Tag Archives: dessert

Strawberry English Cake

I make this cake each year, as soon as the strawberries come in.  It has a light, unusual texture that calls you back.  Thought I’d post it in time for Mother’s Day.  Enjoy!

2/3 c. sifted cornstarch
1 c. powdered sugar, divided
1/8 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar (opt.)
2 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Few drops almond extract (opt.)

1 c. finely diced strawberries
1 c. whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 8” round cake pans with wax paper. Set aside.

Sift cornstarch, salt, and ½ c. powdered sugar together three times. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and water until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until stiff (but not dry).

Beat yolks slightly. Add vanilla and almond extract (if using). Gently fold egg white mixture into yolks, folding just enough to combine.

Divide batter between pans. Bake for 30 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Cool.

To remove cakes from pan, run a sharp, thin knife along sides of pan twice. The first time, just cut/separate cake from tin. The second time, use knife to gently push cake inward, toward center, releasing an inch or so from the bottom of the pan all the way around. Locate an edge of wax paper and life cake from the pan. Remove wax paper.

Whip cream. Fold in finely diced strawberries.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a very thin layer of whipped cream and strawberries on top. Top with second layer. Ice cake with remaining whipped cream. (Note: Whipped cream and strawberries will cover, but barely. Be prepared to see patches of cake where cream doesn’t quite cover. This is how cake should look– It will taste delicious. Don’t worry.)

Serve. Cake tastes best the day it is made.

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Filed under Special Occasions, Sweets and Treats

Butterscotch Pudding

This has become my go-to recipe when I have extra milk on hand.  It comes together quickly, and the kids like to help.  I found it years ago in Cooking Light magazine, though I omit the non-dairy topping (yuck!) and add a little almond extract.  The flavor is deep and the texture creamy.  This makes 5-6 servings.  Enjoy!

¼ c. cornstarch
1 c. dark brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 cups 1% milk, divided
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract

Whisk together cornstarch, brown sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Once well-combined, whisk in 2 cups of milk. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until little bubbles form along the edges of the pan.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, and remaining one cup milk.

Pour a cup or so of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture to temper the egg, then pour contents of the bowl back into the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium-to-medium-high heat. Boil one minute and remove from heat.  Stir in butter, vanilla, and almond extract. Divide among six dessert cups. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of each pudding (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill at least 4 hours. Serve cold.

Note: For special occasions, you could garnish each pudding with a tablespoon or so of whipped cream and a little ground nutmeg.

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Filed under Recipes, Sweets and Treats

Vanilla Ice Cream Custard

After reading the alarmingly long list of ingredients (and the saturated fat content!) of Trader Joe’s Super Premium vanilla ice cream, I decided to make my own.  I basically adapted my favorite pudding recipe, cutting the corn starch a little and amping up the vanilla.  Turned out better than anything I’d made before, and absolutely delicious on baked apples.  Makes about 4 cups.  Enjoy.

Vanilla Ice Cream Custard

2 c. 2% milk, divided
1 c. heavy cream
Vanilla bean
2 T. cornstarch
2/3 c. plus ¼ c. sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Almond extract (few drops), opt.

In a small saucepan, heat one cup milk and cream over medium low heat. Scrape in seeds and stir. Add pod, cover and steep at least 20 min. Remove pod. Rewarm gently.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine cornstarch and ¼ c. sugar. Pour in warm vanilla milk mixture and whisk until smooth. Add remaining sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, stirring often. Mixture will thicken slightly.

In the meantime, whisk egg yolks and remaining cup milk in a medium bowl until combined. When vanilla mixture has begun to bubble and thicken, pour one cup (or so) of it into the egg mixture, whisking to temper eggs. (This step must be done quickly and smoothly so you don’t get scrambled eggs!) Pour tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly. Keep at a slow boil for one minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in extract(s). Let cool.

Pour cooled mixture into airtight container, placing saran wrap directly on the surface to prevent a “skin” from forming. Chill until cold (ideally overnight). Process in an ice cream maker until quite firm. May be made ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Allow to sit at room temperature 10-15 min. before serving.

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Filed under Sweets and Treats

Secret Ingredient Brownies

Craving something sweet.  Made these for after-school snacks. Will freeze any extra for lunch-box treats. 

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed very well and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 T. canola oil
  • 1+ c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c. brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 T. spiced rum (opt.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • salt (opt)
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries, soaked to plump in spiced rum or water and drained (opt)
  • 1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts (opt), combined with 1 tsp. brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 ^ F.  Coat 8×8″ pan with cooking spray.

Place black beans bowl of a food processor and process until a paste forms.  Add eggs, oil,  1 c. sugar, cocoa powder, brown rice flour, xantham gum and baking powder.  Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.  Add spiced rum (if using) and vanilla and almond extracts.  Process to combine.  Taste.  Add salt and more sugar if needed.  Fold in dried cherries and walnuts, if using. Spread in prepared pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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Filed under Sweets and Treats