I want something that I can make in pieces, and then assemble when company comes.
SO: Vanilla cupcakes, custard, strawberry compote, and whipping cream.
To serve: Slice the vanilla cupcake in half, add a dollop of custard and a dollop of strawberry compote. Replace the top of the cupcake. Top with whipping cream. Serve with meringue crumble.
NOTE: These ingredients can also be arranged in a trifle. Find a tall container. Layer first cake, then compote, then custard, then cream. Alternate attractively. Serve.
Custard Recipe (makes 3 cups):
4 large egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
2 c milk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Whisk egg yolks until smooth in large bowl. Combine sugar, corn starch, and salt in medium saucepan and heat on medium heat. Stir constantly, adding milk gradually in a slow, steady stream. Cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 min.
- Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1/3 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks (this is called tempering, which keeps the yolks from curdling). Pour remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to full boil and is thick enough to hold its shape when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 4 min. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
- Strain mixture through fine sieve into heatproof bowl. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours, up to 2 days.
Vanilla Cake Recipe:
1.5 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp room temperature butter
1 1/8 c sugar
2/3 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Mix butter and sugar on high in kitchenaid until fluffy.
2. Add eggs. Blend on high until fluffy.
3. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt. Blend on low until fluffy.
4. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract. Blend on low until fluffy.
5. Add flour. Blend on low until cohesive dough forms.
6. Bake 350 degrees for 25 min.
7. Remove from pan, let cool.
1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (a few whole berries reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 c sugar
- In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, and salt.
- Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries.
- Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Stir in remaining strawberries.
- Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).
2 c heavy cream
1/4 c confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- Whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form.
- Add sugar, whisk until combined.
- If not being used immediately, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 hours in airtight container.
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 200F.
- In large bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Beat until soft peaks form, THEN gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Add vanilla extract at the end.
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, shiny side up. Drop the meringue by large teaspoonfuls.
- Bake 1.5 hours. THEN turn off the heat and leave the meringues in the oven until they are completely cool, 3 hours or more (best done overnight..).
- Store in airtight container to keep crisp.