Posts by tag: spring

  • Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Posted on June 9, 2016
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Driscoll’s. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting companies that help to support Floating Kitchen!

It’s my birthday this weekend and…

{insert dramatic pause}

I’m going to be turning 36 years old.

Which officially makes me closer to 40 than to 30.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

But I do know how I feel about birthday cake: pretty great.

Because I’m a June baby and strawberries are at their peak season, my Mom and Grandmother would always make me a strawberry shortcake to celebrate my special day (I’ve since learned that June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day!). I fondly remember the light sponge cake, juicy strawberries and pillows of whipped cream that would mark this yearly occasion. And as an overly eager kid who could never seem to get enough sugar, that cake was definitely the best part of my day.

It seems that I’ve always preferred consumable gifts over material items.

This year, I decided to re-create my Grandmother’s strawberry shortcake recipe (with a few twists, of course!). And I’m so excited that Driscoll’s has agreed to help me out!

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream | www.floatingkitchen.net

I made my Grandmother’s sponge cake recipe exactly as she had written it out (although after some internet searching, I’ve come to believe that the sponge cake recipe is pretty standard). And then I used my 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut out little rounds. You can certainly skip this part and serve the cake as a sheet cake (which is how my Grandmother used to serve it), but my love for cute, individual desserts knows no boundaries. And bonus: you get all these scraps of cake from around the edges, which I lovingly refer to as the “chefs prerogative”.

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream | www.floatingkitchen.net

I slathered a thin layer of strawberry jam onto the sponge cake rounds. And then topped them with some Driscoll’s strawberries tossed in a little sugar and lemon juice. And because we’re all grown up now (at least according to my actual age), I made a wonderfully scented lemongrass and basil infused whipped cream. Don’t skip this part. The difference is rather remarkable. Trust me.

So…any advice for me in my 36th year of life? Eat more cake, maybe?

Cheers,

Liz

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Serves about 12

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • For the Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the Cake
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • About 1/4 cup strawberry jam

  • For the Strawberries
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) Driscoll’s Strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Infuse the whipped cream. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream, lemongrass and basil until small bubbles start to form around the edges of the saucepan. Do not let the cream come to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the cream cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, make the cake. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a rimmed 10 X 14-inch baking pan (see my notes below about baking pan sizes) with a piece of parchment paper and coat it lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until small bubbles form. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites becomes glossy white and stiff peaks form. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a clean bowl and set aside. In the same mixing bowl (no need to clean it out), beat the egg yolks until they become thick and pale yellow. Slowly add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beating on high until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice and zest. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolks. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Then gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, working the batter until everything is just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth the top to create an even surface. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. The cake should be starting to brown a little bit around the edges and pull away from the sides of the baking pan slightly. Remove from the oven and set the baking pan on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Then remove the cake from the baking pan by carefully inverting the baking pan over a parchment paper-lined wire rack. The cake should easily come out. If the parchment paper has stuck to the bottom of the cake, peel it off and discard it. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving.
  5. Prepare the strawberries. Trim and discard the greens. Slice the strawberries in half or quarters. Toss the sliced strawberries in a large bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside for about 15 minutes to give the strawberries time to release some of their juices.
  6. Make the whipped cream. Chill your mixing bowl and whisk in your refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Then strain the infused whipped cream into your chilled bowl, discarding the solids, and whisk on medium-high speed until the cream starts to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extra and continue whisking until peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Assemble the shortcakes. Using a 3-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of shortcake. If you carefully space the cuts, you will be able to get 12 individual rounds. Spread about a teaspoon of strawberry jam onto each shortcake round. Then top with a spoonful of the strawberries, making sure to get some of the juices. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Notes

1. There is some variability in the sizes of baking pans commonly labeled “jelly roll pans” or “half sheet pans”. I’ve made this recipe successfully in both a 10 X 14-inch pan and an 11 X 17-inch pan. Just adjust the cooking time by a minute or two, if necessary.

http://www.floatingkitchen.net/strawberry-shortcake-with-lemongrass-basil-whipped-cream/
  • Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast

Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast

Posted on May 12, 2016

It’s grilling season, y’all! Woo hoo!

I’m so pumped to finally be firing up the grill. Our Spring weather has been less than ideal lately. We’ve been plagued with a seemingly never ending string of cold, rainy days. And frankly, it’s been a little depressing.

But it looks like things are finally starting to turn around. Which means I’m heading outside and putting anything and everything on the grill.

I feel like I really stepped up my grilling game last year, as I tried to go beyond the usual run-of-the-mill staples like hamburgers and chicken. I grilled salsa, lobster pizza and heck, I even grilled watermelon. I was pretty unstoppable. This year, I’m hoping to push the boundaries even a little bit further.

So when I picked up some beautifully crisp snap peas this past week, I knew I wanted to try grilling them.

Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast | www.floatingkitchen.net

Naturally, I used my grilled snap peas for toast (although as I’m writing this now I can’t help but think they would be a great addition to a salad as well). The slightly charred snap peas, combined with a little honey-sweetened whipped ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of za’atar seasoning, make for a wonderfully flavorful savory-sweet snack or light lunch. I’m obsessed. And the presentation is pretty cute too, which I always appreciate.

Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast | www.floatingkitchen.net

If you try out my Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast, snap a picture, post it to social media and tag me so I can see it! Because I like to be nosey!

Oh and my friend Sarah just posted a recipe for snap peas with za’atar seasoning. So go check that out too, if you’re digging the flavor combo.

Cheers,

Liz

Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast

Yield: Makes 6 toasts

Grilled Snap Pea and Whipped Ricotta Toast

Ingredients

  • For the Whipped Ricotta
  • 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • For the Toast
  • About 1/2 lb snap peas
  • 6 slices of bread
  • A couple tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • About 1 tsp. za’atar
  • Pea sprouts for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Make the whipped ricotta. Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl. Beat with your hand mixer until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, pre-heat your grill to medium-high. Carefully thread the snap peas onto skewers and brush them with a thin layer of olive oil. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Add the snap pea skewers and the bread to your grill. Cook both until they start to become charred in a few places, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and set aside on a clean plate.
  3. Assemble the toasts. Spread some of the whipped ricotta onto the grilled bread. Top with the grilled snap peas (you can leave them on the skewers for a fun presentation, or remove them first). Sprinkle with some of the za’atar and garnish with a few pea sprouts. Enjoy immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/grilled-snap-pea-and-whipped-ricotta-toast/

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