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Posts Tagged ‘Strawberries’

Yeah, yeah, I know: another rhubarb recipe.  Yawn.

No!  Wrong attitude!  Rhubarb’s season is brief, and we’re running out of time.  We only have a few more weeks to find new and interesting ways to put this stuff to use.

And, as part of this blog’s resurrection from the grave, I’m trying to feature more local, seasonal ingredients wherever possible, which I hope will give all of you ideas on how to use your farmers’ market spoils.  (And, happily, chocolate and vanilla are always in season, so fear not: there will be plenty of non-fruit-and-veggie recipes on offer too.)

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this strawberry rhubarb tart without some reservations.  Wait, you say, a strawberry rhubarb tart with a crisp topping? That sounds awesome. Well, it was…almost.

Everyone who tried the tart loved it (and, admittedly, it tastes delicious — sweet and tart and…well…like spring), but in my mind, the recipe wasn’t perfect.  Here’s the problem: Rhubarb and strawberries give off a lot of juice when cooked, and if your tart crust shrinks even a teensy bit, the juices bubble up over the sides and leave you with a soggy, flabby crust.  Bleh.

In my case, only one side of the crust shrank, so one side ended up soggy while the other was flaky and tender.  So it wasn’t a total disaster, but it wasn’t perfect.

My recommendation?  Try it with this crust, which never shrinks on me.  It’s sweeter than the one called for in the original recipe, but I think it will yield a better tart.

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I have five words for you: strawberry white chocolate buttermilk cake.

Is there really anything more to say? Well, maybe two more words: whipped cream.

I was tempted to call this “strawberry shortcake” — it looks like one, right? — but I would be lying. Technically, a shortcake is more like a biscuit or scone, which is made by cutting butter into some dry ingredients and then stirring in a liquid like buttermilk or cream. The resulting shortcake is flaky, buttery and dense.

But this cake is none of those things. It is fluffy and light, redolent of vanilla and cocoa butter. It is, perhaps, the best white cake recipe I’ve found.

As chocolate lovers and baking know-it-alls will be quick to tell you, technically white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all (maybe that’s why I like it so much). White chocolate is basically just cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids, so when melted and added to a cake, the cocoa butter helps to keep the cake tender and only subtly flavors the cake. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you probably wouldn’t be able to detect the white chocolate flavor at all.

So consider this cake the “little black dress” in your baking arsenal. You can dress it up or dress it down; you can dress it any way you want, really. Given that it’s May (almost June — how did that happen?), I think right now it goes perfectly with sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche and fresh strawberries. But like a classic black dress, it’s a cake that never goes out of style.

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