Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cream & Berries


Hey there– It really feels like summer here now.  How about where you are??  Warm days with all the windows thrown open to catch the breeze.  The maple trees are all leafed out and shading the backyard. Yesterday Mr. Wicks brought over yellow string beans from his garden and I watched the all the Johnson kids next door load up and take off for a day at the beach.

And at the market there are piles of berries.  So here’s one of the richest cakes that’s graced our table in a long time– super chocolatey and with cream and those berries pile high– really delicious on a summer evening.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CREAM & BERRIES
1/2 cup + 2 tab. butter (1 1/4 stick)
2  2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
6 eggs
1 heaping tab. of sugar
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups mixed berries
1 tsp. sugar

Drop the butter and chocolate chips into a large glass bowl.  Microwave it all for about 90 seconds, stopping to stir it around every 30 seconds– until the chocolate is all melted into the butter.  Mix in the coffee granules.

Separate the 6 eggs, whites in a mixing bowl, yolks in a smaller container.  Then gradually stir the yolks into the chocolate mixture.

Beat the whites and heaping tablespoon of sugar with an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best) until soft peaks form (it will take a few minutes!)

Stir the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture just until it is all blended.  Spoon the batter into an 8″ springform pan (or a cake pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.  Let the cake cool a bit and then set it into the fridge for a couple hours to firm it up.

When you’re ready to serve the cake beat the whipping cream, together with the powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix (it sets up the cream so it will stay firm) using an electric mixer and the whisk attachment.  When it is firm, pile it onto the top of the cake.

Mix the berries with the teaspoon of sugar and let them sit for a couple minutes until the juices from the berries liquify the sugar.  Then spoon them onto the top of the cream.  Serve right away!

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Mixed Berry Tart

 

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Hello there– We had lunch with the family Sunday– And a couple special guests.  Jodi had a sweet friend and her 9 year old daughter visiting from China.  I was a little nervous–not so proficient at woking up Chinese food!  But Jodi assured me that he friend was well traveled and could eat my unfamiliar American cooking– so it was tri-tip on the grill and all the fixings.  And for desert summer berries nestled into a creamy filling over  crispy crust.

We had a wonderful visit–so good to get to know Jodi’s world a little bit better.  And the grand-girls and their visiting buddy had a fine time inaugurating the new craft closet– there were paper and feathers and wiggly eyes strewn across the room and some pretty fanciful creations immerged.  Fun day all around.  And here’s dessert:

MIXED BERRY TART

Crust:
1 cup flour
3 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 egg yolk
2 tab. cold water

Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix*

Berries:
3 cups mixed summer berries**
1/4 cup raspberry jelly

To make the crust, mix together the flour, 3 tab. sugar and salt.  Cut the butter into smallish chunks. Then with a pastry blender (0r 2 forks) cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  In a cup, whisk together the egg yolk and 2 tab. water.  Pour it into the flour & butter crumbs and keep cutting in until it is all blended.

Press the dough (it will be crumbly!) into a 9″ tart (or pie) pan and put it into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it comes out nicely browned. Set is aside to cool.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until it is well blended.  Set aside.

In a different bowl, beat the whipping cream and vanilla pudding mix with an electric mixture (whisk attachment works fastest!) until it is stiff.

Then fold together the whipped cream and the cream cheese mixture until they are blended.  And scoop the filling into the cooled crust.

Mix the berries with the raspberry jelly and spoon them over the cream.  I used strawberries, cut I cut them in halves.   That’s it– cut the tart into neat slices and pass them around!

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*The pudding mix stabilizes the whipped cream so it keeps it’s shape.
**I used strawberries and blueberries– but blackberries, raspberries  or even peaches & plums, would be pretty!!

Mixed Berries & Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Hello there– Last week we headed over to out sister-in-law’s welcoming home for a Fathers Day bar-b-que.  She went all out– steaks, chicken and sausages on the grill and all the salads you could want to fill your plate! And the Dad’s in the group were happy to eat in front of the t.v. to cheer on the NBA final game.  Fathers Day fun!

And my job for the meal were to provide cakes– Here’s one–rich dense flourless chocolate cake topped with berries and dusted with powdered sugar.  Father approved.

MIXED BERRIES & FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
5/8 cup butter (1 1/4 stick)
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate (2  2/3 cups)
1 tab. instant coffee powder
6 eggs separated
heaping tab. sugar
3 cups mixed berries
powdered sugar for dusting

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Spray a 8″ springform pan (or cake pan) with cooking spray– and cut a 8″ circle of waxed paper (or parchment) to line the bottom of the pan.

In the microwave, melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl, stopping to stir every 30 seconds– should take about 90 seconds. Stir in the coffee granules.  Separate the eggs (save the whites in a bowl) and whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate one at a time.

With an electric mixer, beat the eggs whites and sugar until soft peaks form (this will take longer than you think– several minutes).  Gently fold the eggs whites into the chocolate mixture until it’s completely blended.  Spoon it all into the springform pan.

Bake it up int a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes until it is set (it will still be a bit jiggly until it cools completely).

After it cools, set the cake into the fridge for 3 or 4 hours to set.  Before you serve it up, top with the mixed berries and dust with powdered sugar through a sieve.  Hope you love it!!

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Yogurt Cake with Cream & Berries

IMG_1867Hey there– Monday night we had tables full friends eating out under the maple trees.  Several brought salads (I’ll send off the best shrimp pasta salad recipe soon!) and, of course, desserts.  We took our sweet time talking and eating away out in the yard –and came in for cake, lots of cake!  Here’s the one that I came from my kitchen.  You just have to love all those berries with whipped cream.  Mmmmm.

YOGURT CAKE WITH CREAM & BERRIES

Cake:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
4 tab. oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. amaretto (or vanilla)

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Then mix in the eggs, yogurt, oil  milk and amaretto.  Spoon it into a 9″ to 10″ cake pan or tart pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until it’s golden on top and firm to the touch.  Let the cake cool before you take it from the pan and pile on all the cream and berries.

Cream layer:
1 cup whipping cream (1/2 pint)
1 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar

Beat the whipping cream with the teaspoon of instant vanilla pudding mix (it stabilizes the cream) and set it aside.  Then with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and sugar until it’s fluffy.  Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Berries:
2 cups of your favorite berries
(I used strawberries, blueberries and black berries)
2 tab. sugar

If you have large strawberries cut them to nice little pieces.  Mix all the berries with the sugar and let it sit for an hour or so in the fridge for the sugar to bring out the juices.

When you’re ready to serve it up, layer the whipped cream on the cooked cake and top with the berries.  Pretty as a summer evening…  Enjoy!

IMG_1844P.S. — I used this fluted pan that has an indentation in the top so you can nestle in the cream and berries.  They’re easy to find at thrift stores.  I got mine for 25 cents.

Berry Ice Cream Dessert


Hi friends–  When it’s too hot to turn on the oven, this dessert is a good one.  It has a nice little crunch from the cookies and almonds and a trace of almond flavoring playing against the fruit.  I just finished a leftover slice from last night after I took this picture.  Delish!

BERRY ICE CREAM DESSERT
1/3 cup toasted almonds
3 tab. melted butter
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs*
1 tsp. almond extract or amaretto
1 1/3 quart carton of vanilla ice cream
1 cup berry jam**
Fresh berries

Take the ice cream out of the freezer and remove the lid so it will soften while you get the other ingredients ready.  If you have strawberries, cut them and combine with other berries you have.  Stir a tsp. of sugar into the berries.  Set them aside.  Mix together the almonds, butter, crumbs and amaretto.  Then in a spring form pan or a 9″ pie dish, pat in 1/2 of the crumbs in for a little crust.  Next spoon half of the ice cream over the crust.  Spread on 1/2 cup of the jam and 1/2 of the remaining crumbs.  Then put on a second layer of ice cream topped with more jam and crumb mixture.  Put the layered ice cream into the freezer.  Add the berries on top just before you serve it up.

*A box of vanilla wafers cost $3.99! so I used Maria cookies (55 cents for a package)
** I only had a bit strawberry jam so I mixed it with boysenberry to make 1 full cup.