 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Beat cream until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar and beat until soft peaks return, and additional 30 seconds. Spread whipping cream over pie, leaving a 1 and 1/2-inch border. Garnish with strawberries.