Monday, May 28, 2012

waffle-and-strawberry trifle

the goods:

1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
8 ounces frozen Belgian waffles, toasted and cut into 1 and 1/2-inch pieces

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, 1/2 cup cream, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-high, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling, 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Pour through sieve into bowl. Stir in butter and vanilla until combined. Place plastic wrap against surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate 3 hours (or up to 3 days).

Toss strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar; let sit until fruit has released some juice, 20 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, beat 1 and 1/2 cups cream and 1/4 cup sugar on medium-high until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

In a large bowl or trifle dish, layer 1/2 the waffles, strawberries, pudding, and whipped cream.


Cover trifle with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day).

Monday, May 21, 2012

tropical fruit tart

the goods:

all-purpose flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound frozen pineapple chunks, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 and 1/2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin (one 1/4-ounce packet)
3/4 cup cold heavy cream
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
4 ounces unsweetened coconut flakes (2 tablespoons), toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry 1 inch from edges, creating a border; with a fork, prick dough all over inside border. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook pineapple, sugar, and lemon juice over medium-high until pineapple begins to break down, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve back into saucepan, discarding solids, and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand until gelatin softens, 5 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring, the pour into a medium bowl set in a bowl of ice water. Stir until cool and thickened, 4 minutes.
Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Stir pineapple mixture until smooth; fold into whipped cream until combined. Spread on pastry and top with mango and coconut.

Monday, May 14, 2012

7-layer ice-cream cake

the goods:

1 frozen pound cake in aluminum loaf pan, unthawed
2 cups raspberry sorbet, softened
1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate wafer cookies
cool whip or whipped cream, for serving

Remove cake from pan and cut horizontally into 4 slices. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving 6-inch overhang on two sides. Build cake layers in pan in this order: bottom cake slice, 1 cup sorbet, cake slice, 1/2 cup ice cream, cookie crumbs, 1/2 cup ice cream, cake slice, 1 cup sorbet, top cake slice. Wrap in plastic and freeze at least 1 hour. Slice cake and serve with a dollop of cool whip or whipped cream.

Monday, May 7, 2012

raspberry-cream layer cake

the goods:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 cups raspberries
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 cups cold heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep). Line bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment.

In a large bowl, using and electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Beat in eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, until combined. Beat in vanilla extract.
In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low, add 1/3 the flour mixture to butter mixture, beating to combine. Beat in half the buttermilk, another 1/3 the flour mixture, remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour until just combined. Scrape down bowl as needed.

Divide batter between pans, firmly tap on a flat surface to remove air bubbles, and smooth tops. Bake until cakes are golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges, then invert; remove parchment. Invert cakes again and let cool completely on wire racks.

In a medium bowl, gently mash 1 cup raspberries with a fork. Stir in 1 cup whole raspberries. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and confectioners' sugar on high until soft peaks form, 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold raspberries into whipped cream.

Place 1 cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread raspberry cream on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with other cake, pressing gently, and finish with remaining raspberry cream.

Serve immediately.