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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pink Isn't a Girl Color

Happy Tuesday everyone! In my quest for delicious recipes this week, I started thinking about things I've been eating lately. Do you know what stands out? Strawberries! I don't know what's happening but I hope it doesn't stop! They've been sweet and plump and extra delicious, especially this time of year. So today's recipes are all based around those juicy fruits!

Colors for days...
Flourless Pistachio Cake with Strawberry Meringue
Anna Stockwell

  • Vegetable oil, for cake pan
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios (8 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Meringue Topping:
  • 1 1/3 cups freeze-dried strawberries (1.2-ounce package)
  • 5 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup almond flour (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 9-inch springform pan
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly brush a 9-inch springform pan with oil and line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Brush parchment with oil and set pan aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse pistachios with 1/4 cup sugar until finely ground (avoid overgrinding); set aside.
  3. In two large bowls, separate eggs into yolks and whites, discarding the sixth egg white. Add 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, salt, and cardamom to bowl with egg yolks and beat using an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Set egg yolk mixture aside and thoroughly clean and dry the beaters.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to the bowl with the egg whites and beat using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add half of the whipped egg whites and all of the ground pistachios to the egg yolk mixture and fold until combined. Add the remaining egg whites and fold until batter is just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until beginning to brown and just barely set, 20–25 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the meringue topping: In a food processor, process strawberries into a fine powder; set aside 1 Tbsp. strawberry powder for garnish and transfer remainder to a medium bowl. Whisk in almond flour and potato starch.
  7. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and vinegar until soft peaks form, then gradually beat in the sugar and and continue to whip until meringue is stiff and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved, 7–8 minutes. Gently fold almond mixture into meringue until just combined.
  8. Remove cake from oven. Using an offset spatula or table knife, spread meringue mixture evenly over hot cake, starting from the outside and working your way into the center. Return cake to oven and bake until meringue is lightly browned and crisp, 25–30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool, and immediately run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Release and remove the side of the springform pan. Let cake cool at least 30 minutes before decorating.
  9. To decorate the cake, place the reserved strawberry powder in a fine-mesh sieve and dust over cake as desired.Do ahead: Cake can be made up to one day before serving: cool to room temperature, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and store at room temperature.
Notes: Look for freeze-dried strawberries in the dried fruit aisle of your local health-food or specialty food store. If you don't have superfine sugar, you can make your own by pulverizing granulated sugar in a food processor.

New take on the usual...
Strawberry Tiramisu
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 1 1/4 cups strawberry preserves
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 52 (about) crisp ladyfingers (boudoirs or Savoiardi)
  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, divided
  1. Whisk preserves, 1/3 cup Cointreau, and orange juice in 2-cup measuring cup. Place mascarpone cheese and 2 tablespoons Cointreau in large bowl; fold just to blend. Using electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons Cointreau in another large bowl to soft peaks. Stir 1/4 of whipped cream mixture into mascarpone mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining whipped cream.
  2. Hull and slice half of strawberries. Spread 1/2 cup preserve mixture over bottom of 3-quart oblong serving dish or a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange enough ladyfingers over strawberry mixture to cover bottom of dish. Spoon 3/4 cup preserve mixture over ladyfingers, then spread 2 1/2 cups mascarpone mixture over. Arrange 2 cups sliced strawberries over mascarpone mixture. Repeat layering with remaining lady fingers, preserve mixture, and mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Slice remaining strawberries. Arrange over tiramas├╣ and serve.
*Italian cream cheese available at supermarkets and at Italian markets.

With a dollop of cream...
Country Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Ina Garten

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the 3/4 cup of sugar and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the sour cream, the orange and lemon zests and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla and beat until blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until smooth.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 15 minutes before turning it out onto the rack to cool completely.
  4. Beat the cream with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until soft peaks form.
  5. Slice the cake in half horizontally. Spread most of the whipped cream over the cut side of the bottom cake half. Layer most of the sliced strawberries on top. Replace the top half of the cake and garnish with the remaining whipped cream and strawberries. make ahead The cake can be frozen for up to 1 month. Let it cool completely before wrapping in plastic and then foil. The assembled cake can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.
Make Ahead: The cake can be frozen for up to 1 month. Let it cool completely before wrapping in plastic and then foil. The assembled cake can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.

Happy baking!

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