strawberry dessert

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

I am not sure why I never combined ladyfingers with strawberries before. Using them together in this dish made a wonderful dessert- that was also very easy. I could see topping it with a few blueberries for the 4th of July.

I want to just say something about ladyfingers. There are two types I see in stores around here, soft or crisp. The soft ones are smaller and cake-like and found in bakeries in grocery stores. Like sponge cake. The other ladyfingers are crisp and larger. I find the crispy type at Italian stores and sometimes at specialty grocery stores. The ladyfingers you want for this recipe are the larger, crisp ladyfingers.

I was happy with how it came out. The ladyfingers were soft, not mushy. They actually were kind of fluffy. The flavors blended so nicely. Great summer dessert. Light and refreshing, but kind of rich, too. I made vanilla pudding, but make life easier and just use store bought- if you prefer.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!!

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

1½ – 2 pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced

½ c. sugar

24 ladyfingers

1 recipe vanilla pudding- recipe follows

¾ c. Hazelnut chocolate spread

Whipped cream or whipped topping

Combine strawberries with the sugar and set aside. Make the pudding, if you haven’t already. You can use premade pudding. You’ll need 2-3 cups of pudding. I had some leftover from the recipe I made. In a 9×9-inch baking dish, place one layer of the cookies. You might have to trim them a little to fit. I had 2 rows of 6 cookies, but I had to break off a little for the second row to fit. Spoon over half of the strawberries, with some of the liquid in the bowl. Spread a layer of pudding over the berries. For the next layer, spread some of the hazelnut spread over each lady finger before putting it in the pan. When you put them in the pan, place them with the spread on the under side. Add another layer of the pudding, then top with the rest of the strawberries. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve. You can do all this up to 2 days ahead. Before serving, remove cover and top with whipped cream or any whipped topping you like. Serves 6-8. 

Vanilla Pudding

1 c. sugar

½ c. cornstarch

½ t. salt

3 ¾ c. half and half

1 T. vanilla- or a little more

2 T. butter

Combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk in half and half and vanilla until well mixed. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to bubble and get thickened. Mixture will get pretty thick. Turn down heat to keep it from scorching. As soon as pudding is thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Place pudding in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. Makes about 4 cups.        

Start by layering strawberries over a base of ladyfingers
Once layers are done, chill until ready to top with whipped cream
Ready to serve

Strawberry Won Tons

Strawberry Won Tons

Strawberry Won Tons

Still playing around with these won ton wrappers. I wanted a dessert recipe and decided a spin on strawberry pie might be fun. I started with a pound of strawberries. I used about a cup of sliced berries to make the glaze. Just placed the berries in a small saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water and brought to a boil. Simmered for 10 minutes or so- until the berries lost color and the liquid turned a pretty red color. I strained out the liquid and discarded the berries.  I put the berry liquid back on the stove, sweetened with sugar to taste- about 1/4 cup, maybe a bit more. I also made a slurry of water and tapioca starch to thicken it. I could have used corn starch but tapioca starch holds up better to reheating. I used about a tablespoon of tapioca starch and a couple of tablespoons of cold water and poured this into the simmering strawberry liquid until it got to the thickness I wanted. I removed the glaze from the stove and let it cool down. Once cooled I added about 2 cups of finely chopped strawberries. Now my filling was ready to go.

 

To make the little strawberry-wontons I just put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a wonton. I moistened the edges of the wrapper with water and folded it in half. I also folded some up like little eggs rolls. In small pan I heated the oil to 350 degrees. Less than half an inch of oil in the pan. Pan fried until crisp- about 30-60 seconds per side. Drained on paper towels and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Spoon filling on center of won ton wrapper

Spoon filling on center of won ton wrapper

Pan fry until crisp.

Pan fry until crisp

Cool a little then dust with powdered sugar

Cool a little then dust with powdered sugar

Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcake

Strawberry Cupcake

We had a lot of fun in the cupcake class in Concord last night . I thought I’d share a couple of the recipes with you. Here is the strawberry cupcake with strawberry butter cream frosting. Perfect for any party. A very special cupcake with the addition of color and flavor from the berries.

Strawberry Cupcakes

2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

2 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing. Makes 12.

Strawberry Frosting

1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold

Pinch of coarse salt

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not over-mix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream. Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes.

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