For the New Year, the boyfriend and I were invited to his parents’ house for a potluck party. As is often the case, I was expected to bring a cake :). I was looking for something simple, fruit-based, light, and not very sweet. I decided to do something traditional and went with a light, almond spongey cake topped with whipped cream and a ton of fruits. It’s a very simple cake, and a great way to showcase delicious fresh fruit that’s in season, so it’s also easily editable for different times of year. Best of all, it appeals to a large audience as it’s something that really plays on the simplicity of clean flavours.
Fruit & Almond Sponge Cake
- 3 eggs (brown, cage-free, organic)
- 1/2 cup organic skim milk (no rBST!)
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- scant 1 cup cake flour
- 2 tblspn soy butter, softened to room temp
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- LOTS of fresh, seasonal fruit
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup apricot jelly (organic, without too much added sugar)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time (be sure to really do them one at a time. trust me on this.)
- Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, and milk and beat on low until just combined. Then add the flour and barely mix enough- as soon as the flour is incorporated, stop beating.
- Pour the mixture into your cake pan (and place it on a baking sheet), baking for about 25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is spongey). Remove from cake pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Once cooled thoroughly, cut the cake in half to make two layers, and beat the cream into a whipped cream (adding 2-3 tsp of sugar halfway through to make it a bit sweet).
- Place a layer of whipped cream and some fruit on the first layer of the cake, then add on layer 2 and spread the remaining whipped cream over the entire two layers of the cake (and sides).
- Arrange fresh fruit on top as desired and brush the apricot jelly (warmed in the microwave) over everything to make a nice shiny glaze.
Yum, right? It’s simple, it’s not too guilt-inducing, and it’ll please the whole family. Make one for your next spring or summer potluck and take advantage of ripe stone fruit, fresh berries, melons, citrus…. so many options! I plan to make one again soon with different fruits and maybe a thin layer of marzipan halfway up the cake for added almond flavour :). Sprinkle on toasted almond slivers for a final touch or powder on some confectioner’s sugar in a pretty shape.
It’s true- it’s possible to make crème brûlée low-fat, surprisingly! I wouldn’t have thought so, but even this famous custard dessert can be edited into an equally delicious but far healthier version. None of those I served this to had guessed at its lower fat, and all deemed it authentic. It’s simple, but the almond taste kicks in towards the end and adds a nice flavour. I tried all three types of sugars (powdered, granulated, brown) and found powdered to be by far the best (as goes its reputation). The brown sugar burned too easily; the granulated sugar became too wet; the powdered, however, was just right.
Low-Fat Almond Crème Brûlée
Ingredients (makes 8 small, flat custards):
- 1 tblspn almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup organic skim milk
- 1 & 1/4 cup organic half-and-half
- 1 egg (yolk + white)
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tblspn granulated sugar
- 8 tsp powdered sugar
- 8 raspberries + sprigs of mint (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Scald the milk and cream by placing in a small, tall pot and boiling. Add vanilla extract, remove from heat as soon as it begins to bubble, and set aside.
- Beat together the other ingredients (almond extract, sugar, eggs) until well mixed together.
- Add a bit of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and slowly stir together; then add the rest of the milk in small batches, slowly whisking the mixture together. If there are any pieces of yolk/sugar, strain through a wire strainer.
- Place the ramekins in a large pyrex dish or baking dish, not touching the sides.
- Pour the mixture slowly and evenly into the ramekins (8, flat, or 4-6 souffle ramekins), being very careful not to spill
- Pour water into the pyrex dish, making a bain-marie, and carefully place in the oven. Bake the custards for 30 minutes if flat, 35-40 minutes if taller- try wiggling them to see if they’re ready (if wiggling like jello, then they’re set!)
- Remove from bain-marie water onto a heat-safe surface. To eat these in the ‘traditional’ way, sprinkle powdered sugar onto the tops and torch until the top is caramelized but not burnt. As an alternative, once cool enough to handle, chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge, then sprinkle on sugar and torch.
- To garnish, top with fresh raspberry and a sprig of mint, or other fresh fruit.
I’ve been told that if you haven’t a torch, you can use the broiler setting in the oven and place it directly under the heat, but mine was unsuccessful with this. That said, the lovely torch my friend B gifted me for my birthday worked out perfectly :) These were delicious, and tasted rich despite the lack of rich ingredients. Success! A low-fat alternative that’s well-hidden within great, full flavour.
I really, really like mango. Not only does it have a fantastic taste, but the texture is so thick that it can be used for a great many things. That thickness is the reason it’s so adept at smoothie-ing… and at making marinades, dips, and other thick sauce-like items. As per usual, the boyfriend was hungry, I was in the mood to experiment, and thus decided to try out a few things I had been meaning to look into for some time: a curry-marinade and the odd marriage of strawberry cucumber. I had long heard of this myth but was wary- cucumber is such a strong flavour in my opinion, and it’s hard to say what it will happily make off with… and strawberry was not a prime suspect on my list. But you never know until you try, right?
The result was quite nice, on both ends. The marinade was thick and flavourful (long live yellow curry powder and garam masala!) and the salad was fresh fresh fresh! That’s really the only word I can use to describe it. I’ll post the recipes in two pieces here below:
Mango Curry Marinade Grilled Pork Loin
Ingredients (for two people):
- 1/2 lemon’s juice
- 1/8 tsp lemon zest
- 2 mangoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 tsp of paprika, garam masala, and coriander
- 1 tsp yellow mild curry powder
- 1 tsp orange juice, no pulp
- 1.5 tbl low fat sour cream
- 4 pork loin cutlets
- 1 tsp organic canola oil
- pinch sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper
- Place lemon juice, lemon zest, paprika, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, orange juice, sour cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix together
- Puree mango in blender or food processor until creamy and smooth. Add to rest of mariande and mix thoroughly.
- Place pork in bowl and make sure it is fully covered by the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and cool for 30 minutes- preferably longer (overnight will be the most flavourful).
- Once the marinade has cooled thoroughly, heat grill pan with canola oil drizzled over the pan.
- Place pork (try to keep as much coating on as possible) in grill pan and grill on all sides, flipping over every 5-6 minutes until grill marks have a golden colour and prok is firm to the touch.
- Season with freshly-chopped chives or parsley on top for garnish
Fresh Spinach, Cucumber, and Strawberry Salad
Ingredients (salad for two):
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (can leave stems on)
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced very thinly (paper-thin)
- 10 dried apricots, quartered
- 2 tbl raspberry dressing or 1.5 tbl balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- Clean spinach, drain, and place in large mixing bowl
- Slice strawberries rather thinly (about 1/4-inch thick) and add to bowl
- Add thinly-sliced cucumber to bowl along with quartered apricots
- Drizzle on raspberry dressing or balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Toss thoroughly to mix!
It’s a bit of a fusion dish, these two things together, but it’s quite delicious, and very fresh. The heat, though mild, from the curry marinade is offset by the freshness of the salad. Pair these together for an irresistable summer dinner!
This was, without a doubt, the most delicious salad I have ever made. The fact that it was so remains a happy stroke of luck, for I was really just haphazardly putting things together and hoping they would work in conjunction. Thankfully, they did :) and the result was a miracle. The boyfriend took three servings. THREE. Three servings of salad! Miraculous! And our other dinner guest- a friend of mine who is allergic to gluten and has issues with mainy dairy products- took two. I was proud of this accomplishment.
My friend B was joining us so that I could make her a thank-you dinner; she has gifted me so many wonderful kitchen gadgets and I thought that the clear way to say thanks would be to use them for her benefit. B, however, is an impeccable guest to the last, and thus brought yet another gift with her upon arrival… meaning that I’ll just have to have her over again soon :)
Due tu B’s intolerance to gluten, I was looking for a way to add crunch to the salad. I immediately thought, “nut!” and looked about the cupboards. We had some cashews that were sitting about in a jar, and I had some honey-roasted cashews (these are even crunchier!) and thought they would work well. I then began assembling other ingredients and eventually had a nice mix of things put together.
The key to this salad is the warm pear glaze that serves as a dressing. I had prepared some extra virgin olive oil and pear-infused vinegar to use, but they really weren’t needed at all. And happily, the dressing of pear glaze consists of pear… and nothing else, really! Cheers to simplicity and healthiness.
Warm Pear-Glazed Chicken and Cashew Spring Salad
- 2 large chicken breases, cleaned
- 1/3 lb spring mix, washed and dried
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup jumbo black raisins
- 1/2 cup sultanas (to put directly in salad)
- 1/3 cup sultanas (to poach)
- 1 cup honey-toasted cashews
- 1/2 cup whole cashews (normal)
- 1 can Kerns brand pear nectar
- 1 half yellow bell pepper, diced finely
- 1/2 lb baby carrots, sliced thinly
- 1 tbl soy butter
- 1 tsp sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, coriander, nutmeg
- Place spring mix in a large salad bowl. Add in spinach, cranberries, raisins, sultanas (not 1/3 cup for poaching), bell pepper, carrots and toss thoroughly.
- Chop cashews (both types) together into fairly large chunks; add in to salad and toss again.
- Place soy butte rin a medium sautee pan. Coat chicken on one side with half of spice mix (salt, pepper, coriander, nutmeg), and place in pan. Once bottom side is seared, flip and season other side. Then flip again.
- Once both sides are fully seared, add in the 1/3 cup of sultanas and the can of Kerns nectar.
- Keep heat to medium and flip chicken every 4-5 minutes, moving the sultanas around and placing at times over the chicken. Once the chicken is firm to the touch and the pear nectar has caramelized to a thick, full-bodied consistency, place chicken on a cutting board and roughly chop into very large pieces. Spoon all caramelized pear nectar into the salad bowl.
- Place chicken onto bowl and toss one last time, making sure to distribute chicken and pear nectar thoroughly.
It’s delicious- trust me. Try it! It’s better warm, though the boyfriend finished the leftovers the next day cold and said it was still very good. Thanks to the sweet pear and honeyed pecans, it has a very sweet taste. “It’s like candy”- B and the boyfriend both agreed. And if you could have candy for salad… wouldn’t you? :)
This one is a bit of a monster… but so long as monsters are delicious to eat, I think it’s all right! For the third birthday cake- celebrating with friends at the apartment- I had wanted to make yet a third cake, and strawberries were on sale. So clearly the cake was going to involve strawberries… but what ended up happening was a cake chock-full of them!
I had wanted it to be a very rich, very moist cake, and experimented a bit to find how to do that best. My solution was to incorporate cheese straight into the batter- as some will often do with cream- resulting in an incredibly rich and moist cake. The cake is deemed ‘triple strawberry’ because of their ubiquity: they are in the batter of the cake as chunks; then a first layer of strawberry sorbet, followed by strawberry slices, then strawberry cream cheese mixture; then another layer of cake that is both strawberry flavoured and has strawberry chunks; then more strawberry slices over the icing. Clearly we are in serious strawberry territory here! If you like these berries, this cake is sure to satisfy.
Triple Strawberry Layered Mascarpone Cake
- One recipe of strawberry cake (follow your usual stepsor use a mix- if so, use one with no trans fats!- and make the followihng adjustments)
- 1 heaping cup creamy mascarpone
- 1/2 cup non-fat whipped cream cheese
- 1.5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
- Approx. 1 cup frozen strawberries (very important)
- 2 cups (approx. 1 container) low-fat cream cheese frosting
- Assemble strawberry cake ingredients in bowl (using recipe of your choice) but cut moisture down by a 1/3 and add in mascarpone. Mix thoroughly until just combined.
- Cut 1/3 cup of strawberries into very tiny pieces (minced)- mix briskly into batter.
- Pour batter into two greased 9-inch springform pans (if you don’t have two, pour in half the batter now, then re-use the pan and bake the other later)
- Bake as directed for temperature, cutting baking time approximately in half (this will vary- you’ll have to watch, open, toothpick, and get a feel by the colour of the cake. When a few toasty spots appear on the top, it’ll be ready)
- Remove cake from oven and allow to rest in pan for 5 minutes, then on a wire rack for 10 minutes
- Prepare the first layer of filling by taking frozen strawberries, roughly chopping into smaller / more manageable chunks, and blending/processing on low speed until it reaches a sorbet consistency. Immediately put back into freezer.
- Prepare second layer of filling by placing cream cheese into blender / processor. Dice 1/4 cup strawberries, add to mix, and blend on low until just combined (do not allow to become too liquid- this will be a bit difficult). If your processing power is too great to avoid this issue, blend strawberries alone, then manually mix into cream cheese (I made the mistake of not doing this and then had to mop frosting…. luckily, the boyfriend didn’t mind eating it all…)
- Place second layer of frosting in fridge (not freezer)
- Place first layer of cake directly onto a large, heavy plate. Remove sorbet frosting from freezer and spread evenly onto top of cake layer- do not use entire quantity if any seems to be slipping off. Do not go right to the edge, but spread to about 1/2 inch away from edge.
- Slice approx. 1/3 cup hulled strawberries into 1/3-inch thick (approx.) slices and arrange in flower fashion on top of cake layer, not overlapping (see photo below)
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the fresh strawberries. They may slip- this will be a bit difficult. Be careful not to add too much frosting. To make this easier, place cake in freezer after adding fresh strawberries for a few minutes prior to adding cream cheese on top.
- Once cream cheese is on, add second layer of cake on top. If there is excess sorbet and cream cheese on the sides, take a rubber spatula and force them back into the cake, or mop up with a paper towel or hungry boyfriend.
- If you have extra sorbet and cream cheese left over, you may add them on to the top layer repeating the process from earlier, being sure to freeze in between steps. For a simpler/ less tall cake, save these in the fridge and freezer to use in making other desserts (I like to keep extra cream cheese mixture for filo cup desserts on the go)
- Frost entire cake with thick cream cheese frosting. You can pipe for extra decoration- I ran out of time and had too many strawberries I wanted to put on, at any rate :) but decorate as desired!
- Slice remaining strrawberries and arrange on top of cake in flower form and encrust aroundside edges, or as desired.
Well, that wasn’t so bad, right? :) It’s a bit like a bombe in the sense that the layers are precarious and require chilling in between to make sure they’ll stay put. I stored it in the freezer over night (or what was left of it, at any rate) and the remainder was eaten the next morning (it was a popular cake0 so I can’t say how well it keeps, but my suggestion would be to freeze it for two hours after it’s done, and to then move to the fridge. By that point, the cream cheese frosting should be thick enough to contain the more liquid layers inside, and if anything they’ll just soak the cake a bit, which ought not to be an issue… the mascarpone in it makes it moist already!
Blackberries may have a bit of a bitter or slightly sour taste, but add a little sugar and cream and we can have that solved in no time at all :). Whipped cream, when made fresh, has a far better texture and consistency than canned creams- it’s thicker- much thicker- and generally yummier. However, it can often be a bit plain… so why not make it a bit more healthy by incorporating fruit? Blackberry whipped cream is a nice topping for cakes (pairs well with both chocolate and vanilla), brownie, ice cream, cookies… any time in which you would traditionally add whipped cream, try a fruity one! Magno works splendidly; apricot; really any fruit with a pulp that’s a bit thick will work. Strawberries may be a tad bit watery, but should work as well if that’s your fancy.
Blackberry Whipped Cream
- 1/2 carton organic heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp granulated (regular) sugar
- 4-6 oz fresh blackberries (about 3/4 to 1 box/container)
- Take a metal mixing bowl and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes
- Place blackberries (without cutting) into the bowl of a food processor or processor blender and blend until the consistency resembles jam
- Remove bowl from freezer; place sugar in bottom of bowl, then pour in whipping cream
- Using eggbeater/electric mixer, beat on lowest level for approximately 20-30 seconds, then keep moving upward every 20-30 seconds until reaching the highest level. Beat until the cream makes stiff- but not dry!- peaks or to desired thickness
- Pour blackberry puree into the middle of the bowl on top of the whipping cream
- Using a spatula, carefully fold in- NOT STIR- the puree, so as to not flatten out the cream
It’s a very quick process- takes less than 10 minutes for sure- and yet adds a very fun and different element to your everyday whipped cream cravings. Switch out the fruits for experimentation- I’d be willing to bet that passion fruit would be fantastic, it’s just a bit difficult to find here in the US :)
H and I developed a strong affinity from our first attempt at molten chocolate cake and were craving it, so… why not make it again? We yet again followed the recipe to the letter (Martha Stewart’s excellent recipe is super simple), this time completing it fully rather than halving it. It continues to be not molten or lava-like but rather very squishy and moist in the middle, and they’re really quite dense.
There’s something oddly gourmet about them- we’re unable to pinpoint the exact thing that brings it about- but one thing’s for certain, they’re absolutely delicious. My friend Saloni suggests baking them in a muffin tin for lava texture, so I suppose we’ll have to- for the same of experimentation- try them again in the future. It’s a hardship, but we’re willing to slave for our cause. I really highly suggest you try this cake- it’s perfect for entertaining, easy to make in large batches if you have a good set of rammekins (rammies!), and are very easy do-ahead cakes to heat up for the next day. We had ours warm, with melting vanilla ice cream and a small pile of strawberries; the next day I ate this demo cake pictured above cold with blueberries. It’s delicious either way (hot or cold), and would probably go wonderfully with any berry!
With my excess cheesecakes batter I opted to do some experimentation. I followed Giada’s cheesecake recipe again in terms of mechanics- using the blender for mixing the batter, same crust recipe as before, and still cooking at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. However, the rest was thrown out the window. Though I did not take exact measurements, here are- roughly- the changes I made, taking the excess batter (1x my original batter recipe) and adding in the following:
- Slightly over 1 pound of finely-chopped strawberries
- 1.5 cups whipped low-fat cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup mascarpone
- 1/4 cup ricotta
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 tablespoons potato starch
The result was closer to a mousse with a graham crust than a cheesecake, hence these being named ‘cheese mousse cakes’. They’re lightly-pink-coloured thanks to the massive amount of strawberries inside, and rather light as far as cheesecake-like confectionaries go, due to the low sugar and low-fat cheese. It’s very, very creamy, and tastes rather like strawberries ‘n cream ice cream. Yum! :)
When I saw Giada (I know, I’m a bit of an Italian fanatic) make these adorable individual cheesecakes the other day, I knew I had to try it. However, I’m not a big fan of citrus in desserts (after all, she’s the Italian one, not me (everything in Italy is lemon-flavoured. Seriously.)) I opted to, naturally, alter things to be more to my liking. Thus came about vanilla cheesecakes, witha honey graham crust rather than chocolate, piled high with strawberry chunks.
Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes with Strawberry Topping
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ Individual Orange and Chocolate Cheesecakes
I mostly followed the recipe as it was, with these modifications:
- As the “6 servings” seemed to imply “6 mini cheesecakes”, I doubled the batter recipe… little did I know this actually made for 24 cheesecakes as opposed to my target of 12. No worries- I’m making a second batch with other alterations later this evening :).
- Used honey Teddy Graham crackers for the crust rather than chocolate wafers. I also used a heaping cup to have a slightly thicker crust. The comments suggested using a 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 but keeping the butter proportion the same, and adding some sugar. I ended up doing a heaping cup of crushed crackers (with the doubling), a little under 4 tblspn of butter, and 1 tblspn of sugar.
- Also as per the suggestions in the recipe’s comments, I first laid in mini muffin liners, then brushed those with butter, then put in the suggested 1.3 teaspoon-ish of crust material per cup, and used a shot glass-sized candle (gift from the boyfriend… it smells like chocolate. Yum!) to push down the crust into the cups. I then baked them (at 350) for 3 minutes- this is supposedly meant to help it firm more.
- As far as the batter, I added the proportions exactly as suggested as the thought of cheesecake rather terrified me (it just sounds difficult), but did use low-fat ricotta, low-fat whipped cream cheese, and substituted half the cream cheese for mascarpone. I also added in a 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract.
- After cooling (still in the tin) on a wire rack for 20 minutes, I then put the entire tin in the freezer- and haven’t taken it out since. The cheesecakes are best eaten after being taken out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- I then topped each cheesecake with some small pieces of chopped strawberry and a very light sprinkling of sugar.
They’re delicious, absolutely adorable, and would be cute for a party. Next time, I’m incorporating crushed strawberries into the batter to make them strawberry cheesecakes :). But for now, these little guys are yummy!
Want some of these mini cheesecakes? Go become a fan of Fruippe on facebook for a chance to win the cheesecake raffle!
Gooey, warm chocolate cake + fresh strawberries + melting vanilla ice cream = rather heavenly. My friend Saloni had tipped me off that Martha Stewart had a rather incredible molten chocolate cake recipe, and as H had mentioned some time ago that we ought to make it, we decided it the perfect night to do so. These cakes are perfect because they’re individually-sized, and we already had all the necessary ingredients at home- I love it when that happens!
We opted to half the recipe (a tad bit complicated on the egg but nothing else) as H had half the necessary quantity of baker’s chocolate on hand- that, and having extra molten cakes waiting about the apartment seemed unproductive and potentially dangerous.
Thus we made the cakes, perfectly according to the recipe- it’s simple, very few ingredients! In they went to the oven (in rakemins, not a muffin tin) and as per suggestions on the recipe website, we cooked them for only 8 minutes. Despite the short time frame, the middle was gooey but not liquid- so clearly this one is difficult to master on timing. After a 5 minute cooling period, we turned them up-side down onto plates, dusted with powdered sugar, topped it off with fresh strawberry halves and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and mmmh. Now I just want to go make some more of them :) It’s a nice cake- not too airy, not too dense, and with the ice cream, fantastic. They’re quick, easy, and make for a perfect dessert if entertaining with fairly large parties, as it’s easy to upscale the recipe and make more!
They’re bite-sized! These little filo cups are mouth-watering, portable, quick, and simple. You can eat them in one bite and experience all the textures at once, or nibble at it slowly.
Last night Chrissie of Chrissie’s Cookies (they’re incredibly delicious, you should get some (warning: I’m biased!)) and her room-mate Christine came to join us for a night of dinner and boardgames. Naturally, the boyfriend was present as well (games + food = boyfriend is there), which meant I was cooking for 5, which meant that pasta was an obvious choice for dinner. I wanted to make a dessert as well and had some leftovers from recent desserts, thus these came about!
Filo cups can be found in the frozen section of your local grocery! You can get a box of 16 cups for about $2. They’re incredibly easy to use, delicious, and work as well for savoury as they do sweet (or you can mix the two- I like to fill them with pear slices, dried apricot chunks, honey, salt/pepper, mozarella, and feta for an appetizer). I had some leftover pastry cream from the strawberry tartelettes and a bit of leftover strawberry-mascarpone filling from the strawberry-filled cupcakes, as well as lots of fresh strawberries…. thus I simply did the following:
Strawberries & Cream Filo Cups
- 1 package frozen filo dough cups (found in freezer section of grocery store)
- Approx. 1/2 cup strawberry mascarpone cream (mascarpone cheese, strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice)
- Approx. 1/2 cup pastry cream (2 large egg yolks, 1 cup skim milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon potato starch)
- A half-dozen or so strawberries (1 strawberry can top 2 or 3 cups depending on strawberry size- cut as chunkily as desired!)
- Approx. 2-3 tablespoons strawberry jam/jelly
- Bake the filo cups (totally empty, so that the creams wouldn’t make them mushy) for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, as directed on their package
- Let cool 10 minutes
- Fill each with a dollop of the strawberry-mascarpone filling
- Add on a heavier dollop of pastry cream (goodness, I still didn’t even use it all, either! So much cream!)
- Slice a thick chunk of strawberry onto the top of each filo cup
- Brush a thin layer of strawberry jam over each strawberry chunk
Though that may seem like a number of steps, it’s insanely quick… and they’re delicious, and can be easily made in bulk. I think I’ll add these to my party/potluck list. You could make a similar type of cup with a great number of fruits, as well! Peach or mango would probably be quite yummy. Or any other berry, of course!
My sister was having lunch a bit ago and asked if I wanted to join her. I had had breakfast not exceedingly long ago and thus wasn’t hungry or in the mood for lunch… but I began sorting through the mail waiting patiently on the kitchen table, saw some smoothie pictures, and thought, well, why not?
I decided to experiment a bit further with varying ingredients, and went breakfast-style on this one. I was going for Jamba Juice’s thick and creamy smoothies that are all but a meal in a glass. Herein was what I decided on the following:
Berry-Granola Breakfast Smoothie
- 1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup raspberry yogurt (or blueberry, strawberry, mixed berry… your choice!)
- 1/8 cup crushed ice
- 2/3 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 tablespoon dulce de leche (optional)
- 1/5 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup mushy/ripe blueberries
- 1 tablespoon frozen blueberries
- 3 finely-chopped strawberries
- 1/4- 1/3 cup vanilla-almond granola (depending on your preference)
- 1 pinch salt
- Assemble ingredients into blender- make sure to put liquids in first so that it is at the bottom near the blade
- Blend on ‘salsa’ or similar setting (low) until nearly blended
- Pulse a few more times after completing the ‘low’ setting (wait a second or two for it to let air out) to homogenize the mixture
- Pour into a glass (you may have to tap the blender as you pour to coax out the thick mixture)
- Top with freshly-cut fruit if desired
It’s incredibly thick, so if you aren’t in the mood for a muddy mixture, add 1/3 cup runny yogurt, water, or other liquid (almond milk, soy milk, or milk if you’d like to keep it thicker; pomegranate or berry juice to thin it out further)… but incredibly nutritious, and quite healthy, as the worst ingredients are low-fat and the dulce de leche is so worth it. To keep things even healthier and keep the texture less thick, take out the dulce. All in all, this smoothie was quite a yummy one- and makes for a great breakfast on the go, as the whole process (eating included) takes under 5 minutes!