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Posts Tagged ‘whipped cream’

Berry season is over, and there’s nothing quite like fresh, fully ripe berries that have been warmed in the sun. I’m posting this for memory’s sake, because I love blueberries, and as you’ve probably already figured out, I harvested a lot of them this summer (the heading photo for our blog is proof!).

I love how versatile shortcakes are: all you need is a sponge cake, some cream, some fruit, and a bit of imagination to make it unique – and then you have a delicious never-fail dessert with which to spoil your friends and families.

Ingredients – 8 servings

sponge cake

-1 cup sifted cake flour
-6 large eggs, separated
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1 Tbsp milk
-zest from 1 lemon, finely grated

lemon whipped cream

-500mL whipping cream, cold
-finely grated (as finely as possible) lemon zest
-2-3 Tbsp icing sugar (or more if desired)
-2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions

Sponge cake

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 round sponge cake pans, or better – line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift the flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks together with 1/2 cup sugar until they are fluffy and light, around 5 minutes on high with a mixer. Then add the lemon zest, milk, and vanilla extract, and continue beating for another 30 seconds.

Pour flour over egg yolk mixture, but do not mix. In another bowl, beat the egg whites into soft peaks on high speed. Gradually add in the remaining sugar until it is incorporated, and the mixture is glossy.

Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the flour/egg yolk mixture, and gently fold in. Then add the remaining egg whites, and gently incorporate. Do not over-mix. There may be a few lumps remaining, but that is not a problem.

Pour batter into each pan evenly, spreading it out gently with a rubber spatula so it is even throughout. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden and springy. When ready, remove from oven and pans, and cool on wire racks, and remove the parchment paper if you used it (which I recommend).

Lemon whipped cream

Once the cake is cooked, whip the cream in a bowl (the colder the bowl, cream, and whisk are – the better). Once it begins to thicken, add the vanilla, icing sugar, and the finely grated lemon zest. Make sure the lemon zest is really fine – I usually zest it with a microplane and then chop it even mor on a cutting board with a sharp knife so it is basically lemon dust.

Continue whipping the cream until it is firm, but stop before it begins to get lumpy.

Assembling the cake

Place one of the sponge cakes on a platter. Cover it with a thin layer of whipped cream, and arrange a layer of blueberries on top. Cover with a bit more whipped cream if desired, then place the second sponge on top. Cover entire cake with remaining whipped cream, and arrange blueberries on top. If you want to make a tripple, or even quadrupple-decker, just multiply the sponge and cream recipes!

-Sitelle

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When Sitelle spoiled me with around my french table  for my birthday, I immediately fell in love with this gorgeous book.  Written by Dorie Greenspan, it is full of recipes with simple ingredients, packed with flavour.  This recipe immediately caught my eye – I was astounded by the idea that chocolate mousse could be so deceptively simple.  From prep to finish, this mousse takes about 6 minutes to whip up.  Trust me – you will want to savour every bite!

I was in need of a chocolate kick the other night and gravitated towards this recipe.  I doubled it, and within hours it had evaporated (helped out by my roommate and a few lovely ladies).  If you want to be adventurous, add to the melted chocolate 1 tablespoon of strong instant coffee granules or to the egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, a few drops of pure orange oil, or 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (my personal favourite).  As Dorie says, it is truly the “quintessential French dinner-party mousse”!

Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse 

(4 delicate servings, or 2 generous servings)

Ingredients:

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Whipped cream

Directions:

Gently melt the chocolate over a double boiler.  Remove the chocolate from the stove, and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.  Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with the salt until they start to foam.  Gradually add the sugar, until the egg whites are shiny and hold medium-firm peaks.

Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate, until the mixture is almost smooth.  Spoon the rest of the egg whites over the chocolate, and using a large rubber spatula gently fold them in.  Be as thorough as possible, without overworking the mousse by overmixing (a few streaks are pretty and keep the mousse beautifully light).

Spoon the mousse into individual serving dishes and serve immediately, or chill until ready for dessert.  Delicious served with whipped cream and a few berries! Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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