It’s strawberry season in New England! Along with shortcake and whipped cream, the possibilities are endless.
Back when I used to go to strawberry fields and pick outrageously large quantities of strawberries, I would make jar upon jar of strawberry jam. The ruby-red jam bubbling in a pot would emit the most wonderful smell: warm, steamy, and sweet. Pulling this cake out of the oven after an hour brought me right back to those days. Top off the warm cake with a little vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and you will not be disappointed.
Rather than the traditional biscuit, this is more of a buttery pound cake and it is delicious! And come on, you can’t go wrong with Martha Stewart!
Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Cake
- 6 TBSP unsalted butter, softened; plus additional for the pie plate
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 305 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie place. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
Put butter and 1 cup sugar into an electric mixer bowl. Mix on medium-high speed until pales and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, mix in egg, milk and vanilla.
Transfer batter to pie place. Arrange strawberries on top of butter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 TBSP sugar over berries.
Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch (about 1 hours). Let cool in pie place on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.
Today is Adrien’s birthday and, I will be cooking tonight’s celebratory meal. While I am a big fan of birthday cake, he is not. So we are having a very un-birthday like dessert: chocolate mousse.
The absolute best chocolate mousse we have ever eaten was served at a lovely Paris restaurant in the Marais just a few blocks from Places de Vosges, Chez Janou. There is nothing quite so delightful as ending a wonderful meal with a giant copper bowl of chocolate mousse, trust me. This recipe from Martha Stewart comes pretty close to perfection, however, and it is fairly uncomplicated. Chocolately and light, forget counting calories. This is an indulgently rich dessert worthy of someone’s birthday.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 TBSP sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I substituted vanilla paste here)
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, 2 TBSP sugar, and 3/4 cup heavy cream. Cover over medium-low heat, stirring until mixture coats back of a spoon (3-4 minutes). Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat, whisk in melted chocolate and vanilla. Strain into a bowl. Chill until cool.
- With an electric mixer (I used my trusty stand mixer with the whisk attachment), beat remaining 1 1/4 cups heavy cream with remaining 2 TBSP sugar until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cooled custard mixture, then GENTLY FOLD (!) in the rest of the whipped cream with a spatula.
- Spoon into serving dishes, chill covered at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Or if you are dreaming of Chez Janou, put the mousse in a big serving bowl and enjoy the memories!
We recently purchased a condo unit in the building in which we have been renting. Our new neighbors gifted us with the wonderful bottle of wine which we have determined would go quite nicely with some chocolate. I mean, what doesn’t go with chocolate? I’m not sure I want to live in that world.
There are plenty of brownie recipes made with cocoa in place of bar chocolate, but oftentimes I’ve found them to be pretty dry. This recipe comes from Bon Appetit and is hands down one of the most chocolate-y of cocoa brownie recipes I’ve ever tasted. And, it is quite tasty with our bottle of Ipsus 2008 Passito de Pantelleria.
Bon Appetit, December 2012.
- Nonstick oil spray
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into approximately 1 inch chunks
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used King Arthur’s Triple Chocolate)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line and 8-inch square pan (glass) with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Melt butter (I microwaved, BA suggests doing this in saucepan). Let cool slightly.
- Whisk sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla.
- Add eggs one at a time, beat vigorously to blend after each addition (make sure the butter has cooled a bit or you’ll end up with bits of scrambled eggs – yuck).
- Add flour and stir until just combined – do not overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. (I added some chopped up dark chocolate dove bar here just for fun).
- Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Use foil overhang and lift brownies out of pan. Cut into 16 squares.
Ipsus 2008 Passito di Pantelleria
I love, love, love that this moscato dessert wine comes from Sicily. Smooth and a golden color your can practically taste the sunshine! The wine is produced in a southernmost island near Tunisia; somewhat sweet (but not overly so) there are notes of apricots and raisins. Definitely great sipping wine to go with dessert. To find out more about these wines, link to the Wine-searcher site here.
Seriously, Thug Kitchen, this cake is the bomb. As the Thugs say, “… save frosting for something that needs the help.” This does not. And it didn’t need butter or eggs either. Little bit of fresh fruit on top and we will be good to go for tonight’s dessert. If this makes it until then. I have a feeling there will be some taste testing going on really soon. [Edited for the delicate or children.]
From: Thug Kitchen LLC. Thug kitchen: Eat like you give a f*ck. (2014). Emmaus, PA: Rodale. p.200.
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- First, heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grab an 8-inch cake pan, grease it, and dust it with flour to make sure your cake doesn’t stick. If you are still consumed with fear, cut a round out of parchment paper the same size as the pan and stick that in the bottom to be extra ——- sure your cake will come out in one piece. Now relax, you got this —-.
- Get a big bowl and whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a crater in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the coconut milk, vanilla, and lemon zest and stir it all up until there are no dry pockets and very few lumps.
- Pour that batter into your cake pan that you prepped earlier because you followed the g-d directions. Let somebody else lick the spoon and bowl because 1)The batter is tasty as —- and 2)They will now owe you one. Cash in that favor the next time you need help moving. You’re ——-welcome.
- Bake the cake until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn it out on to a wire rack to finish cooling until you’re ready for it.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.